Church Too Political? This Is Why Everyone Thinks So


This picture proves the church is too political.

Let me back that statement up a tad…

Target sells masks of both candidates for president–priced to sell a $4. The first time I saw them, I didn't want to spend $8 on two masks I would only wear around the house (seeing as I can't wear either of them on Halloween, because you can't win a trunk-or-treat decorating contest dressed as either of these guys). So, I bought the mask that vaguely represented Governor Romney.

I had so much fun with it that I decided I wanted to pop for the other mask–the one that vaguely resembled President Obama. As soon As I put it on, my wonderful daughter said, “Daddy, you look perfect!” Obviously, she didn't know who she was saying I looked perfect as, nonetheless I thought it was cute. I unceremoniously snapped a picture of me dawning the mask and posted it to Instagram. As a caption, I shared what Ella had said and added, “We must be doing something right.”

I really didn't mean anything political by posting that picture–though I am particularly interested in the field of politics.

That being said, most people know which way I lean. Not ashamed of it. No reason to be.


It was about the time I posted that picture that I remembered a lesson I had heard during my recent studies at the campus of United Theological Seminary. I study church renewal there. In recent polling, there are 6 things that have been identified as the most prominent reasons why people are no longer going to church. As this is more a commentary–and not a research piece–I don't feel I need to go back through notes to find all 6. For my purposes, the top 3 will suffice. Those are:

1. The church is too political.

2. The church is too judgmental.

3. The church is anti-gay.

The first thing I want to say is about number 3. I don't care upon which side you come of this issue you come down. However, as Chuck Gutenson says, “Can't we agree that one of the first three things people think about when they think about the church shouldn't be the fact they are anti-gay?” That is a statement I can agree with.

Secondly, jumping back to the story about my picture, I got some interesting comments on that photo.

“Obama mask? U support him as a pastor??”

“I agree w u…there is something wrong w this picture!!”

This isn't the first time I've dealt with sentiments like this. I was once handed a voter guide at work by someone who said that a Christian only votes Republican. This is why the culture thinks the church is too political…and judgmental.

There was another comment on this picture.

“I am pretty sure you can be a Christian no matter who you vote for actually.”

This is a sentiment I wish more people would espouse. Why? Because it's the case.

A father should be able to post a picture about something cute his daughter said, without his faith being called into question. In fact, anyone should be able to post a picture of whomever they want in a mask of a political figure without their faith being called into question.

Matthew 28 doesn't mention anything about which box we should be teaching disciples to check. Mark 10 doesn't say to love God, your neighbor and a political party. John 3 doesn't say, “For God so loved the majority party…”

Maybe we can begin to renew the church, when we stop requiring political tests for religious affiliation.

I am stepping off the soapbox now.


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