preacherman

Friday, August 29, 2008

Church Politics

The election is quickly approaching where we will have to decide who we want for our next President. National politics has become a passion for many Christians, but there are other kinds of politics. Christians often have a passion for "church politics."

How would you define church politics? Do you think church is internally, natrually political or apolitical? How does church politics affect Christians? Do we participate willingly by choosing sides? How have you seen church politics where you are worshiping? Does God want there to be politics in His church? How has church politics affected your personal relationship with God? Does the size of the congregation have to do with how political a church is? Does church politics affect the message that is preached from the pulpit? Can we put an end to church politics? If so, how?

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

47 Comments:

OpenID wjcsydney said...

Church politics is the exercise of power. I think church is naturally political. We can attempt to minimise church politics by submitting to each other and not letting "self" dominate. Sadly, as long as we are human and still becoming Christ-like, there will be power blocs, instead of a body working together for the glory of God.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Tim Archer said...

In the purest sense of the term, there is nothing wrong with church politics. However, we tend to use it in the sense of "playing politics," the gamesmanship that occurs as people try to achieve some goal within the church (sometimes personal, sometimes not). It exists, probably always will exist, but isn't the way things should be.

Is it more likely in larger congregations? Only because there are more people involved. I've found smaller churches to be more likely to be dominated by a handful of individuals.

Can we put an end to it? No. Can the Spirit put an end to it? Only if we let him do it. If not, it will all be taken care of when the Lord returns.

Grace and peace,
Tim

10:55 AM  
Anonymous laymond said...

I have seen churches bitterly divided over civil politics, and split over church politics. Is it right? no but tell me what to do about it. "unite as one" had better be about believing in Jesus, is all I have to say. As the old saying states, "if there are two people in the room, there are three opinions, mine, yours and ours. I have found "Christians" by nature to be strong willed people, not humble at all. some even overbearing.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Cheryl Russell said...

Hello Kinney! I think church politics come out of trying to please people, instead of God. Church politics are real, but are also wrong. I don't see in Scripture where the Body of Christ was to be run like a business or a campaign. Christ is our Head, the sooner we "Get" that, the more Christ-like we will become.

12:40 PM  
Blogger NaNcY said...

here is how i see chruch politics...Jesus is the King!

woooohooooo! praise God!

1:41 PM  
Blogger cwinwc said...

It doesn't matter what kind of organization you're talking about whether it be a church or Little League, when people get together "politics" will be at hand. The guiding of an organization through the practice of "politics" can be honorable if the intention are honorable.

2:00 PM  
Blogger phil said...

A great book that discusses how political (at its core definition) the message of Jesus really was and is; is Brian McLaren’s book “The secret message of Jesus.”
On another note, I cringe every time I hear politics pushed from the pulpit; or hear influential speakers such as James Dobson taking advantage of the religious platform and using it to push his political agendas. I have no problem with Christians getting involved in politics as long as it is not the inappropriate setting or the inappropriate platform.

6:05 PM  
Anonymous Dee Andrews said...

Kinney -

Y'all please pray for all of us here in south Mississippi near the gulf coast and New Orleans as hurricane Gustav looms in the next few days.

Today is the third anniversary of horrendous hurricane Katrina and this hurricane has just been projected to be an even stronger storm.

God help us all.

Dee

12:01 AM  
Blogger Mork said...

Church Politics - destroyed many a great man ...... I pity those playing the church game of politics for they are not discerning the Body as Corinthians commands us and therefore - they bring judgement upon themselves.

7:39 AM  
Blogger Arlene Kasselman said...

Kinney, I am not sure if you have read Irresistable Revolution by Shane Claiborne, but he has a new one called Jesus for President. It is pretty radical but a rich read.

I think one has to be considerate in church, especially in the roles of ministr. I try to be aware of expectations and to not willingly just stomp on people...I try to read situations and perceive things...I try to understand before I judge ---I SURE DON'T DO A GOOD JOB OF THIS EVERYTIME -- but some may call that church politics. Sometimes you need to know when you need to hold back and other times you know when to speak with authority. I think there are ways to be wise.
I DO NOT BELIEVE WE NEED TO BE SO CAUGHT UP IN MANAGING OUR IMAGE THAT WE THINK WE CAN CONTROL AND MANIPULATE.

Jesus gives us a model of always speaking out and being on the side of compassion - always challenging for the sake of the Kingdom. I love that and try to use that as my model.

9:16 AM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Dee,

Yes sister.
We will keep y'all in our thoughts and prayers.
I pray that Gustov will not be as severe as what they are saying.
I pray for God's blessing and proction.
God bless.
If you, your friends, family or church need anything at all please let us know.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Sam said...

Preacherman,
I think church politics is a sad thing. We need to remember that Christ is like Nancy mention our King. The kingdom is not a democracy but the supreme rule of God.
I have seen so many selfish people. I think selfishness has to do with the politics that go on in the Church.
I think the church will change for the better in the 21st century.

Sam

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Sam said...

I would like to add that I don't think we will ever end the politics that goes on in the church because we are sinners. It won't be the way God wants it to be until he returns.

Sam

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Church politics does nothing but hurt the Christians and the church.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Larry Bob Lane said...

I agree with Cwinwic. Politics is always going to be in any organization. Elders of a congregation have a enormous task of watching how it affects the church as a "whole". If this is accomplished, I think it is honorable. All of us are the members of the Body of Christ. The politics should be based on what Christ would want for the congregation to do in serving him. As a whole body.

3:17 PM  
Blogger Kansas Bob said...

We can only put an end to it for ourselves by not particpating in it.. even if that means finding another church.

3:25 PM  
Blogger jeleasure said...

Tim Archer made a good point by simply pointing out the selfish ambitions of those who attempt to pursuade the body to recognize their agenda.
I, being focused on the adversities of an unfavorable Presidential election have this view.
By virtue of having to deal with 'progressives' and evangelicals within the same church walls, we are forced to be "political" and one day, may be told that we MUST be "politically correct". Meaning, whatever legislative measures have passed will give way for special interest to demand silence on certain discussion from the pulpit.
Legistive measures handed down from threatened vetos by the next President may force congress to copromise the values and ethics of the church in rewriting the law.

8:30 PM  
Blogger Royce Ogle said...

Perhaps better questions to ask are these. Should I have a part in protecting the life that only God gives, especially the lives of the unborn and most helpless? Should I contribute what I can to more peace on earth? Should I want Supreme Court justices who honor marriage between men and women? Should I work toward protecting the liberty that is given by our Creator?

Unless you are able to just shrug off such questions as unimportant you are political at some level. I have never understood the idea that some have that we can somehow divorce our personal faith and it's implications from our every day lives outside the assembly.

The upcoming election is a biggie. I honestly fear what will happen if two of the most left leaning men in government are in the excutive branch and Pelosi and Reid both have majorities.

Royce

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

Preacherman,
I think we should vote.
We should excise our freedoms as Americans. Does politics need to exist with in the church? No. I think government and church politics is to different monsters. Church politics is about selfishness and wanting to control. It is about power. Where the church that Jesus established is about service instead of control, power, minipulation. We are not look at our own interest but those around us. We are to serve like Christ serve. We are to reconize the supremecy of Christ. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

2:31 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

I have seen church politics at its worst. I remember being at one congregation and they ended up having a top 25 givers banquet for the top 25 givers in church to hit them up for money on a new building project. Where did that leave the others in the church? What message did that send to other members? The church was very political.

5:38 PM  
Blogger Larry Bob Lane said...

good post and comments preacherman. I would like to add one thing and I will shut up about this topic. Thanks for your blog and asking the tough questions.
Matthew 6 1-4

1"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

2"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4. so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

8:11 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Royce,
I appreciate your comments. I would like to ask, How many years and times have republican been and office and none of these issues have been abolished? And that is not the point I am trying to make with this blog and post.

