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Pastors have additional pressure this election year. In addition to the perplexing, baffling, frustrating, and unsettling political climate Christians are experiencing, pastors must decide what to say or not say.
 
Glenn Packiam, pastor of New Life Church Downtown, offers his thoughts in hopes that you can think through and communicate your position to your people.

 

"Bear with me as I think out loud - I’m trying to do some theological reflection on Christian political engagement. Here’s what I’ve got…

1. To claim ‘Jesus is King!’ does not absolve us of the responsibility to engage politically - we don’t respond this way with other issues such as poverty or trafficking.

2. And confessing Jesus as King clarifies how we are to reflect on our engagement: through the lens of the Kingdom of God - the Sermon on the Mount, the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, and so on…

3. These reflections may result in (at least) a few different voting decisions for different voters this year: whether that’s against Trump, against Hillary, against both (third party), or leaving your ballot blank.

4. Christians ought not bully one another into thinking there is only one ‘right’ choice. Until the Kingdom comes in fullness, there is not.

5. So let your own reflection be a robust Christological, Kingdom-of-God-shaped reflection - not a nationalistic, ethnocentric one.

6. And through this process, be most critical, most questioning of your own positions and conclusions, and most patient with others who land in a different place.

7. And recognize that no matter who wins, the Church will remain. That means thinking about the ‘future generations’ is about preserving our witness (not about making America ‘great’ or secure or prosperous).

8. For the Church to be a prophetic voice  - speaking truth to power - and a faithful witness to a different Kingdom, we cannot ally with one party. " 



Glenn Packiam is the lead Pastor of New Life downtown in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

He is one of the founding leaders and songwriters for the Desperation Band and the writer of the well-loved worship songs, “Your Name,” “Everyone (Praises)” and “My Savior Lives.” He recently released his first solo album, Rumors and Revelations.

Glenn is also the author of Butterfly in Brazil: How Your Life Can Make a World of Difference and most recently, Secondhand Jesus: Trading Rumors of God for a Firsthand Faith. 

Glenn holds a BA in Theological/Historical Studies, a Masters in Management, and, after doing two years of graduate work at Fuller Theological Seminary, is now a Doctoral student at St. John’s College at Durham University in the UK. Glenn, his wife, Holly, and their four children are enjoying life in the shadow of the mighty Rocky Mountains.

 

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Lawrence Rae

commented on Nov 5, 2016

Great points of reflection. As a Canadian who lived in the US for about 8 years, I have been so painfully aware of the difficulties faced by Spiritual leaders during this unusual election process. I would have appreciated these words being the primary direction from the start. Thank you even though it's last moment.

Doug Knox

commented on Nov 7, 2016

I agree, Glen. This is the time for believers to demonstrate grace and maturity, both toward their fellow believers and to the world.

Patrick Alphin

commented on Nov 9, 2016

I would have to respectfully disagree. romans 1:32 tells us we will be held accountable for what we put our approval on. The democratic party platform is antifamily with abortion and redefining marriage just to name a couple. a vote for Hillary is putting your approval on such things. Christ stood on truth with out bulling and we should to. The democratic party embodies roman 1:24-31

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