Wednesday, August 13, 2014

American Pastors Silent On Controversial Issues

See Jim West's post here on a recent Barna study. Contrary to what's often suggested, pastors typically avoid controversial issues like abortion and same-sex marriage rather than saying a lot about those subjects. As I've said before, the claim that churches focus too much on such issues, are overly political, etc. seems to often be a dishonest excuse used by people who rarely or never attend church. They're trying to come up with a justification for something like not attending church or rejecting Christianity, so they cite the common claim that churches are too focused on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. In reality, churches are addressing those issues far too little.

I suspect that a large percentage of pastors are highly ignorant of the issues, and that's part of the reason why they don't say much about them. Other factors are that they're overly concerned about not losing their tax-exempt status, not dividing the church, not losing financial support, not being accused of being too political, etc.


  1. I completely agree with this. A related principle is found in 1 Samuel 4:

  2. On a more fundamental level I suspect most pastors, like most people in general, want to be well liked. Taking a bold and public position on a controversial subject isn't generally conducive to being well liked, it's polarizing.

    Certainly you have folks who thrive on controversy, or who perhaps have a more apologetical or polemical approach than average, but these types seem to be the exceptions.