American pastors facing controversial political debates in their congregation, and criticism from some church members for not swinging one way or another, need to be aware of when the right time to speak out is, says Reformed evangelical theologian Kevin DeYoung.
DeYoung, who pastors Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina, wrote a blog Tuesday on The Gospel Coalition addressed to pastors, noting that they face difficult questions when it comes to responding to controversial debates swirling around politics.
“When preachers are quickly criticized for saying too much (you’re not Gospel-centered!) or saying too little (you’re not woke!), it behooves us to think carefully about the relationship between pastoral ministry and politics,” he positioned.
DeYoung offered seven pieces of advice, starting with allowing the Bible to set the agenda for weekly ministry.
“I love preaching through the Bible verse by verse. I’m not smart enough to decide what the congregation really needs to hear this week. So they’re going to get John 5:1–18 this Sunday. Why? Because last week they got John 4:43–54. And in the evening they’re going to get Exodus 24, because last Sunday was Exodus 23,” he explained.
“That means I’ve talked in the last two months about abortion, social justice, and slavery, because that’s what’s been in Exodus. I want my people to expect that as a general rule the Bible sets the agenda, not my interests or what I think is relevant.”
Secondly, he emphasized that the Gospel is the main thing, but not the only thing to consider in preaching.
“The Bible is a big book. It doesn’t say everything about everything, and it doesn’t say anything about some things, but it does say a lot about more than just a few things,” he wrote.
Thirdly, DeYoung urged pastors to be aware of the difference between “the corporate church and the individual Christian,” noting that the former should not always voice support for specific political matters, even if many congregants agree.
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Source: Christian Post