. . . and Christ called him the greatest man who ever lived.
by Doug Giles
As far as I’m concerned, a silent or waffling pastor in today’s paranormal climate is unnecessary. I don’t care how much the minister likes kitty cats, candy canes, and if he cries at Celine Dion concerts. Look, Voiceless Vicar, if you’re not currently in the middle of this crucial cultural squabble, pointing out what’s putrid and cheering on what’s proper, then you’re Dr. Evil in my book.
Given that the culture-dividing issues, thanks to Obama, are more obvious than Joan Rivers’ last lip implants, it is mind-boggling to me that many ministers are mute or side with parties, policies and principles that are antithetical to the Judeo-Christian worldview. I don’t know if you got this memo in seminary but pastors are not only supposed to salvage souls but also build the good society.
In some kind of ascending order, it seems to me there are 10 reasons why pastors and priests avoid political and intense cultural issues and thus aid and abet evil:
1. Fear of Man: If you purport to be a man of God then your regard for God and His opinion must trump the trepidation of the creature God created from spit and mud. Come on, man of God, don’t fear the crowd . . . we’re peons with cell phones who’ll shoot Botox into our foreheads. We’re weird and fickle weather vanes of what’s en vogue. You’ve got to lead us. Therefore, move into the Moses mode and command us to be and do what is holy, just and good. The grinning, mild, subtle Oprah approach doesn’t seem to be stemming the current flood of cultural filth.
2. Ignorance: Most people are not bold in areas in which they are ignorant . . . always excepting Janeane Garofalo, of course. I know keeping up with all the pressing political issues is maddening, but that’s life, brother, and if you want to be a voice in society and not just an echo, you have got to be in the know. Staying briefed is par for the course for the hardy world changer.
3. Division: Y’know, I hate the current non-essential divisions in the church as much as the next acerbic Christian columnist. Squabbling over the color of the carpet, who’ll play the organ next Sunday or who is the Beast of Revelation, is stupidity squared. That being said, there’s a time and place for a holy throw-down and an ecclesiastical split from political policies and parties. For a minister to seek unity with secularists when they are trashing and rewriting Scripture with impunity is to side with vice and to allow darkness to succeed.
4. Last Days Madness: Many ministers do not get involved in political issues because they believe that “it simply doesn’t matter” since “the end has come.” These defeatists believe that any change in the jet stream, war, earthquakes, a warming globe, the success of a corrupt politician—or even a new Shakira video—are “proof” that God is getting really, really ticked off and that His only recourse is to have Christ physically return and kick some major butt. Attempting to right culture is, in the defeatists’ eyes, equivalent to polishing brass on a sinking ship; therefore, they are content to simply pass out gospel tracts, tramp from Christian rock concert to Christian rock concert, eat fatty foods and stare at Christian TV.
5. Sloth: Classically defined, sloth is lethargy stemming from a sense of hopelessness. Viewing our nation and the world as an irreparable disaster, where our exhortations, prayers, votes and labors will not produce any temporal fruit, leaves one with all the fervor of a normal guy who’s forced to French kiss his sister. If you’re wondering why your flock is so apathetic, Pastor Eeyore, ask yourself if you have stolen the earthly hope that their valiant efforts can actually prevail in time and not just in eternity.
6. They don’t want to lose their tax-exempt status: Many pastors, priests and parishioners have been cowed into inactivity by the threatened loss of their tax-exempt status if they say anything remotely political. This can make pastors who don’t, or won’t, get good legal advice about as politically active as Howard Hughes was during the flu season.
7. They bathe in paltry pietism: Pastors avoid politics because such concerns are “unspiritual,” and their focus is on the “spirit world.” Yes, to such imbalanced ministers, political affairs are seen as “temporal and carnal,” and since they trade in the “eternal and spiritual,” such “worldly” issues get nada.
This bunch is primarily into heavenly emotions and personal Bible study, and they stay safely tucked away from society and its complicated issues. How sweet. They forget that they are commanded to be seriously engaged with our culture or fall into the worthless manure category Christ warned them of (Mt. 5.13). Snap.
8. They have bought into the Taliban comparison: Pastors have muffled their political/cultural voices because they fear being lumped in with Islam by the politically-correct thought police. The correlation made between Christians’ non-violent attempts at policy persuasion and the Taliban’s kill-you-in-your-sleep campaigns is nothing more than pure, uncut crapola.
9. They can’t say “no” to minutiae: Some ministers can’t get involved in studying or speaking out regarding pressing issues simply because of the ten tons of junk they are forced to field within their congregations. Spending time wet nursing 30-year-olds without a life and being bogged down in committee meetings over which shade of pink paint should be used for the women’s ministerial wing of their church, ministers are lucky if they get to study the Bible nowadays—much less anything else.
10. They like the money: The creepy thing about a lot of ministers is their unwillingness to give political or cultural offense when offense is needed, simply because taking a biblical stand on a political issue might cost them their mega-church, which means their seven homes, their Bentley and their private jet. Oh well, what do you expect? Christ had His Judas, and evangelicalism has its money loving hookers.
If the ministers within the good old US of A would crucify their fear of man, get solidly briefed regarding the chief political issues, not sweat necessary division, not get caught up in last days madness, maintain their hope for tomorrow, understand their liberties under God and our Constitution, not become so heavenly minded that they’re no earthly good, focus on the majors and blow off bowing to cash instead of convictions, then maybe . . . just maybe . . . we will see their righteous influence cause our nation to take the needed sharp turn away from the secularist progressives’ speedily approaching putrid pit.