Does God Belong in the Polling Booth?

Posted: October 18, 2012 in American Decency Association
Tags: , , , , , , ,

 

Over the past few weeks, ADA has been active in distributing non-partisan local voting guides to prepare the politically uninformed for the November 6 election.  We’ve gotten stacks of the guides into churches all over the city, but, occasionally, a church declines to have them available for their congregation because they don’t want to get “political.”

In fact, Pew Research released a poll in May which said that 54% of Americans “say that churches and other houses of worship should keep out of political matters.”

That’s sad.

too-much-2

There’s a saying among Christians  that goes like this – the Bible is “the only infallible rule of faith and life, except for politics.” These Christians support their belief with the Bible verse that mentions, “the wall of separation between Church and State.”  After all, God wouldn’t want to tell us who to vote for, would He?

Lest the sarcasm from the above paragraph drip into the remainder of this article, let me assure you, that’s not quite how the saying goes. Scripture is the only infallible rule for faith and life. Period. EXCLAMATION POINT! Also, the Bible doesn’t mention the “wall of separation” (and neither does the US Constitution).

Pastors are shepherds, delivering the Word of God to God’s  people. And I do believe that God has a favorite candidate in this race.  I’ll leave you to determine whether that’s the one who strongly supports killing babies and men marrying men, or the other guy.

Christianity is a little more important than whether you’re a dog-person or a cat-person or whether you’re a Tigers fan or a Cardinals fan. Yet that’s about how it’s often treated when we step through the curtains of the polling booth.

I’m not saying that pastors should necessarily be endorsing candidates, although I think they have the right to. What I’m saying is that if God was voting, he wouldn’t just be looking at the tax rates and unemployment numbers. It is a pastor’s duty to say, “where does God stand on these issues?” God isn’t quiet on these matters, and His spokesmen shouldn’t be either.

Pew more recently released a study entitled “Nones on the Rise” (it has nothing to do with habit-clad zombies) which documents  the growing number  of Americans who do not affiliate with any particular religious group as well as a  drop in Christian Americans.

According to the Pew poll, there are five percent fewer Christians in the US than there were in 2007, dropping  from 78% to 73%. Meanwhile, the religiously unaffiliated have risen by 4.3% from 15.3% to 19.6%.

Could it be that these phenomena are related?

If Christians are not being taught to be authentic in EVERY area of their lives, congregations are going to continue to lose members to the “nones.” If Christianity doesn’t mean everything to its believers, it means nothing.

Author: Chris Johnson   20121017   Category: Politics  ADA: on  Status: on
URL: http://www.pewforum.org/Politics-and-Elections/more-see-too-much-religious-talk-by-politicians.aspxhttp://www.pewforum.org/Unaffiliated/nones-on-the-rise.aspx

http://www.americandecency.org/full_article.php?article_no=1516

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