Dear Mssrs. Graham and Wallis

To Franklin Graham and Jim Wallis,

Since you have been kind enough to pen “open letters” to pastors and churches without regard to actually addressing ME as a pastor, I will extend you both the same courtesy. 

You both have put your missives out as to what I should be preaching this Sunday. I am writing to inform you that I have had this message percolating far longer than either of you can imagine. So, thanks for the offers… but I am fairly sure I know how to get on my knees, open up the Word, and hear from heaven for what the Spirit would like to say to my church without your particular diatribes.

I address you both because I will quite possibly anger both sides of the coin I am truly trying to reach (and offend), so I will kill two birds with one stone. When I address both of you, each of your particular tribes will rise up and defend you to me. So… I might as well get this out of the way all at once.

You both represent something that has needed to change for a very long time and you both represent what I have written about, taught about, and preached about for a very long time. While my original tribe is conservative Christian (and by default Republican during my formative years), I have said the same things about conservatives and liberals over these last few election cycles. I can rip into conservatives better because I know this tribe. I think I need to call out my own tribe while also speaking to the other tribes and their mistakes. No one is pure as the wind-driven snow on this.

But when I refer to mistakes the “left” and the “right” in American Christianity make, you two are exhibit A for me. Again, I will get your supporters taking up your particular causes… and here is what I need everyone to know: Graham and Wallis say certain things that are right. Yes… both of them say certain things that are right.

But here is my overall point to Mssrs. Graham and Wallis: You both end up shilling for political parties and it needs to stop.

So while I appreciate your concern for my content on Sunday morning, I will decline. Not because you don’t make good points in certain sentences, but because you both have an overall tone that makes sure people vote your way. I pastor a smarter church than that.

And, I can’t do this one Sunday. These are issues we tackle on an ongoing basis because they are important more than one voting event every four years. (By the way, I don’t hear from you guys more often than that…)

Thanks for your thoughts. Each of you may now deem me “lost and/or deplorable.” That is the risk I am willing to take.

I now need to get back to the care of my own congregation and prayers for my own city.

All the best,

Your local reprobate pastor

5a46a-freedom

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