In the last post, we talked about the questions you need to ask yourself before preaching on politics. But what if you didn’t read that post and just started preaching? Here are five ways to cause DISUNITY and DIVISION in your Church and DESTROY its impact if you preach on politics.
Preach One Side as Right.
On the one hand, there will be a lots of people that will agree with you…they may even say they are glad that you took a stand.
But there will also just as many who will not. And they may not tell you, but will just stop showing up. If you are a preacher, don’t forget what your ultimate goal is. Your goal as a preacher is to:
HELP PEOPLE KNOW CHRIST!
You’ll have believers and unbelievers that will NOT hold your position, there is no point in alienating people who you want to connect with the most.
If you want to preach politically, DON’T PICK A SIDE!!
Use a Straw-man argument.
Straw-Man: an intentionally misrepresented proposition that is set up because it is easier to defeat than an opponent’s real argument.
There are reasons why people believe what they believe. You may not like them, but they deserve to be taken seriously.
If we are going to summarize a position that we do not agree with, then summarize in a way where you state it better than the person who holds that position.
Sometimes the best way we can connect with others is to give their position the respect it is due by taking it seriously.
Christianize a political party.
I get very concerned when I hear Christ-followers start to say one political party is “God’s Party”.
Partly because THIS IS WHAT THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS DID. The Sadducees spoke for God, so did the Pharisees, the Zealots and the Essenes and they all fought each other.
I think we do well to take the words of Joshua 5:14, when Joshua encountered the captain of the Lord’s armies:
Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”
“NEITHER,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.”
God doesn’t take sides. But is calling all people to embrace Him. That is the same goal of the preacher.
Make it all about one issue.
There are many issues that people feel passionate about. As Christ followers, the greatest issue we have is to help people make connection to Christ.
As a pastor, you need to help our people think biblically on the relationship between Christ and culture, God and government, and how we as Christ-followers are called to engage.
Healthcare, education, poverty, racism and even budgeting are spiritual issues that require us to think and pray through. All of these issues require Christ followers to see through a biblical lense.
Make a Point rather than Make a Difference.
When you make a point you get some fans, people clap and will even get your base charged up.
Making a difference is about LIFE CHANGE.
Making a difference is about loving people when they disagree.
Making a difference is about loving people when they change and when they DON’T change.
Making a difference means we believe God changes hearts. We can’t argue people to Christ.
If you want to make a POINT you’ll find fans; but if you want to make a DIFFERENCE you’ll see life change. True, you need to make points, but remember that your goal at the end of a message or a service is that people leave knowing they are loved and pursued by a relentless God.