As one who has also “preached nearly every Sunday of my adult life,” the reason for the absence of advocating one side of the aisle over the other from the pulpit has nothing to do with employment but rather with the purpose of worship (“Why Most Pastors Avoid Politics,” Review, May 28). These topics should be addressed in a forum where there can be discussion with opposing views and in-depth conversation rather than with a pastoral monologue with quips and sound bites, as if one speaks ex officio for God regarding politics.
From my Lutheran perspective, the purpose of worship is to preach the Gospel, praise God and administer the sacraments. It would be highly inappropriate and arrogant of me to use that sacred time to espouse my own political agenda. The people of God deserve more than that.
Scott J. Suskovic
Ordained ministry is not a career path or a “strategic calculation.” It is a calling. We serve the local church but we are appointed to that ministry by a much higher authority. The reason so many of us choose not to engage in politics from the pulpit is because the message we are called to share is of so much greater value, and is needed all the more so because of the divisiveness and hostility of today’s political climate.
Mt. Pleasant, Pa.
As a Presbyterian pastor in the San Francisco Bay Area for 40 years, I didn’t avoid addressing political issues because I feared for my job. It was because I believed what people needed most was the love, grace and hope of the Gospel. As one of the members of our congregation said to me: “I have plenty of politics at work. I don’t need them in my church!”
James W. Rueb
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