In the United States, and around the world, church leaders are still very much a powerful figure. They may or may not hold as much influence to a government as they use to, but none the less, they are till powerful figures in our culture. But today, we have believers who look way too much at religion and not enough at relationships. We have Christians who speak more to church leadership about questions and concerns in their life than actually seeking God themselves. When Pastors speak, it still holds weight. And pending on how a pastor and congregation feel about economical, social, and political issues, could determine in a way how one would preach and teach the Gospel to other people. This is very dangerous and is not authentic to teaching the word of God.
While the Bible has been used in the past centuries, for manipulation of civilizations and slavery, it was not the Bible or Christianity itself that did these things but the power of man who wielded the Bible for chaos and destruction. Today, people only have to say the name “God” and follow it up with an ideological answer and you can easily see the division that will begin to only further divide this nation. Leaders in the church have a responsibility of first and for most obeying the word of God and then second to preach and teach the word of God. But what happens when we are taking the word and are using it for some sort of gain? What happens when our leaders back a lobbyist group & politicians while on some level support the surface of biblical scripture, in turn want to remake the entire landscape to be indoctrinated in Judaeo-Christian values yet with as diverse of a nation that we are seems like it would be more likely to move people out of the country that are non-Christian than for them to stay here. Of course, history has told us that Native Americans are actually the first people upon this land.
In my opinion, I believe that churches should be as neutral as possible and there should be only two things churches should get involved in with relation to government. First, if there is any violation to the practice of the religion of Christianity, Christians should step and voice their concerns and beliefs. The second point, moral authority in situations should surpass legal authority. This doesn’t be that Christians should be deemed above the law. However, this does mean that one, doing the right thing isn’t always legal and two, sometimes the law is a restraint and it’s moral judgement that should replace in order to bring light and justice to a given circumstance. With that said, I turn you to Luke 11:37-53, here Jesus is criticizes the religious leaders, it says…
37 When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table. 38 But the Pharisee was surprised when he noticed that Jesus did not first wash before the meal.
39 Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.40 You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.
42 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.
43 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and respectful greetings in the marketplaces.
44 “Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which people walk over without knowing it.”
45 One of the experts in the law answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also.”
46 Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.
47 “Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets, and it was your ancestors who killed them. 48 So you testify that you approve of what your ancestors did; they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs. 49 Because of this, God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.’ 50 Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all.
52 “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.”
As some seem to give the appearance like they are the Pharisees, church leaders today cannot and should not pick and choose when they want to further the agenda of the church. Go has the vision and the plan and the church just needs to execute it. Furthermore, the church should become more diverse in terms of race, creed, color, gender, and social, economical, and political ideology. This is a church, a house of God meant to serve the entire community not a social club for a small group.
And we have to become full-time and not part-time Christians when it comes to social views. Yes, you can say that you don’t believe in abortion but have you ever actually asked why a person would have an abortion in the first place. Also, leaders need to get outside of their own comfort zone and really get to know the people and really understand who got this. They may have been taught through seminary who God is but that doesn’t mean they know “who” God is.
Before I go, I would like to share a sermon written by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. I know you have heard the name before, but I want you to read it with a open mind and an open heart. The sermon was titled “Confusing God and Government”