My monthly faith and politics column is up today over at A Deeper Story.
This go around I’m looking at how our pastors sometimes look an awful lot like politicians, confusing their political agenda with the gospel, thereby transforming the Bible into a story about America and thus making America the chosen people of God.
Here’s a quick preview below. I hope you’ll click through at the bottom and check out the rest of it.
Do you remember the story of God leading George Washington out of his tent and promising him that God would make of ole’ George a great nation and that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand on the shore?
How about the story of Thomas Jefferson going up on the mountainside to receive the law from God that outlined America’s covenantal relationship with God?
Surely, you’ve at least read Benjamin Franklin’s epic work, the book of Proverbs, right?
If not, it’s probably because you don’t have a politician for a preacher remixing the Bible from the pulpit.
Now, I’m sure this phenomenon exists elsewhere in the world, but in the United States politician preachers are an epidemic.
So, what are politician preachers?
Well, to borrow from Stefon, it’s that thing where a pastor is really just a politician who happens to preach at a church every Sunday morning. They confuse their political agenda with the gospel, transforming the Bible into America’s story and America into the chosen people of God. If you moved one of their “sermons” from a church to a state fair it would make for a great political rally. And that’s the thing. When we read America into the Old Testament story of God’s covenant relationship with Israel, Christianity quickly gets replaced by politics.