The deep conversation between with Scott Paeth, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at DePaul University in Chicago. Jonathan and Scott discuss politics and preaching.
There notion of separation of Church and State is strong in the American culture, especially among the Baptists. This notion governs a church’s non-profit status to a degree; if a pastor preaches overt politics from the pulpit, telling people who to vote for, then the non-profit standing of the church is in question. Many have pushed this notion from the pulpit in an overt way.
Jonathan feels strongly that there is a responsibility with the pulpit. The pastor is to guide the congregation to a deep, profound relationship with God and then let that relationship, and God’s presence guide the individuals ways in being active in the world, politically or otherwise. Yet Jonathan feels that the current political climate is pushing one’s attempt at an apolitical stance from the pulpit (as best as one can accomplish that). So Jonathan and Scott talk about the lines one draws when engaging political rhetoric from not only the pulpit but from the context of the church.
It is important for Christians to be involved in the world and to understand the appropriate ways to be involved. It is important for people to have a sense of what is ok and what would be crossing the line. Yet we all need to be honest that there may be a time when that line needs to be crossed and we need to know what it is that makes such a move important. What we want to avoid is missing that important moment, that time when we need to stand up and realize that we are too late in speaking and acting.
As always thanks for listening!
Next Episode – Trump, Racism, and Ephesians with Pastor Jabulani McCalister