Here we are, facing the conclusion of what has undoubtedly been the most tempestuous U.S. election cycle in memory.
So how have you, as a pastor or spiritual leader, handle the politically charged rhetoric? How have you shepherded the flock God has put in your care?
The ideological divide between the parties and the extreme personalities of the candidates could not be more different. Without doubt, this election will have lasting implications on our nation and world. It will determine the make-up of the next U.S. Supreme Court. Issues such as gay rights, immigration, terrorism, and energy independence will be hot agenda items for the next president.
While it is vital that we speak to the issues of the day—especially those with moral concerns that violate biblical mandates—as ministers we need to be careful that we don’t forget our first call: to preach the Gospel of the eternal kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.
On Sunday after the election, you will likely preach to several kinds of people: Republicans, Democrats, independents, and even those who simply chose to stay home and not vote at all. You will preach to angry people, to disillusioned people, to fearful people, and to people who are trusting for a political solution.
Even with such a diverse group—perhaps especially with a diverse group—your job is to “shepherd the flock of God which is among you…” (1 Peter 5:2a) and to provide eternal “soul care” to those whom God has placed in your congregation. Never forget that the majority of the New Testament was written by and to believers who were being persecuted, but they never lost the perspective that we believers are “in the world but not of it” (John 17:15, paraphrase).
We have a message of hope to all people—a message that goes beyond the politics and inflamed passions of the day, so let us proclaim it boldly.
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).