A recent Barna Research Group study revealed that many pastors are silent on what they consider “political” issues; yet the majority of their congregations want them to speak up.
Forty-eight percent of people who attend church at least monthly and say their faith is important to them are more engaged in political issues, while two in five say their involvement has stayed the same. Unchurched adults—those who have not attended church within the past six months—report the least increased involvement over the past four years, with one-third noting an increase in engagement.
Within this same study, data shows that most Christians (58 percent) and adults who have attended church within the past six months (64 percent), say their church leaders speak only occasionally on these topics. However, 36 percent say their pastors never broach these topics.
Another Barna study found that while 90 percent of clergy members believe it is a critical part of their pastoral role to help Christians embrace biblical beliefs about specific social issues, most clergy (60 percent) only believe they have “some” influence with their congregation.
In this same study, leaders express frequently or occasionally feeling limited in their ability to speak out on moral and social issues because people will take offense (50 percent), and 34 percent feel pressured to speak out on these same issues even if they don’t feel comfortable doing so. Most faith leaders say these limitations and pressures come from people inside their church.
German Political Scientist Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann coined the expression ‘spiral of silence.’ Noelle-Neumann began her career working for a newspaper during Hitler’s years, where she found that people conceal their views when they think they are in the minority or may face reprisal for their beliefs. The evidence is clear how the spiral of silence had devastating results in Nazi Germany.
Liberty Counsel has provided thousands of Silence Is NOT an Option DVDs and booklet to pastors and church leaders. Compiled through decades of experience regarding churches and nonprofit organizations, these resources encourage pastors and church leaders to speak up on important biblical and moral issues. Liberty Counsel’s “Patriot’s Handbook of Political Action for Pastors and Churches“ is also a thorough resource for pastors and churches.
View Mat Staver’s video here to learn more about pastors’ rights to speak on political issues and candidates. A national voter guide is available here.
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “We need to stop the spiral of silence in America, and pastors need to speak up now. This is not about politics. It is about biblical and moral issues that have become politicized. Silence is not an option.”