This is an excerpt from the APN website. It has an application to we as Pastors in Arkansas as well as in America. Thank you Sam Rohrer for speaking out as the leader of APN.
| October 15, 2015
Addressing difficult cultural issues from the pulpit can be daunting for pastors. But bringing these matters to congregations is more important than ever. “One of the goals of the American Pastors Network is to continually encourage pastors to be effective ‘salt and light’ in this dark world and preach the ‘whole counsel of God’. There is no greater calling for a ‘Minister of God’ and no greater responsibility to God’s people.”-Sam Rohrer, APN President
Why do pastors shy away from addressing such pressing matters like same-sex marriage, politics, homosexuality, abortion, adultery, pornography and other hot-button issues?
Here’s six reasons:
1. Fear of controversy or pushback from those in the pews if biblical principles are applied to the issues of the day.
2. Negative theological training regarding talking about impacting the culture or discussion of anything regarding civil government or politics.
3. Unjustified fear of losing their 501(c)(3) status.
4. Being unaware of the historical role of pastors in the history of America.
5. Believing that the primary purpose for preaching is limited to “preaching the Gospel” rather than training and “making disciples.”
6. Having more of a fear of man rather than a fear of God.
Research has shown that pastors are purposefully skirting some controversial topics when preparing their messages for the pulpit, but churches and pastors must address these issues, no matter how uncomfortable it might be.
Last summer, George Barna, founder of the Barna Group, shared research that found that a vast majority of theologically conservative pastors believe the Bible speaks to societal issues, but fewer than 10 percent of these pastors are teaching people what the Bible says on these topics.
The research, conducted through the American Culture and Faith Institute, asked pastors across the country about their beliefs regarding the relevancy of scripture to societal, moral and political issues, and the content of their sermons in light of their beliefs. Barna stated that many pastors are afraid to get involved in political issues because of the controversy it might create. And, he added, “Controversy keeps people from being in the seats, controversy keeps people from giving money, from attending programs.”