Where's the Line?
Today one of our pastors gave a message on voting according to Biblical principles. He had done his homework on how far a pastor can go without crossing the line of separation between church and State, and he intentionally came right up to it. According to the demographics of our congregation, he was mostly "preachin' to the choir." He set up his points using Scripture that illustrates how God is not partisan, but has standards. He reminded us to be "salt and light." He urged us to vote without compromise for candidates who stand for financial freedom, moral clarity and religious freedom. And he went into quite a bit of detail about abortion, gay marriage, the role of government versus the church and inidividuals in caring for the poor. It was very clear which candidates he was supporting, even though he never mentioned any candidate by name.
During second service, I and the rest of the music team were in the lobby waiting to lead music again at the conclusion of the message--we'd already listened to the sermon during the first service. A man we all know well walked out in tears, just devastated. He said, "This church has been the best thing that ever happened to me. But if this is the direction it's headed, then I don't belong here. This is right wing bigotry."
I don't think it was the church's stand on abortion, gay marriage, etc., that distressed him--those could hardly have been a surprise. I think he feels that the pastor, by encouraging him to vote accordingly, was crossing a line.
I would be interested in your thoughts and advice on how to reach out to this man and his family so that we don't lose him from our church family.
Here's the sermon if you'd like to hear it.