Should pastors preach on political issues?

2 Min Read

This is a great question over which the church, pastors, and scholars have differed over the years, and it’s not an easy question to answer. Pertaining to this question are matters regarding the spirituality of the church. So, if you want to do further study on this, I would recommend studying the spirituality of the church. Another issue this question raises has to do with two-kingdom theology and radical two-kingdom theology, especially in regard to what we as individual Christians are called to do and called to be a part of as it pertains to our responsibilities as citizens of whatever country we reside in, as well as what the church is called to do corporately as a congregation and as a people.

There is much that can be discussed, but I would simply say that every pastor needs to ask this question first: Is it wise to deal with politics in the pulpit? Now, when I say “politics,” I do not mean Christian ethics, and I do not mean Christian principles. The truth of the matter is that we must deal with Christian ethics and Christian principles from the pulpit, and often those have political ramifications. When you give sociocultural, principled, ethical, prescriptions from Scripture, they will often have political ramifications. But preaching politics per se is a different matter altogether. So, I would simply put to pastors whether it is wise to preach politics per se from the pulpit.

Most of the congregants at our church know precisely where I stand on issues because I preach biblical principles and my views of biblical ethics and let the chips fall where they may. People are wise enough and intelligent enough to understand and make their own conclusions as to where I stand. But I’ll just say this: our people at Saint Andrew’s Chapel have no idea who I vote for. I have made it my policy over the years that I do not tell people who I vote for. The only person in my life who knows who I vote for is my wife. Some people might say that’s wrong, but so be it. I want to make sure that I am preaching the gospel and the Word of God, and I want to ensure that nothing distracts from my primary calling of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and the unvarnished Word of God to God’s people.

Preaching politics is something that some pastors have chosen to do, and I am not going to slight them for that, but we have to be very careful and wise as we strive to do that in a biblical way. I would simply give a warning regarding how that’s done and when that’s done, because if you are more identified with your politics than your preaching of the Word of God, then people will often come to you for your preaching on politics rather than your preaching of the Word of God.

This transcript is from a live Ask Ligonier event with Burk Parsons and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, email or message us on Facebook or Twitter.