Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear warned those gathered at the denomination’s annual meeting that churches cannot become a “stooge for one party.”
Speaking before messengers at the annual meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, on Tuesday, Greear talked about the need to put the Gospel over all other matters.
Greear told those gathered that they must show “restraint” on certain issues, including “political affiliation,” which unlike the Gospel was “not of first importance.”
“Political affiliations have a way of obscuring the Gospel. In our political climate we know that if we’re known as the stooge for one party, we’ll lose all audience with the other,” said Greear.
“When we tie our message too closely to a political platform, we put an unnecessary obstacle in the way of the Gospel for half of our mission field.”
Greear clarified that he still believed that churches should speak out on “justice issues” like racial reconciliation and pro-life advocacy, he warned that trying to promote specific political views can “write off half of our mission field.”
Greear gave an anecdote about a woman who after being baptized sent him a letter, explaining how she and him once engaged in a back-and-forth on abortion on Twitter.
He recalled that her Twitter handle was “something like ‘left-lucy’” and that she had started attending his church when invited by some friends.
“I had no idea this woman went to our church,” recalled Greear, who quoted her as saying in the letter that she was glad Greear “did not make this the Republican church” and that if he had done so, she “would have never been able to bring myself to go.”
“Politics is important to me, it’s important to our society. But the soul of ‘left-lucy’ is even more important to me. Do we care about almost half of the country that identifies with her? I really want to reach a generation of ‘left-lucys’ and I know you do also.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski