Pastors in Pennsylvania are overcoming their fears and rising to the challenge of preaching on political and cultural issues from the pulpit.
On Sunday, the Pennsylvania Pastors Network launched its second Pulpit Sunday where preachers in the state didn't shy away from politics.
"Pastors – don't be afraid to teach truth. The world is unafraid to teach lies and erroneous ideas, even though those faulty ideas that often lead to destructive relationships and community demise," said Pastor Jim Arcieri of Community Bible Fellowship Church in Red Hill, Pa.
"This is God's world, and we are stewards of it, which includes the civil realm. Yes, politics can be a very dirty and dishonest business, and often we see such evidence in the news. Yet, do not be discouraged and give up; stand for righteousness in all four areas of life (the individual, the familial, the ecclesiastical, and the civil), no matter what results."
Arcieri noted that many pastors are afraid to speak on politics but they don't have to be because politics can be defined as "what is happening on certain issues of today." And the Bible addresses the civil realm of life "quite often," he stated.
"Preaching the whole counsel of God cannot be avoided," he added.
Pulpit Sunday was launched by PPN – which describes itself as a network of Biblically-faithful clergy and church liaisons whose objective is to build a permanent infrastructure of like-minded clergy – in August. Pastors throughout Pennsylvania are signing up to preach about cultural and moral issues every first Sunday of the month until the November elections.
"Certainly in this time in America's history where gridlock and confusion seems to prevail, it is our contention that it is the moral compass provided by the Scripture that alone can set aright the ship of state and meet the needs of society's problems," Karyn S. Price, Public Relations manager for PPN, told The Christian Post. "Pulpit Sundays are being promoted also to empower pastors to fulfill their Biblical and constitutional duty to preach about moral and cultural issues of the day."
The goal, she clarified, is not to "politicize the pulpit," but rather "to talk about prevalent cultural issues – all of which are dealt with in the Scripture – that often end up being politicized by candidates."
The network does not promote any party or specific candidates and it does not encourage pastors to do so.
Some of the issues that pastors are encouraged to speak out on include the sanctity of life, marriage, family, taxes, debt and the economy.
"With topics like sex and politics long being considered as taboo for preachers to address from the pulpit, Bible-believing Christians – and the society at large – are left without firm, faith-based instruction on issues of moral or cultural relevance," Price pointed out. "This has in turn facilitated to cultural embracing of moral relativism and the rejection God and absolute truth.
"We are encouraging pastors to adopt Pulpit Sundays to countermand this phenomenon and to have an immediate, positive impact on today's culture, especially as it relates to upcoming elections."
She stressed, "Now is the time for Christians to stand up and vote based on the Biblical and constitutional principles they hold dear, but without clear teaching from the pulpit about what the Bible says about marriage, life, or sex, how can we expect them to vote bearing these principles in mind?"
PPN is a project of Let Freedom Ring, a nonprofit organization that promotes limited federal government, the "original intent of the Framers of the Constitution," free enterprise and equal opportunity, and family as the basic building block of society, among other things.