One of the things I specialise in teaching is Christians and churches how to preach and teach on important public issues, political issues, without misrepresenting the authority of God, and without being unnecessarily divisive in a congregation.
Of course, Jesus Himself never promised to not be divisive. In Matthew 10:34-39 He specifically said He did not come to bring peace, but a sword, dividing even members of a household.
Now that doesn’t sound like the spirit of Messiah, after all He is the Prince of Peace. It’s hyperbole, explained in its own context by Scripture. He’s saying whatever love you have for the dearest people to you, He must come first, and if they make you choose, there is only one right choice and it is Him, Almighty God.
And so it is with important issues in church. Whole denominations have been born because people acted with conviction to follow Jesus no matter what it cost them rather than avoid important questions that need debating in church.
We are to promote the unity of the saints above all, but not above fidelity to God’s Word, God’s Kingdom, righteousness and sound doctrine. So we don’t avoid the important debates about baptism, about communion, about the rapture or about free will. We teach what we know, and operate with charity to all where differences divide.
Pastor Matthew Littlefield invited me to teach on the Prime Minister’s referendum question, an important issue being hotly debated in the public square. Although I can talk at length about my political opinions without once referring to Scripture, and will in coming weeks to on some non-religious platforms; the preacher’s job, especially in a Sunday morning pulpit, is to build a Biblical understanding of whatever issue is being debated out there in the hearts and minds of the believers…
- BOOK NOW for the next Church And State conference! SAVE 20% with the code “GS20” at ChurchAndState.com.au.
- READ: “The Spirit Behind the Voice – The religious dimension of the ‘Voice’ proposal”, with a chapter on Religious Freedom written by Dave Pellowe and another by Ps Matthew Littlefield.
Dave Pellowe is a Christian writer & commentator, founder of The Good Sauce, convener of the annual Australian Church And State Summit and host of Good Sauce's weekly The Church And State Show, also syndicated on ADH TV. Since 2016 Dave has undertaken the mission of arming Christians to influence culture through events from Perth to Auckland, videos, podcasts and articles published in multiple journals across Australia and New Zealand. [more]
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