FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A survey conducted by D. James Kennedy Ministries, now led by Frank Wright, and sent to the ministry’s supporters, shows that the overwhelming majority want their pastors to address modern sins from the pulpit, such as abortion and homosexuality, as well as other current issues, such as persecution, the role of government before God and support for Israel.
“The results expose a hunger inside the church for pastors who will tackle tough topics — who will connect the dots between what the Bible teaches and what is happening in the world,” Wright said in a statement.
When asked if abortion “is an issue your pastor should address from the pulpit,” 98% said yes. When asked the same about “sexual identity,” 96% said yes. 88% and 80% respectively said that the topic is important to them personally, and 90 and 93% said that they know enough of what the Bible says on the issues to be able to communicate it to others.
99% agreed that persecution and religious liberty is a concern that should be discussed from the pulpit, but only 67% said that they know what the Bible says on the topic to be able to explain it to others.
Fewer felt that the issue of poverty should be incorporated in messages, as only 88% agreed it should be addressed from the pulpit, and only 52% said that the issue was important to them personally. 73% said they know enough about what the Bible says about the poor to be able to communicate it with others.
Most felt that the role of government before God should be discussed. When asked if the role of government “is an issue your pastor should address from the pulpit,” 90% said yes. 4% said no and 6% weren’t sure. Only 69% said that they know what the Bible says about the subject to relay it to others.
But fewer — 83% — agreed that the Church’s role and relation to the government should be addressed before their congregation. 15% said they didn’t know and 23% said that the issue is not important to them. 81% said that they know what the Bible says about the matter.
Similarly, 88% said that Islam should be addressed during sermons, with 12% saying that they didn’t know. 23% said that the issue is not important to them. Only 60% said that they know what the Bible says about the matter, most likely in regard to being able to explain why Islamist teachings conflict with the Scriptures. 21% admitted that they don’t know enough on the topic biblically and 19% said they weren’t sure.
91% said that support for Israel should be mentioned at church, but 78% said that the issue was important to them personally. 82% said that they can speak knowledgeably about what the Bible says about Israel.
Wright noted that while the vast majority of respondents want their pastor to address moral and cultural issues from the pulpit, many do not do so.
“Barna Research reports that more than 90 percent of theologically conservative pastors agree that Scripture addresses all aspects of life,” the ministry outlined in a press release. “Yet just 10 percent said they were willing to speak to issues like abortion, religious liberty, and sexual identity from the pulpit.”
“There are grave consequences for silence from America’s pulpits and inaction from the Church,” Wright stated. “Look no further than today’s headlines to see the clear and present danger.”
In Matthew 5:13, Jesus said, “Ye are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and to be trodden under foot of men.”
Similarly, in the classic John Bunyan allegory “The Holy War,” the character simply known as the preacher once declared, “Unhappy man that I am that I should do so wicked a thing! That I, a preacher, whom the Prince did set up to teach to Mansoul His law, should myself live senseless and sottishly here and be one of the first found in transgression! This transgression also fell within my precincts; I should have cried out against the wickedness, but I let Mansoul lie wallowing in it until it had driven Emmanuel from its borders!”