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    Denomination & Faith Movement Discussions - Thread: mentioning politics from the pulpit

    1. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by jsimms435 View Post
      I believe the biblical direction for correcting a person should be followed, which means first going to that person privately and then taking others if the person doesn't repent and then finally taking it to the church. Only after those three steps are followed then kicking the person out of the church should even be considered. The emphasis is on giving the person opportunities to repent and acknowledge their wrongdoing
      Ordinarily I would agree with this but the principles in Matthew 18 refer to "if your brother sins against you". If their sin is a private matter the correct approach is to handle it privately if possible and only later involve more people. If the sin is more public it seems potentially appropriate for the most private stages of the correction process to be skipped.

      To take an example, if a prominent Christian writer is promoting heretical teachings in a book made widely available for sale it's not inappropriate to write a blog post pointing out the errors in the teachings. It would be excessive to demand that a blogger leave the teachings to stand as they are while trying to set up an appointment with a writer, who may live in another country and who is unlikely to consider it a high priority to meet a blogger who wants to discuss their teachings.

      On the other hand, if you come and visit me and after you leave I notice some of my silverware is missing it is entirely appropriate to talk to you first before talking about the matter in front of the church.
      "Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

      "If you love me, obey my commandments" - Jesus Christ

      The Bible comes as a complete package. If we want to pluck verses out of context so make them mean what we want them to mean, if we want to ignore the passages that are inconvenient to our outlook, we should be intellectually honest enough to throw our Bibles in the trash and admit we are following Crowley and not Christ.

    2. #12
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      Quote Originally Posted by jsimms435 View Post
      I remember one time when I was a member of a Baptist church in Virginia that the pastor enjoyed making comments about President Clinton and his behavior. It seemed to almost always get a reaction from the congregation. I've seen other pastors such as Charles Stanley who I have never heard make a political comment from the pulpit. So, do you think it is ever appropriate, given that some laws and decisions also have moral or ethical implications that the pastor mention politics from the pulpit?
      Saint John mentions the politics and leaders of his day and so does saint Paul; their example appears to imply that godly teaching ought to address such matters but with care and with truth.
      Pope Gregory I was well known for his alms to the poor, and he gave quite generously of the riches donated to the Church by the wealthy people of Rome. Everything from money to land was given to the poor in some fashion. He made clear to his subordinates that their duty was to relieve the distress faced by the poor.

      He ordered his clergy to go out into the streets to find and care for the poor in person.

    3. #13
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      Quote Originally Posted by MoreCoffee View Post
      Saint John mentions the politics and leaders of his day and so does saint Paul; their example appears to imply that godly teaching ought to address such matters but with care and with truth.
      Yes, that's true. I think there is a time and a place for it. But, I think whomever a pastor or preacher is thinking to correct they should first examine themselves. Jesus told us very clearly in Matthew 7:1-5 that we are not to neglect the log in our own eyes before we address the speck in a brother's eye.

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    5. #14
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      Quote Originally Posted by tango View Post
      Ordinarily I would agree with this but the principles in Matthew 18 refer to "if your brother sins against you". If their sin is a private matter the correct approach is to handle it privately if possible and only later involve more people. If the sin is more public it seems potentially appropriate for the most private stages of the correction process to be skipped.

      To take an example, if a prominent Christian writer is promoting heretical teachings in a book made widely available for sale it's not inappropriate to write a blog post pointing out the errors in the teachings. It would be excessive to demand that a blogger leave the teachings to stand as they are while trying to set up an appointment with a writer, who may live in another country and who is unlikely to consider it a high priority to meet a blogger who wants to discuss their teachings.

      On the other hand, if you come and visit me and after you leave I notice some of my silverware is missing it is entirely appropriate to talk to you first before talking about the matter in front of the church.
      Yes, in that case the writer would be a perfect stranger to me and probably not my place to be the one to correct him or her. Someone who is closer to that person should be the one to say something.

    6. #15
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      Quote Originally Posted by jsimms435 View Post
      Yes, that's true. I think there is a time and a place for it. But, I think whomever a pastor or preacher is thinking to correct they should first examine themselves. Jesus told us very clearly in Matthew 7:1-5 that we are not to neglect the log in our own eyes before we address the speck in a brother's eye.
      I agree that self examination ought to be applied before launching a message to correct somebody else who is only doing what we do ourselves.

      If we are silenced by our own sins then maybe we will never speak at all ...
      Pope Gregory I was well known for his alms to the poor, and he gave quite generously of the riches donated to the Church by the wealthy people of Rome. Everything from money to land was given to the poor in some fashion. He made clear to his subordinates that their duty was to relieve the distress faced by the poor.

