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Casting the NAR Mountain of Politics Into the Sea

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6. Consider if you have been consistent. Obviously, there is a lot of talk at present about social justice and a host of issues often associated with the left. This makes people on the right a bit nervous, and understandably so. The gospel mission of the church has been buried before in an avalanche of humanitarian causes and social movements. At the same time, the concerns of the right ring a little hollow when pastors pass out partisan voter guides, tweet about the Second Amendment, sing the Star Spangled Banner in church, and then when anything about race or justice comes up, start harrumphing about politics in the church. I'm sure the same thing happens in both directions: we are fine being political until someone on the other side gets political too. -- Kevin DeYoung

Here is an even better plan. Don't be political at all and you guarantee consistency. Politics assumes one side is right and the other wrong. When you insist your side is right you alienate half your listeners. DeYoung is right about the glaring hypocrisy shown by far too many churches who 20 years ago cried about character and now claim we are not electing a "pastor in chief." The things of God may be foolishness to the world beloved but they have no problem seeing hypocrisy. DeYoung presents his last point:

7. Be prepared to fire when necessary, but keep your powder dry. There are times when the national crisis is so all-consuming or the political issue so obviously wicked (or righteous) that the minister will feel compelled to say something. Think 9/11. Or riots in your city. Or the declaration of war. But these are the exceptions that prove the rule. Our news media, not to mention social media, make us feel like every day is a global meltdown and every hour is a moment of existential crisis. Don't believe the hype. There is no exact formula for when you interrupt your sermon series, when you drop a blogging bomb, or when you add current events into your pastoral prayer. These things call for wisdom, not one-size-fits-all solutions. But let me suggest that when it comes to politics and public policy, parenting is a good analogy: yelling works only when it is done sparingly. -- Kevin DeYoung

I agree that there are several occasions a year that require a pulpit response. The issue is in what that response ought to be. It should always be a response with the Gospel. For example, I know of churches who respond to mass shootings with sermons about guns and their place in society. That misses the entire point. Why? Because that is a sermon about this world and this life. The Bible is about Jesus. After a mass shooting why not preach on true evil? The truth of a black and white faith versus the shades of grey of the world? How tomorrow is truly promised to no one? 9-11 offered an opportunity to discuss eschatology or a renewed call to the Great Commission. Don't preach solely about what is happening in the world but rather about He who has overcome this world. Every tragedy offers opportunity to discuss why we hope as we do. I applaud Kevin DeYoung for being right about a lot of what he wrote here because most pastors are in way too deep politically. You can still see however the insidious thread of how the NAR has infected the minds of well-intentioned Christians. Do not tether yourself to this world beloved. Our citizenship is in heaven alone. The NAR teaches that the church has to conquer seven cultural mountains, one of them being government. My Bible says I can command that mountain to be thus removed and cast into the sea. In the name of Jesus let it be so.

Reverend Anthony Wade -- June 5, 2018

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