We’ve all seen them. Accusations. Denials. A nation divided. Social media upheaval.
It’s not new. In fact, to some it may be getting so disturbingly ‘normal’ that they have tuned out.
This time we are dealing with accusations against Supreme Court nominee and judge Brett Kavanaugh. At a time when the dam continues to break on decades of sexual assault and harassment allegations, the political import of the nomination has taken an already challenging issue and supercharged it with political tribalism.
The result is that many church leaders are unsure how to respond. Yet this is precisely the time when pastors and ministry leaders need to stand with courage in leading their people.
The question is: leading them to where?
So how do we respond? Or, for that matter, should we?
Scrolling through my twitter feed, I see a nation and church divided. Do we speak out on issues such as the accusations against Judge Kavanaugh or in defense of his accusers, Professor Ford or Deborah Ramirez?
Or do we keep silent?
How can we spiritually lead our people struggling to respond in a culture charged by political polarization and fed a diet of cable news and social media?
Let me share just a few considerations for church leaders navigating this issue.
First, you don’t have to say anything, and that may be the right decision.
We live at a time that unless leaders instantly respond to current events on social media, they are hiding or ignoring the issue. There is a sense that we have to speak into everything. The truth is we just don’t.
You are not a senator. You are a Christian leader. You have a calling to lead your congregation, not to comment on the news. Don’t demean the importance of the former in favor of an impulse toward the latter.
Honestly, what you say about it, one way or another, simply will not make that much of a difference to the vote. However, it may make a difference in your ministry.
For cases when you believe it is necessary to comment, don’t buy into the public pressure for immediate reaction. So often things are unclear when news is emerging and we should be cautious of speaking in absolutes.