We are in an interesting time in our world, especially in the United States of America. Racial tension, political unrest, and financial stress are heavy topics, and at least one, if not all three, are weighing heavy on the minds of all people.
These issues are creating struggle and strife in all of us, yet we all feel discomfort when it any of them are mentioned from the pulpit. We will share posts on social media addressing the issue, we will complain to our friends via text, but we feel like the pulpit should refrain from being a place money, politics, or racism should be addressed.
Some people will claim politics should be left out due to separation of Church and State. I can understand that, especially when a pastor takes to the pulpit to endorse a certain candidate. However, I don’t agree with it when it is necessary to address political issues directly associated with the gospel.
For example, when poverty and injustice are involved, the pulpit should be the first place you hear a response to the issues. When political motives are hindering the good news of Jesus, then we should be concerned. Pastors should be able to address the pain caused by unfortunate political motives and agendas without fear.
Money is another topic that people expect the Church to avoid. Now, money is addressed, but people cringe when they sense a money talk is coming.
Far too many feel like their money is their money. They don’t want to be told what to do with it. They have earned it so, if they want to give it, then they will. If not, then it’s none of the Church’s business.
On the contrary, money needs to be spoken of from the pulpit, mainly because Jesus spoke about it when He was speaking to His disciples.
There is no reason money can’t be discussed, but the way the message is delivered is key. The pastors leading the conversation need to be gentle, but honest. Money can control a person, which is sad, but it’s true. Pastors need to be wise about how they address finances. Provide scriptural evidence, but support their members being able to give way they feel honors God based on what they hear and have prayed about.
Finally, racism and prejudice are topics no one should avoid. We have to be honest about the tension and how to address it.
Jesus cared for people who socially and culturally were unacceptable. He challenged the status quo. He pushed people to think about everyone as a part of creation, not just a certain group. He cared for a Samaritan woman. He healed gentiles.
Racism and prejudice were issues He knew needed to be addressed. He did, and it made religious people mad.
When we see people living in fear, struggling to understand if they are safe in their skin, people fleeing their country, individuals feeling marginalized, and much more. The Church should be the place discussing the need for love and change.
It is difficult for people to discuss. It is a hard topic, especially in areas that lack diversity, but there are still groups people judge and ignore.
The pulpit should be a place that addresses all issues well, according to scripture.
Perhaps it’s time for the Church to begin to get uncomfortable. However, that same thing is what put Jesus on the cross.
Maybe pastors aren’t ready for that? Perhaps the Church is too quick to hold up their nails and hammer, instead of acknowledging the need for healthy conversation about uncomfortable issues.
May we be better at listening to uncomfortable topics. May we acknowledge the need to discuss heavy issues. May we be willing to be a part of the discussion and not flee from the pulpit.
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: What topics would you like to hear discussed more in Church?