“Keep Politics in the Pulpit”

Isaiah 58: 1 – 10 – – “Politics don’t belong in the pulpit,” a congregant once said to me after I preached a sermon against the Iraq War. “I don’t want the Sacred to be tainted by the profane. Let’s keep church and politics separate.” While I agree that the Gospel is not partisan, I do believe that it is most certainly political. The Bible, after all, is a witness of how God acts in and advocates for, corrects and constructs, defines and determines our world. As people of faith who believe that we cannot separate God from city, community, society, country, and world, we are called to share a spirit politic: not politics as usual, but politics as empowering, not politics that oppress or suppress, but politics that liberate, not politics that control, but politics that emancipate, not politics that take life, but politics that seek, at every turn, to give life. On this Fourth of July Weekend, I believe it is as important as ever to keep politics in the pulpit.