Featured in the November, 2010 Issue of the Ashburn Baptist News
It is election time again and the question may be asked, “Aren’t politicians and preachers a lot alike since both talk so much? Both smile a lot and are always shaking hands. Both talk about doing a lot of good and are expected to help the young, the old and the poor. Both wear nice clothes, go to lots of meetings and have lots of connections.”
While there seem to be some similarities, there are also some definite differences. Once a politician is elected, he is in office for two or more years, but the preacher is actually voted upon every Sunday. If the people do not come to hear him, he is out.
The salaries of elected officials are paid by forced taxation, but preachers receive salaries from voluntary gifts.
A politician is sensitive to what people want to hear, whereas a preacher is concerned about what people need to hear.
Because of numerous government programs for the poor, the handicapped, veterans, dependent children, the aged and the sick, politicians are able to promise pay without work; but because most work done in churches is by volunteers, all the preacher can promise is lots of work without pay.
Politicians are forever promising paradise now on earth, whereas Bible preachers make clear that it comes later in heaven for those who have repented of sin and received Christ as Savior.
The politician, once elected, disappears to the state capitol or Washington, whereas the preacher lives among the people who carefully keep track of him.
The politician has many mouths. He has one speech for the Roman Catholic audience, another for the Protestant. When speaking to the poor, he promises more government programs, but while addressing the rich, he talks of lower taxes. There is one speech for business, another for labor. And of course, a different one for each ethnic group. The preacher has one message only – the unchanging Word of God.
The special talent of the politician is the art of compromise, whereas the strength of the preacher is his Bible-based convictions without any compromise.
Whatever the differences, both politicians and preachers need our prayers because both have heavy responsibilities and does not the Apostle Paul tell us, “I exhort, therefore, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and for all that are in authority that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (I Timothy 2:1, 2).