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The Challenge of Speaking Out

As I shared with a family today, I cannot remember a time when pastors have been encouraged to speak out on the pressing moral/political questions of the time as is happening today. I never imagined that as a parish pastor I would be asked to go to Washington, D.C. and Germany in successive months to address one of the most challenging moral/political issues of our day.

Author and pastor Jim Wallis has written extensively about the challenges being faced today. He recently wrote the following and quoted Martin Luther King, Jr.

"I realize that it is often difficult and risky for many Christian leaders to speak out, often because they don't want to further divide and be overly political. But if pastors and Christian leaders don't define and speak out to maintain moral boundaries and norms that should be moral lines in the sand, are we truly being faithful as followers of Christ? Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. captured this challenge best, 'Cowardice asks the question, "Is it safe?" Expediency asks the question "Is it politic?" Vanity asks the question, "Is it popular?" But, conscience asks the question, "Is it right?" And there comes a time when one must take the position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one's conscience tells one that it is right.'"

While MLK is widely adored today and has a holiday in his memory, I read recently that at the time of his death, King was less popular in America than President Trump is today.

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