By Alex Best // Christianity Daily
The Barna Group’s Church Pulse leader survey indicates a majority of pastors are concerned for their Churches during this presidential election.
Findings from the 475 Protestant pastors that Barna surveyed have revealed 74% of pastors express some level of concern that the coming election could have negative impacts on their congregations. However, many of the pastors also expressed confidence in being able to handle and address any divisiveness brought about by the election season in their respective churches. 65% of pastors disagreed with the idea that the election would divide their congregations, and 87% stated they either “strongly agree” or “somewhat agree” that they are prepared to lead their parishioners through the political fray.
Despite the polarizing nature of election season, especially now in 2020, many churches and pastors are pushing for unity. As Theo Brown, Director of the University of Arizona’s National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD) stated in an interview last year with the Christian Post, “Faith communities have a huge role to play in reviving civility. All Christian denominations teach that each individual person – regardless of their political views – is someone created in the image of God. Therefore, each person is worthy of being treated with dignity and respect.”
Therefore, the Revive Civility project of the NICD launched a new campaign titled “Golden Rule 2020” in November of last year. Brown explained, “The goal of Golden Rule 2020 is to remind Christians that our faith has something to say about how we talk to each other and that these insights are relevant to our political discussions – particularly in difficult times like these.”
This past August, Douglas Clay, leader of the Assemblies of God, also sent out a pastoral letter against political divisiveness stating, “Polarization in 2020 has risen to a higher level and has trickled down to even mundane decisions. It’s the Spirit who brings unity. We should be extremely cautious that we do not allow division to seep into Christ’s Church that will inevitably lead to self-destruction.”