I think church politics more dangerous and has "enternal implication".

Again, thanks for you thoughts.

8:16 PM  
Blogger Vicki said...

Kinney,
Wow, someone was drinking the cool aid on that 'Top 25 givers banquet'!
What a terrible idea.

9:28 PM  
Anonymous Eddie said...

I totally agree with you Preacherman that the Republicans have had countless opportunites while in office to change these issues that Royce brings up. I also agree that church politics is more dangerous. We need to no play political games with the Church. It is Christ' Church. I know God want us as Christians not abusing the powers if you can say we should have within the body.
I ask myself over and over again with this post is how does this make God feel? Preacherman thank you brother for dealing with issues that matter. I like it that you aren't affraid to deal with the tough questions and issues that most Christians refuse to deal with and address.

Eddie

12:12 AM  
Anonymous Larry said...

Preacherman,
I guess the ministry staff must have totally ignored what James says on showing favortism to the rich. Top 25 gives banquet is insane. Yes, very political and motives. I agree with Vicki soemone was definately drinking cool aid on that idea.

12:54 AM  
Blogger cwinwc said...

I just saw your "Top 25 Givers Banquet / Hit em up again" comment. Wow! I'll pile on Vicki's "drinking the koolaid" comment by adding something my Middle School kids would say:
There must have been a couple of "crackheads" on that Eldership who came up with that plan.

10:32 AM  
Blogger Ron said...

Preaherman,

There is a good book that deals with politics and Christianity entitled "The Myth of a Christian Nation." Greg Boyd does a great job of distinguishing between the politics of the world and the politics of the Kingdom. It is worth reading.

Here is another thought: It could be that we see so much of the worldly politics in our local fellowships because the fellowships are built like worldly organizations. This is an important issue that you have raised, and I pray it is given the necessary attention. Thank you for raising the question.

6:42 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Thank you Ron for the book recommendation. I appreciate it alot.

7:07 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

I think Christians should understand that each one of us will be held accountable to how we treat other brother and sisters in Christ. If we are selfish and abusive do we think that God is going to extend his grace to us. Really, let us quit the political garbage that goes on in churches. It does nothing but hurt and harm the body of Christ. Understand that those who play the political games in church will one day stand accountable to God for what they have done and how they have treated the body of the Lord!

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Stacie said...

Please keep hurricane Ike in your prayers.

Stacie

7:27 PM  
Blogger Benjamin Bush Jr. said...

A literal translation of Philippians 3:20 reads, "Our politics is in heaven."

Unfortunately, most conduct Church politics with the methodology and mindset of the World. We shouldn't be surprised, then, that we end up with the same results as the World.

The Word of God reveals how we should conduct our politics toward one another and toward the World. Unfortunately, again, many seem to be focused elsewhere.

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Tammy S. Snyder said...

The church definitely belongs in politics. We belong EVERYWHERE as a matter of fact. It is our JOB to bring people to Christ, ALL PEOPLE. What better way than to steer them in the right direction. Do we say, lets not get involved in this issue in life, or that issue in life? Certainly not. So how can we say, let's stay out of politics when that is but another issue. We live in this world the same as others and we have the greatest responsibility toward mankind. How will others, in politics or not, know the right decisions to make if we don't show them God's Word? We MUST get involved in order for the pursuit of righteousness to be available to all! Remember, it is because of God, that this country was founded and was born, and based on Godly morals (yes, not everyone follows suit but that's the same with anything).
Thank God we have rights to vote and state our purpose and point out God's Word! Praise God for our freedom!

7:59 PM  
Blogger Tammy Snyder said...

WHOOPS! You said 'church politics'. Well, that'll teach me to read everything before speaking!
(Erase that if you don't mind!)

8:02 PM  
Blogger Brandon Scott said...

I personally think Jesus would be sickened by church politics...and it appeared that he was.

Thanks for your throught provoking and gentle spirited blog postings! They bless me!
Brandon

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