“The Pulpit is no place for politics!” is a refrain we hear often, and it is true. The church of Christ is a soul saving institution and our purpose is to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). Thus preachers are commanded to “Preach the Word!”(2 Tim. 4:1-2). Preaching is the act of heralding a message from the King. As such we are obligated to preach the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27), to point people to the cross (1 Cor. 1:23), and to speak God’s words, not our own (1 Pet. 4:11). We have no business endorsing political candidates or news networks or giving our opinions on foreign or domestic policy from the pulpit.
It would seem that most church members generally recognize and agree with these principles, and if a gospel preacher violated them, he would be well deserving of a thorough rebuke. However, we must be careful not to tread too far. Our society has made everything political, but the reality is that while some issues are intrinsically political, not every issue is. Politicians speak at length on abortion, homosexuality, transgenderism, and socialism, but God does too. These issues are fundamentally moral issues that politicians have hi-jacked. Gospel preachers have an obligation to speak about these things, not because of what their preferred party platform says about them but because of what God says about them. I know of preachers who have preached about these issues in the past and been rebuked for “preaching politics.” The truth is that someone listening, listened well, and knew that their preferred political party stood in contrast to God’s will on the matter, and instead of allowing their own thinking to be challenged they chose to rebuke the preacher for being “political.”
Our role as preachers is to proclaim the will of God. We must not leave the impression of promoting candidates, parties, or their agendas. In truth, our preaching should encourage people not to think in terms of politics but in terms of the Gospel (cf. 1 Tim. 2:1-2). A Christian’s concern should be “what does God say about this issue” and “how can I use my influence for the good of the gospel on this matter” (cf. Phil. 1:27). We must not preach politics, but we must also remember that just because a politician declares a moral issue to be political, does not make it so.