Saturday, January 19, 2008

Politics and Religion

Last Sunday, a friend at my church told me that he could barely get by the Baptist Church that he drives by on the way to our church. Turns out Mike Huckabee was preaching that Sunday and there wasn't enough room to pack the cars in. Now, I'm not naive (much), but I do wonder about this practice.

Certainly churches and Christians do have a right, and maybe an obligation, to speak their mind on issues. I have no problem with that. In fact, maybe we're a little too slow as Christians at speaking our mind on important issues. But, this business of endorsing a candidate from the pulpit, of using the pulpit to support a particular politician is distasteful to me.

Maybe I'm just jealous that no one cares what we Methodists think anymore, if they ever did. Or, maybe I'm a little sqeamish about associating too closely with Politicians (celebrities) in our culture. For me, religion is something that goes beyond mere politics and politicians. Our call to serve Christ who is Lord of heaven and earth is a call to serve the world. No matter who the politician, we don't put our faith in "princes", according to scripture.

I think it was Stan Hauerwas who said that we Christians ought never to forget what the government w/religion did to Jesus.

I will vote because it is part of my responsibility. But to say that one politician is better than the others is not for me to say from the pulpit. I wil pray for all of them. There is more at stake than whether one politician or another get elected.

January 15, 2007
Dave Nichols

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Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm new to this, as you can probably see. But, I, like you, have convictions and ideas worth sharing. I hope this will be an opportunity to connect with others who are Christian and/or religious. I am happily United Methodist. I am committed to the basic teachings of our church, and to the compassionate outreach to the world.

I hope these pastoral ponderings will generate something in you that is hopeful.

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A graduate of Newberry College and Duke University Divinity School.  I have served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 1975.

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