Politics and the Pulpit

Since yesterday was Good Friday we had no office. With so much time on my hands I spent most of the day reading – mainly from Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France and Buchanan’s Doctrine of Justification. I learned something valuable from Burke on keeping the pulpit politics-free. Politics is not really something I’m very interested in, so keeping it out of my sermons comes easy to me. Anyway, here’s the quote:

[P]olitics and the pulpit are terms that have little agreement. No sound ought to be heard in the church but the healing voice of Christian charity. The cause of civil liberty and civil government gains as little as that of religion by the confusion of duties. Those who quit their proper character, to assume what does not belong to them, are, for the greater part, ignorant both of the character they leave, and of the character they assume. Wholly unacquainted with the world in which they are so fond of meddling, and inexperienced in all its affairs, on which they pronounce with so much confidence, they have nothing of politics but the passions they excite. Surely the church is a place where one day’s truce ought to be allowed to the dissensions and animosities of mankind.

— Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (Penguin Classics, 1986) p. 94

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