One of our most popular videos encourages pastors to speak out more on moral and cultural issues. And a poll I recently conducted on Twitter confirmed that congregants want their leaders to be more vocal on cultural and even political issues. But what is a proper balance? What should our priorities be as preachers of the Word and shepherds of the flock?
Most pastors would say, “My calling is to preach and teach the Scriptures, not to be a cultural commentator.”
To a certain extent, that is true. But it is also overstated. After all, doesn’t the Bible itself comment on culture? Doesn’t God’s Word intersect with society? Didn’t the prophets of old confront the evils of their day?
After speaking at a recent conference, a Black woman who works in the Human Resources department at a large Christian school wanted to speak with me. She and her husband support our ministry and she wanted me to sign my new book on evangelicals and Trump.
She also wanted me to know the tremendous significance of the work we were doing and how critically important it was that, as a ministry, we were addressing the pressing cultural issues of the day, including LGBTQ activism and race issues.
We receive comments like this on a daily basis, indicating that God’s people, the flock for whom Jesus died, need leaders to take public stands and give them practical guidance. Shouldn’t Christian leaders help their people navigate their way through these difficult cultural mazes as well?
To be sure, I do not believe that most pastors and Christian leaders are called to address moral, cultural, and political issues as much as those of us who are called to stand on the front lines of the culture wars. (This would apply to someone like me as a talk radio host and syndicated columnist.)
But certainly, there must be some intersection between the spiritual realm and these other realms. This sliding scale of priorities should prove helpful.