Here is another question for you … and somewhat in line with the perception visitors have of a church they visit that I read here.
What role, if any, should a minister/pastor/clergyman have with regard to speaking out publicly beyond his/her four walls. Does that change when he/she starts to address politics? Does it matter? If so, is there a danger that people will start to attend a church that is more in line with their political views vs. attending a church the feeds them spiritually? How will visitors view a very outspoken pastor? Again, does that matter?
I ask because I really don’t know. I have a friend who is a pastor of a small church in TN., and she feels the government should be doing more to help the homeless and underserved. Is that what we want – mandating that we help through our government instead of doing with conviction what Christ instructed me to do? Should that be the case when the church in the inner city core can not do it by themselves.
Then again, I cannot help but wonder why all churches are not stepping up in a bigger way – the thinking being those with solid finances help and those without solid fiances still help but with the help of others. I know that Westside touches our home town, but there are a lot that are not. Then again there are a lot that are doing even more than we are. There are so many good examples out there why isn’t more being done? Why doesn’t the media cover what is being done? Is the problem so huge that it feels like we are bucking against a tidal wave? Why are a lot of churches and organizations pushing people overseas, but forgetting about the challenges we face on local level each and every day – albeit life is better on the bottom of the US pile than on the top of many third world countries. I know we need to reach everyone regardless of where they live, but why does it feel like we are forgetting about our own community to help someone elses community/country? Then again, isn’t the world our community? Ugh.
I guess my heart is trying to reconcile all of this, and again thinking about my pastor friend. Do you attack the government for lack of action? Do you attack apathy and bench warmers? Do you attack greedy corporations? Executives? Businessmen and women? Do you avoid the personal attacks and just voice the inequities that exist? Do you attack at all?
I guess I am asking a lot of things without really having an answer, but to start it all off, what is the voice that should be shared?