We need pastors who bleed the gospel. We don’t need pastors who are pawns of some political party. We don’t need pastors who get their marching orders from their favorite political websites and TV stations. We don’t need pastors who are too afraid of getting fired.
We need pastors who, when beaten and bruised by their opponents, bleed the gospel.
That means that we need pastors who are more interested in following the examples of the Old Testament prophets than they are in turning a profit at next week’s offering. These are the pastors who will say the hard things, the things that were once obvious but no longer are.
A funny thing happened after Sunday night’s presidential debate. The people at Fox News and the Drudge Report were telling me that Trump won. Meanwhile, the folks at CNN and MSNBC were saying that Hillary won. That’s the thing about our current political climate. Love it or hate it, it does have a way of exposing allegiances. Sadly, on both sides of the aisle, there are those churches and pastors who have been exposed for being more aligned to a presidential candidate than the gospel of Jesus Christ. And as a result, those pastors who are supposed to be speaking against evil end up swimming against the stream of scripture and common sense in order to keep their presidential hopeful propped up.
We don’t need pastors who act like pimps prostituting out their churches in order to give Hillary Clinton another campaign stop.
We don’t need pastors who consider it their duty to defend Donald Trump no matter what because, after all, his sins aren’t as bad as Hillary’s.
No, we need pastors who bleed the gospel.
Imagine if Hillary Clinton was your church secretary and she deleted a few thousand e-mails a week or so before being questioned by the police about some shady Internet dealings she’d been involved in. Most likely, she would be fired. But, for some reason, in the eyes of a lot of pastors, such actions do not disqualify her from being the president of the United States.
Imagine if your wife or daughter worked for Donald Trump. Imagine if she was the one he was talking to Billy Bush about assaulting all of those years ago. Would you still call it “locker room banter”? Would you still say it was just words? Not likely. What is more likely is that you would try to have him fired. But, for some reason, in the eyes of a lot of pastors, such conduct doesn’t disqualify him from being our next president. We’re not hiring a pastor-in-chief, they tell us.
One of the most disturbing things I have seen in my 41 years on this earth is the degree to which some church leaders will distort or even ignore scripture just to see their candidate elected.
For some, the fact that Hillary is a woman gives her the right to sanction the murder of babies under the banner of a woman’s right to choose.
For others, the fact that Donald isn’t Hillary gives him a free pass to do or say whatever he wants under the banner of making America great again.
Pastors, we have to be above this. We can’t scream, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone,” when one candidate blows it and call down fire from heaven to punish the sins of the candidate with whom we don’t agree. We must remain true to the scriptures. We must be consistent. But that’s hard to do when the blood of a political party runs through our veins.
We need pastors who bleed the gospel.
People won’t like it when you refuse to jump on one candidates bandwagon. I’ve been told that I’m what’s wrong with America. I’ve been told to stick to the Bible. It’s likely that we’ll hear worse. Don’t let that get you down. Never forget that preaching the word isn’t just done one day a week behind a pulpit.
We need pastors who bleed the gospel. Every day of the week.
That means that we need pastors who love the Trump supporters and the Clinton supporters while simultaneously opposing the godless policies and actions of both candidates. That’s easier said than done. Refusing to just play along and wave the flag of a political party or candidate might get you run out of town. It might lose you a few church members. Offerings may go down.
But that’s okay. Jesus called you to be a shepherd, not a hireling. A shepherd risks everything to protect the sheep. A hireling only looks out for his own interests and takes off running when the heat gets too thick.
Pastor, one day you will stand before Jesus to give an account for your life and ministry. You will not be questioned about whether or not your were liked? You will not be questioned about how appreciated you felt. You will not be questioned about what you did to swing the balance of the Supreme Court.
In so may words, you will get a question sort of like this one.
Did you bleed the gospel?
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. James 3:1 (ESV)