The vast majority of people who go into full-time ministry do it because they want to spread the Gospel and win souls to the Lord. (There are some others who do it so they can get that “Clergy” bumper sticker, which, as we all know, allows you to park anywhere you want, up to and including on the curb in front of the entrance to a hospital emergency room.) Because they want to reach as many people as possible, most pastors are careful to avoid driving people away from the church over things like politics. It may not seem that way because politically outspoken ministers get all the ink, but it’s true: most pastors steer clear of political commentary.
However, there is a point at which a pastor will feel so strongly about an issue that he will risk political blowback to make his feelings known. It looks like we have reached that point with John Piper and Mark Driscoll:
Praying for our president, who today will place his hand on a Bible he does not believe to take an oath to a God he likely does not know.
— Mark Driscoll (@PastorMark) January 21, 2013
Them’s some strong words, partner. And of course, there has been some blowback, which basically amounts to, “How dare you question Obama’s faith!? He’s spoken about his deep Christian beliefs many times, and since he’s a politician, I trust him completely! As we all know, it’s words that matter and not actions, in both politics and faith!”
I’m sorry to see conflict among the church, but it is a great relief to me to see church leaders speaking up about the fact that our political leaders aren’t exactly knocking themselves out to address the concerns of evangelical Christians.