Not a few people have asked if it’s okay for a pastor to campaign for a candidate or better still be politically minded. For starters hardly does anyone quote scriptures to push these issues. It’s fundamental to realize bible times didn’t have democracy. It was either monarchy or dictatorship (or such as we have today). So the principles of choice weren’t explicit for the citizenry.

That said.
Scriptures as touching our relationships with rulers don't foreclose a pastor much less a lay Christian from rejecting a leader to choose another. Click To Tweet

Under the Old Testament Kings were removed.

In the Four Gospels, John rejected the government of Herod and Jesus upbraided him.

In the Book of Acts, Peter and the Apostles didn’t submit to all the dictates of the rulers, even though it had to do with the gospel, this portends that their acceptance wasn’t absolute.

Scriptures in the Epistles like
Romans 13:1-6 KJV
[1] Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
2] Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
3] For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
4] For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
5] Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. [6] For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.

Again this is no democracy and still didn’t foreclose rejecting such leaders. What scriptures teach is to honour.

1 Peter 2:13-14 KJV – Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.

Again, this is no democracy, and neither does it foreclose choice, rather it speaks of respect and obeisance.

Paul teaches to pray also;

1 Timothy 2:1-4 KJV – I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

The context here is for salvation and all who are in authority. Their salvation is good and acceptable to God.
This prayer doesn’t preclude the choice democracy offers. Democracy is the will to choose or reject leaders. Earthly leaders. The attempt to treat earthly leaders as God is ridiculous. Even in scriptures, we see kings were removed for bad governance.

Samuel was scolded for crying over spilt milk instead of finding another king
1 Samuel 16:1 KJV – And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Beth-lehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.

In a democracy, this will mean, vote in another person. It’s apt to note that instructions to pray and obey authority aren’t restricted to clergy but all believers.

Hence with some odd interpretation, this will presuppose believers should not even Vote for any other but the incumbent. That’s preposterous you will agree.

Now to pastors.
Pastors do make personal choices.

  • To Marry

1 Corinthians 9:5 KJV – Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?

  • To have a family (kids)

1 Timothy 3:4 KJV – One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

  • To make career choices

Acts 18:2-3 KJV – And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.

The three mentioned here were ministers, pastors.

2 Thessalonians 3:8 KJV – Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:

Chargeable means be a burden.

It thus becomes an error to equate the New Testament preacher with the Old Testament priest or prophet on all fours.

Assuming the pastor is a lawyer, he will defend his clients, At times against fellow believers. Argue his case very well. If he’s a trader, he will compete in the market, advertise his goods and seek to outsell his competitors, which should include fellow believers. Campaign for his goods and out market his competitors. That’s a given.

Pastors will thus buy and sell from the same markets. Experience good or bad governance like everyone else. Their kids won’t be taught by angels. It’s not “Holy Ghost power” that will supply electricity to their homes. The list is endless. As an aside, He can have favourite sporting activities, football clubs etc.

Now the crux of the matter is, what are his restrictions?

He must NEVER abuse his privileges over the flock to foist his choices on the church. His duty is to feed the flock with the Word. This precludes his biases of a type of woman he can marry, number of kids he wants to have, where he wants to live, his hobbies, choice career.

Paul was a tent maker, whilst his associates like Luke was a doctor, Alexander a coppersmith, Crispus was a ruler.

The church MUST never be for such personal biases. You can’t have the “official club or official business/company, or drink or station or meal or hairstyle or political party of the church”. That’s manipulative and coercive.

1 Timothy 3:15 KJV – But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

The church is for the word. Prayer and ministering to needs. Not an all-purpose avenue. Click To Tweet

1 Corinthians 11:22 KJV- What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.

Some things are done at home.

I suspect many are wary as touching knowing the choices of pastors as it might influence the congregation. That’s plausible but not straight-jacketed. If a church is well taught, and founded on the word, such choices can never be found on its pulpit. Also, the congregation knows the difference between what pastor likes and what the Word says. It’s not unlikely that many pastors who harbour this fear do so because they haven’t put Christ and His Bible first above themselves in their churches. If they had, they should know that such personal biases of theirs never become congregational or endemic.

I speak for my local church, Saints Community Church. We have varied opinions on such issues. We know because we discuss them off the pulpit. I am an Arsenal fan, yet it’s not peculiar to find a church member send me a BBM chat “pastor sorry today, your fourth place is guaranteed “after an Arsenal loss, or “Pastor we are still recruiting fans o”.

Let me quote a fellow church member “sir APC will lose Lagos, we are working hard” my response “you are fooling yourself”, that’s how you make mouth every four years”. Notice no one drops ” Jesus”, ” Spirit” when discussing common sense issues. We are succeeding at this by God’s grace. We often say “Jesus washed your sins not your Brains”. This explains how we nurture our members.
Pastors shouldn’t come together to endorse a candidate, football club, company e.t.c. Using the privileged platform. That’s manipulative.

But as individuals outside their clerical duties, pastors can make individual choices. Boldly affirm them and not hypocritically be doing so behind the curtains as some do.

Pastors are men, Men make choices which heaven allows.

First Published; on February 17, 2015

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About author


Tolulope Oludapo is a young Christian who lends his voice through the media by sharing practical wisdom for everyday living in the most experiential and simplified fashion. This has fetched him the direct followership of over 30,000 users on his blog, A blog he founded. He loves to write on varying subjects that affect life, faith, relationship...everyday living.
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