Back in July, I posted on, "Lutheran Clergy, Politics, and Blogging".
Since then I have been thinking about my little rule of thumb:
When it comes to moral issues on which the Bible clearly directs a right and wrong (i.e. abortion, capital punishment), the church and the pastor may (must) take a stand.
But where scripture is silent, so too should the pastor remain. Should our taxes be lower, or higher? Should we pass NAFTA or not? Issues like these.
But here's the rub. What about an issue which one sees as clear, but another does not see a scriptural application. Perhaps the whole gun-control debate is one of these. Opponents of gun control might argue that scripture makes no prohibition about the use of guns. Supporters of gun control might uses certain passages to build a case (Jesus commanded Peter, 'Put your sword away!').
Remember, even with the issue of abortion, the Bible never says, "Thou Shalt Not Abort". Rather, we draw conclusions based on how the scriptures speak of life, its beginnings and its Giver. Could the same sort of argument apply to other issues which some might consider "political"?
What's a pastor to do in cases such as this? Are there any further guidelines or rules of thumb you would suggest? I have other thoughts on this but let's get the discussion going...