      He ordered his clergy to go out into the streets to find and care for the poor in person.

    7. #16
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      Quote Originally Posted by jsimms435 View Post
      Yes, in that case the writer would be a perfect stranger to me and probably not my place to be the one to correct him or her. Someone who is closer to that person should be the one to say something.
      If their teaching is public it's perfectly appropriate to write about it in a comparably public way. If Pastor Joe Blow writes a book that says the way to heaven is to eat lots of bananas it's perfectly appropriate to write a blog post or similar saying that his book is theological garbage and the way to heaven has nothing to do with eating bananas. You might not reach him personally but there's nothing wrong with writing such a post. To argue that you shouldn't post it publicly until you have approached him in private does little other than leave his teaching unchallenged.
      "Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

      "If you love me, obey my commandments" - Jesus Christ

      The Bible comes as a complete package. If we want to pluck verses out of context so make them mean what we want them to mean, if we want to ignore the passages that are inconvenient to our outlook, we should be intellectually honest enough to throw our Bibles in the trash and admit we are following Crowley and not Christ.

    8. #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by MoreCoffee View Post
      Saint John mentions the politics and leaders of his day and so does saint Paul; their example appears to imply that godly teaching ought to address such matters but with care and with truth.
      It is hard to see how Godly teaching can avoid addressing some of the things that Jesus taught us.

      To take an example, we should care for the weak and the poor. I don't see a problem with a sermon addressing the issues of Christ's teachings regarding looking after those unable to look after themselves. Whether this is achieved by a left-wing approach of a more generous public welfare state or a right-wing approach of encouraging private charity is a matter of opinion, and political opinion at that, so I'd regard that aspect as being inappropriate if it came from the pulpit.

      I wouldn't have a problem with a Bible study group discussing whether public welfare or private charity was the best solution to a problem, specifically because in a setting like that everybody gets a fair chance to talk. If someone is in the pulpit preaching the expectation is that the congregation be quiet and listen.
      "Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

      "If you love me, obey my commandments" - Jesus Christ

      The Bible comes as a complete package. If we want to pluck verses out of context so make them mean what we want them to mean, if we want to ignore the passages that are inconvenient to our outlook, we should be intellectually honest enough to throw our Bibles in the trash and admit we are following Crowley and not Christ.

    9. #18
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      Quote Originally Posted by tango View Post
      It is hard to see how Godly teaching can avoid addressing some of the things that Jesus taught us.

      To take an example, we should care for the weak and the poor. I don't see a problem with a sermon addressing the issues of Christ's teachings regarding looking after those unable to look after themselves. Whether this is achieved by a left-wing approach of a more generous public welfare state or a right-wing approach of encouraging private charity is a matter of opinion....
      That may be, but only one of them is in accord with the New Testament, and it is the other one that wants everybody to think that Christ, the Apostles, and the early church were primitive Socialists.

    10. #19
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      Quote Originally Posted by Albion View Post
      That may be, but only one of them is in accord with the New Testament, and it is the other one that wants everybody to think that Christ, the Apostles, and the early church were primitive Socialists.
      Here is the thing, private donations dont work, first of all most dont live by those principles, second to many second guess why someone is like that instead of showing the love of Christ to them, third many issues such as aging and not having enough are ongoing issues and bigger than most churchs or individuals can take care of. You address those issuesa and solve them and then I can accept that approach but till then we need things like Social Security and welfare. I agree that they could be better managed and that some do take advantage but the solution is to weed out those problems, not scrap the whole system.
      Isaiah 40:31

    11. #20
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      Quote Originally Posted by psalms 91 View Post
      Here is the thing, private donations dont work, first of all most dont live by those principles, second to many second guess why someone is like that instead of showing the love of Christ to them, third many issues such as aging and not having enough are ongoing issues and bigger than most churchs or individuals can take care of. You address those issuesa and solve them and then I can accept that approach but till then we need things like Social Security and welfare. I agree that they could be better managed and that some do take advantage but the solution is to weed out those problems, not scrap the whole system.
      ... and immediately we're back into political opinion. Which is perfectly valid, but what you're essentially saying here is that one system doesn't work and should be abandoned, while another system doesn't work and should be modified. And all the while people with differing political views are saying the same thing but the other way around.
      "Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

      "If you love me, obey my commandments" - Jesus Christ

      The Bible comes as a complete package. If we want to pluck verses out of context so make them mean what we want them to mean, if we want to ignore the passages that are inconvenient to our outlook, we should be intellectually honest enough to throw our Bibles in the trash and admit we are following Crowley and not Christ.

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