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Saturday April 28, 2012

No to politics in church

I HAVE been following the discourse over the role of churches and whether they should be involved in politics.

I believe no one would dispute pastors and priests praying for the wisdom of our leadership, elected representatives and those involved in decision making.

No one would argue either if church leaders remind their congregation against social injustices.

But everything changes when pastors and priests are perceived to be delivering sermons that read as if they have been lifted from the speeches of certain opposition politicians.

Their intonation is so similar that one begins to wonder if these church leaders are taking sides.

It is disappointing to the congregation because the membership comprises people of different political allegiance and those who are apolitical.

It leads to a great deal of unhappiness and division which is so unnecessary on a Sunday morning. I do not accept the argument that we should just ignore the political content.

It is worse when pastors selectively quote from the Bible to suit their political arguments. If I want to hear political speeches, I go to a ceramah and not the church.

More horrifying is that I have heard one pastor quoting what he had read from the blogs and believing it to be the gospel truth.

He made it out as if these are facts, inflaming the congregation.

Such pastors and priests must realise that when they take sides, they must be prepared for reaction, and even retaliation.

Christians, without doubt, are part of the community and like everyone else, they should exercise their voting right in an election.

What is the difference between the churches and PAS when the sermons turn political? Will pastors and priests soon be like PAS politicians masquerading as theologians and religious leaders? Is this what we want Malaysia to be like?

How can government leaders be expected to talk to church leaders if they are perceived to campaign for the opposition?

Kuala Lumpur.


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