Keeping Politics Out of the Pulpit

January 28, 2008

Megachurch pastor and best-selling author Joel Osteen recently talked about how he will not bring politics into the pulpit. Here are a couple of highlights from a Christian Post article:

Osteen also does not endorse any political candidate, although he doesn't mind putting in a good word for the person if he or she happens to visit the church.

... "It just got to the point where it didn't seem right."

... "If one of the presidential candidates were to attend, they certainly deserve honor," Osteen said. "[But] I think we say we don't let them speak because, well, who wouldn’t want to come to speak to 40,000 people here? We would introduce them and I would always put in a good word, whether they are Democrat or Republican."

His view contrasts those of many pastors who have allowed or even invited the 2008 presidential candidates to speak in their pulpit.

... Osteen noted that what he doesn't like is when Christian leaders get a label because they become too political.

"That's what I don't like. When it's too politicized," he stated. "There's a fine line there, but I think we can't just sit back and let everybody else express their views. I think it's important that we as believers in Christ express our views."
Despite what your thoughts may be about the smiling preacher, his attempt to keep the pulpit from being politicized is one that is worthy of respect. It is especially troubling when candidates are allowed to "preach" during worship services. As I argued in my book (For God's Sake, Shut Up!), we must not give up our higher calling in order to play politics.

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