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HomeUS PoliticsThorner/O'Neil: Should America's church leaders engage in politics?

Thorner/O’Neil: Should America’s church leaders engage in politics?




By Nancy Thorner & Bonnie O'Neil - 

This question is particularly important to consider today, as opportunities and ways to communicate have greatly expanded, allowing limitless opportunities to share information. While this is a positive in our lives, the problem is in knowing how to separate fact from fiction in this world of massive information. Media sources pour out information daily, but there is no real assurance of accuracy and verifying the material eats up hours we do not have. This is especially true during election periods when candidate material fills our inboxes and mailboxes daily, often with opposing statements. Obviously, it is wise to be cautious but who has the time to research it all?

More and more voices are raising concerns that the upcoming mid-term 2018 elections will further ignite clashes between supporters of President Trump and his increasingly agitated critics in a partisan political battle that has been brewing and continually gaining momentum. Stanley Greenberg, former President Bill Clinton’s pollster, is warning of a “civil war.”  Purdue University President Mitchell E. Daniels, former President Ronald Reagan’s political director and a two-term Indiana Republican governor, sees the nation dividing into feuding “tribes” that gravitate to tyrants who “bludgeon” opponents.

Electing the right people to govern us — those who will make and execute our laws according to our Constitution and Biblical views — has never been more important due to the deep gulf of differences that separate our two political parties.  Many of the key political issues prevalent today relate to moral issues. While this has been largely true throughout history, it has never been more so than today. The outcome of future elections will likely determine the course America will follow, thus making who and what we vote for exceeding important.  

Accuracy of political information

It remains problematic as to where the most accurate sources for political information can be found.  Where can voters find reliable, trustworthy information?  Confusing literature, misinformation, accusations, and/or blatant lies sow confusion, which, in turn, results in many of our citizens ignoring the voting process all together.  In a world with so many distractions it is difficult and time consuming to research information and many remain confused even after their research.   This is the reason many would-be voters choose not to vote at all.

This is obviously not a good decision, yet some prefer it to voting for the wrong candidate or a ballot measure they may later regret.  According to the United States Election Project, nearly half of eligible voters (46.9 percent approximately 231,556,622 people) did not vote in the 2016 election. That nearly half of this nation’s citizens didn’t bother to vote is troubling, but possibly preferable to those who vote for whoever sends the most campaign literature, which is rarely believable material.  

Party partisanship has increased with rhetoric that causes Americans to be confused and/or divided over important issues such as immigration and moral issues that include abortion and homosexual marriage.  Often, citizens vote based on pure Party lines.  But how many voters know both political parties change their party platforms from year to year?   A comparison of the Republican party platform today resembles the Democrat Party Platform of the 1960’s, while the current Democrat Party now embraces many socialist changes they once denounced. It is not wise to believe candidates who state they will vote opposite of their party platform, because most politicians will vote in accordance to what their party leaders decide and demand.   It has never been more important for citizens to find a source free of bias that has done time-consuming research and is willing to share it.

Importance of Voter Guides

Voters are more likely to trust a resource for information they can trust if that resource is akin to their political views.  Each political party has those who create excellent voter guides created by knowledgeable people who follow politics and are willing to put a great deal of time and energy into developing a voting guide for other like-minded people. Having this resource encourages many citizens to fill out their ballot with more confidence.  As many Christians trust their church, Christians do express their appreciation when churches do make the time and the effort needed to find a reliable Christian Voter Guide and make it available to them before each election period.

President Trump is at war with many media sources which he has designated as “fake news,” and there is growing evidence to support our President's concerns.  Far too many of our mainstream media has proven to be exceeding bias, as they arrogantly determine what and who they prefer to support, but due to their partisan Leftists bias, many no longer trust them as reliable.  They took often decide what to report and the slant as to how they report it.  What is not said is often as important as what is stated.  One only needs to access FOX for a few hours and then switch to CNN to see how media sources differ as they report the same story, illustrating why it is not wise to trust every media source.

Many Conservative Christians would be grateful for their church to offer a guide to help them vote according to their Christian beliefs.  But why is there a hesitancy to do so?  Some church leaders are not sure if this is what their congregation might want them to do.  Others do not have a staff member willing to research the issue.  Too many are  concerned mixing politics with the church is a bad idea.  Only black churches whose ministers always rent out their pulpits to Democrats at election time are free to be as partisan as they like.  Nevertheless, It becomes important to consider the future of America, and that is largely contingent on who we elect as our leaders.  If Christian church leaders remain mum on all things political, this could prove detrimental to the future of this nation.

