You Gotta Serve Somebody

It’s been interesting watching my Facebook feed today in light of the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act.  What has made it interesting is seeing a number of mainline pastors kind of be so nakedly partisan.

I guess it shouldn’t shock me.  Mainline Protestantism has long ago jumped into bed with liberal interests in the way that Evangelicals have fooled around with the Republican party.

But while it might not be shocking, it is a little sad to me.  It’s just one more confirmation on how Mainline churches are just as beholden to ideology as evangelicals have been.

It’s not that I think pastors shouldn’t have political views.  We are human and we have opinions on things.  I also think it’s okay for pastors to even share those views in public.

But what matters is how we do that.  It’s one thing to offer measured statement on the issue.  It’s another to basically cheerlead for your side of the political spectrum with no thought to how that might appear to those that have a different viewpoint, especially those who might attend your church.

Maybe I’m old-fashioned.  Maybe it’s silly to think that I am called to minister to the whole church, not just the part that I agree with. Maybe I’ll piss my liberal friends off by being so nitpicky.  But I believe that I have to be about ushering God’s kingdom and justice, not simply pushing a political agenda.

Allan Bevere said it best:

I must confess as a mainline Protestant who has come out of evangelicalism, I find it almost tragically humorous when the religious left accuses the religious right of wanting to institute a theocracy in America when they have their own theocratic vision they are working to bring to fruition. It reveals the truth of the statement that when you point your finger at someone there are three pointing back at you. The way around the errors of both, of course, is for the church to recover its primary work of embodying the gospel in its corporate life and bearing witness to the ways of God in the world. That is the central way the church is to be political in the world. As I continue to say, the church is where the politics of the kingdom resides and comes to fruition, not in the halls of nation state power.

While I disagree with some of the merits of the law, I do hope it will help those who are worrying about their lack of health coverage.

It’s also my hope that Christians be they evangelical or mainline learn what it means to live the gospel and not simply shill for the major political parties.

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