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How Much Should Churches Engage in Politics?

It is important to me that I consider how far Christians and churches should be involved in politics. I question myself concerning the matter frequently, and of others occasionally, and (in a fashion) I blogged about it here. So of course I am interested in this article in which it is reported that Pastor Rick Warren has engaged Senators John McCain and Barack Obama to speak at his church.

One of our conversations when my oldest son, Steve, and I were together last week, was of this subject, and it sprang from a remark Steve made as we discussed the tragic condition of our world.

“We’ve stood by and let evil take over, Mom,” he said, and then gave me some examples.

“Part of the reason for that, Steve, is that for years, it seems the church was advised to not be directly involved in politics.” It wasn’t a long conversation, and we soon moved to something else.

Do you have an opinion about this? Is this something churches should be doing? Should Christians be involved in politics? Isn’t it a logical place for Christians to function? Shouldn’t we care about the direction of our country? of our world? Or should we merely listen and read and form opinions so that we can be responsible voters? Should we continue to focus on spreading the gospel to a lost world and leave the activist political work to others?

Rick Warren leads ‘Global Summit on AIDS and the Church’ at his Saddleback Church in Orange County, Calif., in November (WND photo)

Rick Warren’s Southern California megachurch announced today it will host the first joint campaign appearance of Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama.


Warren will moderate the event with the presumed Republican and Democratic presidential nominees Aug.16 at Saddleback Church’s Civil Forum on Leadership and Compassion.

“This is a critical time for our nation and the American people deserve to hear both candidates speak from the heart – without interruption – in a civil and thoughtful format absent the partisan ‘gotcha’ questions that typically produce heat instead of light,” Warren said in a statement.

Warren, founding pastor of the 22,000-member church, said the primaries “proved that Americans care deeply about the faith, values, character and leadership convictions of candidates as much as they do about the issues.”