top of page

3 Reasons Pastors Need to Bring "Politics" into the Pulpit

A few weeks ago, The Atlantic published a perspective about how politics is dividing evangelical churches. The piece seemed largely aimed at naming political and theological conservatives as the source of most of the problems. It was essentially a call to such pastors to “keep politics out of the pulpit.” I see the issue quite differently. I offered some thoughts about the article on a recent livestream.

Pastors, I get it. The idea of “keeping politics out of the pulpit” sounds noble. It seems like a strategy to reduce division. But the reality is, that strategy is probably not helping your congregation.

When I refer to politics, I’m not talking about dividing ourselves into Democrats and Republicans or endorsing one political candidate over another. That’s too narrow of a definition of the word “politics.” I am talking about “politics” in a more classical sense: “affairs of the city.” In other words, How does my faith connect to real life? How do I apply Scriptural principles to how I live--whether in my job, in my marriage, in educating my children, or at the voting booth? The Bible has quite a lot to say how Christians ought to conduct themselves in the public square—and it’s not just a little side issue, with only a few verses. Jesus has come to announce His reign, that all authority in heaven and on earth now belongs to Him (Matt. 28:19-20). What then, is the responsibility of the Christian to bring all things in subjection to His reign (1 Cor. 15:24-26)?

CFBU receives a LOT of letters from people who are hurting. They disclose to us -- strangers without any authority or position in their lives -- about the conversations they wish they could have with their pastor. Some have tried to have these discussions, but feel that their concerns were dismissed. These letters generally contain the following three concerns.

1. "My pastor isn't teaching us how the Bible applies to real-life situations."

The events of the l