Decline of Christianity in Europe

As observed in Europe where Socialism has taken hold, and where the State has mostly replaced God as the nanny of its citizens, many blame this shocking change on the silence of churches for failing to take a stance on issues demanding discussion.  As can be ascertained, the absence of one’s voice in opposition to a subject can be misinterpreted as consent.  Issues such as abortion, homosexuality, divorce, pornography, drug abuse and other activities the Bible states as sinful need to be condemned from every pulpit.  If not practiced Christians can become complacent on immoral issues, resulting in fewer who want to attend church out of a sense of guilt in knowing they have made seriously bad choices.  

Rather than speak out against the immorality permeating their cities, churches in Europe rarely addressed the issues. Politicians were elected who did little to improve their countries morality, and often it was just the opposite.  The result was inevitable, in that Church attendance severely dropped throughout Europe, and many point to the increased, unaddressed immorality as its cause. 

Is This Nation Far Behind Europe?

Do we wish to follow Europe by quietly ignoring laws that oppose those set forth in the Bible and where empty churches must be sold. Already this nation has fewer churches and fewer filled pews. Will we see our empty churches being used as restaurants and a variety of businesses due to the Christian population decreasing year after year?   Will America's fate follow that of Europe due to the hesitancy of Christians becoming involved in political matters and where many are Christians in name only?  Where was the Church and all Christians when America made abortion legal?

How did this happen when for many centuries families functioned around the church and our nation was considered a Christian nation.  Sunday was always a day in which most families worshiped together in the church of their choice.  Atheists were the exception, but it was rare for them to speak out against the church.

Have we, as a nation, become complacent and this ourselves so self-sufficient we think America is infallible and no longer need God as our center?  We have allowed God to be taken out of our schools, we caved and allowed abortions … and now Americans have aborted over 60 million infants in their mother’s womb.  Have we become so self- absorbed  that we don’t think we need God, Christianity, the Bible, or common sense morality in our lives anymore?

Are we avoiding history or have we forgotten it.   Other Christian nations who abandoned God have paid a terrible price. Consider Germany during the Hitler era. This once thriving Christian nation took their eyes away from Christ and quietly allowed evil to absorb their nation. Whether Saddam and Gomorro, Hitler’s Germany, or Casto’s Cuba there is proof of the need for God in our lives.  Those who forget eventually regret it.  

Moral leaders Needed to Fight a Moral Battle

Our country is currently engaged in a moral battle, and it is imperative that our church leaders recognize this and the importance of who we prefer as our leaders.  Our choice of leaders has an enormous impact on the direction of our nation.   Can Christian deny something has gone terribly wrong with our society that votes with a political party and their candidates who oppose our biblical values.  Even though Romney’s 2012 platform was more compatible with the church doctrine, it was the Catholic vote that helped Obama win the election. Catholics likewise favored abortion and homosexual marriages.  Protestant church leaders remained silent while sin has flourished due to laws American politicians and courts approved.

We need God's guidance in homes, our churches, and our government.  Without His help, we will see the decline of America, as we investigate history and find that same pattern in the success and then decline of many nations. Biblical Scriptures indicate God protects those who are in harmony with Him and destroys those who choose evil.  

The next presidential election in 2020 will be an important one.  Christian leaders must take responsibility for their members by providing accurate voting material and encouraging everyone to do their patriotic duty and vote.   Every one of us must encourage them to do so and be willing to help facilitate Christian Voter Guides, as well as provide voter registration tables, if we are to remain “one nation under God."  


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  1. From what I have observed over the years, church leaders
    don’t usually engage in politics…unless they’re black.
    Obama’s Reverend Wright, and Jesse Jackson, being prime examples.

  2. Unfortunately, only the more faithful Evangelical churches would produce voters guides that would reflect the values most conservatives whole dear. My own Catholic Church has issued voters guides for a couple of decades. Those guides manage to promote the Democrat Party in spite of the Democrats platform. Social justice issues trump the catechism.

  3. That’s because so many Catholics are also members of labor unions. The unions tell them who to vote for, and the Church goes along with it.
    The Church mistakenly believes this is “social responsibility.”