Two Big-Name Evangelical Pastors Do Not Endorse Minnesota Marriage Amendment

by
June 25, 2012

by , Godfather Politics

Minister, theologian, speaker, and author John Piper “came out against gay marriage during a sermon Sunday but did not explicitly urge members of his Minneapolis church to vote for the amendment.

Leith Anderson, President of the National Association of Evangelicals and who served as senior pastor of Wooddale Church, in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, from 1977 to 2011 “also said this week he does not plan to take a public side on the amendment, which would change the state Constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.”

Religious observers say the lack of formal backing from the two influential figures could signal that evangelical leaders in Minnesota are taking a less active role in supporting the amendment — a marked departure from evangelicals in dozens of other states where similar amendments have passed.

“Don’t press the organization of the church or her pastors into political activism,” Piper said during his sermon, posted on Bethlehem Baptist Church’s website. “Expect from your shepherds not that they would rally you behind political candidates or legislative mandates, but they would point you over and over again to God and to his word.”

How did we get like this? There are numerous Christians who believe that a personal, private faith is all the Bible requires. Os Guinness described this as “The Private-Zoo Factor,”[1] a religion that is caged so that it loses its wildness. When true Christianity is applied to any part of the world, it blossoms far more fully and colorfully than we ever could have imagined.

Over time, Christianity ceased to be a comprehensive, world-changing religion. “[W]here religion still survives in the modern world, no matter how passionate or ‘committed’ the individual may be, it amounts to little more than a private preference, a spare-time hobby, a leisure pursuit.”[2] Theodore Roszak used an apt phrase to describe much of modern-day Christendom: “Socially irrelevant, even if privately engaging.”[3] Let’s apply the Piper-Veith methodology to slavery and Nazi Germany. There’s a real-world opportunity to put an end to slavery, avoid a civil war, social disruption, and the deaths of 600,000 Americans, and become a beacon to the world on how to handle a national sin and crime if the pastors stood up in their pulpits and encouraged their people to go to the polls and vote.

A similar scenario confronted the Christian people of Germany before the rise of Adolf Hitler. Richard V. Pierard comments:

In the nineteenth century . . . German Lutherans made a strong bifurcation [separation] between the realm of public and private concerns. . . . Religion was the domain of the inner personal life, while the institutional and external, the public, so to speak, belonged to the worldly power. Redemption was exclusively the province of the church, while the law, determinative for external conduct of human affairs, was solely the province of the state. Religion was a private matter that concerned itself with the personal and moral development of the individual. The external order — nature, scientific knowledge, statecraft — operated on the basis of its own internal logic and discernable laws.[4]

For decades before the rise of Hitler, Christians were subjected to arguments like the following from pastors and theologians based on a private-public, two-kingdom theory:

To read more, visit: http://godfatherpolitics.com/5826/two-big-name-evangelical-pastors-do-not-endorse-minnesota-marriage-amendment/#ixzz1yno0ko41

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