With election season upon us, tensions between partisan political parties are rapidly increasing. As members of the Church, christians are oftentimes caught up amidst these political engagements, however, the head of the Assemblies of God denomination urges congregations to be wary of the divisive nature of politics.
Doug Clay, the general superintendent of the Assemblies of God in the U.S. released a pastoral letter in which he wrote, "We should be extremely cautious that we do not allow division to seep into Christ's Church that will inevitably lead to self-destruction." Clay recognizes that the Church has a role in politics, but that they must stay true to their denomination's mission of "evangelism, worship, discipleship, and compassion."
As Clay and Dr. Jim Harris, Associate Rector at Emmanuel Church, both acknowledge the Church must be both "salt and light," as derived from the Bible in Matthew chapter five. Harris explains in his paper titled The Church's Role in Politics, that he considers the Church's role in politics, similar to Clay, an ethical one, and that christians should "consider ethics as an expression of God's compassion for humanity: God's desire for the best for creation."
Therefore, Clay urges his denomination's members to "have a biblical understanding of the issues we are facing in our society in order to make informed decisions in the voting booth." And thus when making a decision politically, to stray from partisan division, and instead to make each decision based on "its impact on the Kingdom of God and on our neighbors."