As a rule, I don’t think there is much room for churches to be involved in politics. Often when I have conversations about the topic people assume it has something to do with my previous political life when in actuality it has more to do with how I read the Bible and evaluate the early church and apostolic directives, which I don’t find compelling in view of political involvement.
We are in a season now where the issue of the day in Washington is same-sex marriage. In evaluating how a church, or leaders of the church, should interact with such an issue I really appreciate JD Greear’s message to his church. It is full of grace and clear statements of truth and might serve as a good model for other churches wading into the issue.
“I also want Summit members to know that our elder team believes there is room for disagreement on this. Whether or not homosexuality is sinful is not up for debate at our church, but sincere Christians might disagree on whether this particular amendment is helpful. Our unity at this church is built around the gospel and the things the Bible is clear about, and while the Bible is clear on the sinfulness of homosexuality, it does not tell us what government actions are appropriate. After having studied the issues surrounding the amendment, I am comfortable with supporting it and encourage you to, but I’ll leave that ultimately to you and your conscience…”
“Honestly, there is a tension we feel regarding this issue. We are here for the long haul. Long after this amendment question is settled, we’ll still be here, regardless of the outcome. We do not want our ministry to be defined by this issue. We want to be defined by the gospel and our love for the city and our willingness to lay down our lives for those who fundamentally disagree with what we stand for, just like Christ did. I have turned down a number of opportunities to debate this issue in the public square for just that reason—I don’t want this issue to define us as a church.
“On the other hand, we know that it is our duty to think Christianly about contemporary issues, and to be salt and light to our community. Thus, we decided it was appropriate to bring this to your attention and to encourage you to pray and vote your conscience.”
Read the whole thing here.