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October 26, 2010

Survey: 6 in 10 Protestant Pastors Disapprove of Obama

Six out of every 10 Protestant pastors say they disapprove of President Obama's job performance, a LifeWay Research survey found.

Researchers said of the 61 percent who disapprove of Obama's work, 47 percent disapprove strongly.

The survey, released October 21, found that 30 percent of pastors approve of the president's performance (including 14 percent who strongly approve). Nine percent were undecided.

When the Southern Baptist-affiliated research group surveyed Protestant pastors about their voting intentions just before the 2008 elections, 20 percent indicated they planned to vote for Obama, compared to 55 percent who planned to vote for GOP candidate John McCain.

"If voting intentions and job approval measure similar things, the president hasn't made many friends in the pulpits of America's churches throughout the first year-and-a-half of his presidency," said Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research.

The new research was based on interviews with 1,000 Protestant clergy October 7-14 and had an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

Researchers also found that 84 percent of Protestant pastors disagreed with the idea of pastors endorsing political candidates from the pulpit.


Not to quibble with a statistician, but if more people approve of his job performance (30%) than planned to vote for him (20%), wouldn't that suggest that he has made friends in the pulpit?

I think it is also instructive to see the differences by political affiliation. Only 3% of self identified Republicans approve of his job performance. Not many of those would have voted for him anyway.

And on the political endorsement front, 84% of Democrats strongly disagreed with endorsements from the pulpit, but only 61% of republicans. That would seem to be fairly significant difference.

Our job is to pray for, not criticize our leaders, but the church of today seems to have forgotten the mandate of Romans 13. Furthermore, the results of the survey only demonstrate how far we have fallen from grace. Political preferences are of no importance to the Kingdom of God and the work we should be doing to win the lost for Christ. Shame on us!

If you told Dietrich Bonhoeffer just to 'pray for, no criticize our leaders,' he would have quickly set you straight. Pray for our leaders, yes, but hold them and their actions accountable to scripture. If the German church had done that, perhaps some of the horrors of WWII could have been averted. Biblical principles can and should be above political principles.

3 Comments, that's how long it took for a WWII comparison with this. Christians, please stop referencing the Holocaust and our current president together, you are DESTROYING your gospel witness.

I didn't see any reference to the Holocaust in the comments. I interpreted Glenn Gordon's comment as enunciating a general principle, not suggesting any comparison of President Obama to Hitler, which would have been wrong. I agree that comments should be made with a strict respect for truth and avoiding exaggeration, but I do not see how taking a stand on moral issues which are also political ones can destroy a gospel witness. What is the gospel without a consciousness of sin, of right and wrong, whether that has to do with individual or collective actions?

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke

This quote can apply to either or neither political party; however, it is true that we must stay involved in the systems that govern our lives here on earth or pay the price in the loss of liberty and basic freedoms.
The Church can and must speak out against evil and use whatever means--prayer and the ballot box----available to make sure that evil does not prevail. It was a Christian, Wilburforce, getting involved in politics that ended the slave trade. It was Christian abolitionists who protested against slavery in the United States and worked through the political system to end slavery in the Northern states (Yes, as a Southerner I am aware of the War that was also fought to end slavery)
It is the Church, alone, that is speaking out against the mass murder and slaughter of unborn children.
If the Church shuts up and stays out of the political arena, I cannot imagine what evil could and would be wrought.
The enemy of our soul, satan, would love it if the Church would shut up and back off and stay uninvolved in the political spectrum and allow him to run the systems that govern life on planet earth.

Sarah, I want to clarify something in your post. The Civil War wasn't fought over slavery. It was fought over states' rights. The South didn't want to go to war over slavery. They just didn't like being told what to do by the feds. Very few, if any, slave owners fought in the war. Further, multiple African-American Confederate regiments existed, including one that was stationed at Ft. Pillow. They didn't like the government telling them what to do, either.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled discussion.

Sig, here is a portion from the Mississippi Declaration of Sucession:

"In the momentous step, which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

"Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery - the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product, which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth.

"These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization.

"That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin."
(Cut and Pasted from an Atlantic Monthly article.)

The South argued for the state's rights position as a justification for sesession over slavery.

No, more poor southerners fought for the Confederacy than rich ones, but while rich plantation owners had more slaves, most middle class and poor southern whites had at least one slave.

Very few black Confederate regiments existed as the Confederacy refused to form Confederate units until 6 months before the war ended. Some free blacks did try to form units; they wanted the South to win because they felt newly freed slaves would be an economic threat to them.

Fort Pillow was a northern fort, not a Confederate one. It was guarded by black soldiers. When it was captured by Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest, he ordered the killing of all the black soldiers. Most did not survive.

The findings of this survey helps explain why the US is quickly becoming secular. Christianity in our country is so focused on the abortion and gay marriage issues, it has become blind to the more important social issues in our society. Our alignment with the Republican ideology has made us turn a blind eye to poverty, healthcare for the poor, and God forbid SOCIAL JUSTICE!! These same preachers who dislike Obama's efforts to help the unfortunate should review the Sermon on the Mount. We are quickly becoming a religion known for its exclusivity and intolerance instead of compassion. Not the Jesus I know.

"...our country is so focused on the abortion...it has become blind to the more important social issues in our society." That's easy for you to say - you weren't aborted.

Look it up, Johnny.

I know being a Pastor/Minister must be a very difficult and hard work to do, but is really a Service that is provided to a very particular community, the Church.

However it has it's limitations. In the sense that some of the things they do, can only be done for that particular community. If they are true to their calling and do those things in a correct, truthful and orthodox manner.

Taking that unto account and being different from other careers, professions, trades, or Jobs. Being a Pastor/Minister is Not a real Job, in the same sense most other Jobs are.

Therefore like Entertainers and Politicians, their opinions must be taken in stride. Because like everybody else, they’re entitled to their opinions, but also like everybody else they’re Not entitled to their own facts.