This fall, Minnesotans will go to the polls to vote on two constitutional amendments. The first one would ban same-sex marriage and the second one would require photo ids before a person could vote.
Now I have my own opinions on the amendments and I’m not shy about sharing them (I’m strongly against the first and somewhat in favor of the second). However, when it comes to the context of church and in my role as a pastor, I am less comfortable in telling people how they should feel on this issue, let alone how they should pray.
Recently, during a time when prayers were being offered, someone asked prayers on both amendments and stated their viewpoint. It was a little bit uncomfortable for me, mainly because the prayer focused on one side of the issue and because I knew there might be folks that had differing opinions on both issues.
Normally I would say something about how we are the Body of Christ and that at the communion table we are a diverse bunch but united together in Christ. I would say something about how churches have people from all walks of life and we need to be aware how to be church amidst the differences.
I would say all of this…but in these polarizing times, I’ve come to believe that we don’t even see the church as a place where different people come together. Churches are becoming like everything else in society: filled with people who tend to agree with each other. So maybe it wasn’t so odd to see someone stating their views on a political issue as if there were no other folks who might disagree; they might believe that church is just “for us.”
I’m not advocating that we never talk about politics in the church. But is there a way to talk about these issues without claiming that God is only on our side?
I don’t know the answer to that.