I was flipping through Wayne Grudem’s Politics According to the Bible and found an interesting quote regarding how pastor’s should deal with controversial political subjects. I really like how this is expressed and the examples given. Grudem writes,
“I realize that some of these topics are “controversial.” I want to emphasize that pastors will need much wisdom to distinguish between political topics where they can say, “There is a clear biblical position on this issue” (for example, protecting the lives of preborn children) and other topics where they should wisely say, “I realize that Christians may legitimately have differences of viewpoint on this issue” (for example, leading evangelicals a few years ago differed publicly over whether the United States should grant China “most favored nation” trading status). There will also be some topics where a pastor says, “We should all agree on the goal (for example, helping the poor), but we have freedom to differ on the best means to reach that goal (such as what mix we should have of government welfare, job training programs, different tax policies, private charities, and incentives for businesses).” On still other issues, the pastor may say, “People disagree on this issue, not because they disagree about the result we should seek (for example, preserving an earth that is a good place for human beings to live), but because they disagree on the relevant facts (for example, whether human activity is contributing significantly to differences in the earth’s temperature).” (p. 72).
I like the way Grudem explains this because it seems to give a lot more room for robust discussion on subjects that are important and yet also gives room for humility when approaching these important subjects.
And more than that, I appreciate the fact that it’s honest. In Scripture, some things are clearer than others, which means people need to think. And preaching that encourages thinking is important.
Luke is a pastor-theologian living in northern California, serving as a co-lead pastor with his life, Dawn, at the Red Bluff Vineyard. Father of five amazing kids, when Luke isn’t hanging with his family, reading or writing theology, he moonlights as a fly fishing guide for Confluence Outfitters. He blogs regularly at LukeGeraty.com and regularly contributes to his YouTube channel.