The Cultural Acid Test for Pastors: Part II

Doug Giles

10/29/2006 7:17:12 PM - Doug Giles

How a pastor can keep quiet and keep out of the culture war that’s raging all around us is beyond me. As far as I’m concerned, the pastors who will not publicly weigh in on the current insane societal and political issues are about as useful to God as a tuning fork is to Yoko Ono.

The reasons why some “reverends” are rancidly reticent, cower behind their pulpits and curtsy to the secular progressive thought police usually roll out like this:

1. They want to be loved, and therefore, they fear man. Here’s some advice for those ministers who love to be loved. If you want a friend . . . get a dog. Make sure it’s a real dog, though, and not one of those Paris Hilton, teacup things. Get a bulldog. A pit bull, an Olde English Bulldogge, an American Bulldog, a Staffy Bull, an English Bull Terrier, a Bull Mastiff, a Dogo—or something with some oomph to it. Hopefully, your bulldog’s spirit will rub off on your uncertain, timid and insecure soul. Now that you have a friend in your new bulldog, and you don’t need us to fawn over you, tell us the truth and not what we think we want to hear. Get it? (Got it.) Good.

2. They stay ignorant about pressing cultural issues. There are many excuses given by pastors who remain in the dark; and none of them will hold water when the pastor dies, stands before a holy God and God asks him, “Hey, Dinky, give me one good reason why you chose to be ignorant and be silent when you should have been more in the know than Mark Steyn and more vocal than Cojo on crystal during this crisis?”

3. They hate divisive issues. If you hate division, Dr. Not-So-Stout, then you ought to get a job somewhere else—because Christ guaranteed his boys, up front, that serious opposition, for right reasons, is par for their course. So the wobbly minister has two options: grow some ‘nads or nod out.

4. They believe the world’s about to end, so . . . why bother? Having convinced themselves that we have now arrived at the end of time, they content themselves to just sit and wait on the rapture train to take them out of this mess. If you’re right, and Jesus is coming back mañana, well then . . . no problem. But if you’re wrong, then boy, has your lack of involvement screwed your children, your children’s children and our nation.

5. They are lazy. Being a viable voice means one has got to do a lot of extra busy work that’ll push them out of the ruts they’re in. Ministry becomes easy after a few years of doing it, and some pastors would rather stick with what they can do in their sleep rather than launch out into the deep on difficult societal issues that directly impact their people.

6. They don’t want to lose their Tax Exempt status. Many pastors, priests and parishioners have been cowed into inactivity by the threatened loss of their tax-exempt status if they say anything remotely political. This can make pastors who don’t, or won’t, get good legal advice about as politically active as Howard Hughes was during the flu season.

The church may, among other things, register their members to vote, pass out voter guides, invite all candidates in a race to speak (even if only one of them shows up) and speak directly about specific issues.

Off the clock, in his personal capacity, the pastor or priest can endorse and support (or oppose) whomever or whatever he wishes—like any other citizen. There are no limitations to the individual; the ones that do exist under the 501(c)(3) statute are only for the church entity and/or the pastor in his official capacity, not for the pastor or the members who make up the church.

7. They bathe in paltry pietism. Pastors and priests avoid politics because such concerns are “unspiritual,” and their focus is on the “spirit world.” Yes, to such imbalanced ministers, political affairs are seen as “temporal and carnal,” because pastors and priests trade in the “eternal and spiritual,” such “transient” issues get the same attention from them as Rosie’s AbBlaster does from her.

This bunch is primarily into heavenly emotions and personal Bible study, and they stay safely tucked away from society and its complicated issues. They forget that they are commanded to be seriously engaged with our culture.

8. They have bought into the Taliban comparison. Pastors and priests have muffled their political voices because they fear being lumped in with Islam by the politically correct thought police. The correlation made between Christians’ non-violent attempts at policy persuasion and the Taliban’s kill-you-in-your-sleep campaigns is nothing more than pure, uncut crapola.

Ministers, please blow off the tongue wagging blowhards who try to intimidate you into silence by making quantum, ludicrous, scat laden and analogous leaps in equating the implementation of a gracious, Biblical worldview with the Islamo-fascists cross-eyed perspective.

9. They can’t say, “Heck no!” to minutiae. Some ministers can’t get involved in studying or speaking out regarding pressing issues simply because of the ten tons of junk they are forced to field within their congregations. Spending time wet nursing 30-year-olds without a life and being bogged down in committee meetings over which shade of pink paint should be used for the Women A-glow’s ministerial wing of their church, ministers are lucky if they get to study the scripture nowadays—much less anything else.

This is the fault of both the ministers with their messiah complexes and the congregants with their me-monkey syndromes, and they must all have an exorcism (or something) if the church is going to tackle cultural issues.

10. They likey the money. The creepy thing about a lot of ministers is their unwillingness to give political or cultural offense when offense is needed, simply because taking a biblical stand on a political issue might cost them their time-share in Sanibel and their 550i. Oh well, what do you expect? Christ had His Judas, and evangelicalism has it cheap hookers.

Never fear, pastor. Even though nailing your colors to the mast during putrid political times might cost you a parishioner or two, don’t sweat it. There are also tens of thousands of serious parishioners who are looking for leaders with the guts to lead the church to make its proper stance during the days of Madonna, Ward Churchill and Osama.

If the ministers within the good old USofA would crucify their fear of man, get solidly briefed regarding the chief political issues, not sweat necessary division, not get caught up in last days madness, maintain their hope for tomorrow, understand their liberties under God and our Constitution, not become so heavenly minded that they’re no earthly good, focus on the majors and blow off bowing to cash instead of convictions, then maybe . . . just maybe . . . we will see their influence cause our nation to take a righteous turn away from the secularist progressives’ putrid pit.

* Logon to www.ClashRadio.com for Doug’s interview with author Gregg Jackson, as they discuss his new book, Conservative Comebacks to Liberal Lies. Also, Giles’ 3-Minute video blog can be viewed at www.ClashRadio.com and can be seen throughout the week on NRB TV [Direct TV Channel 378].