Before the Second World War, the rise of Adolf Hitler forced German Christians to make a choice. Some attempted to make peace with the Nazis, engaging in dialogue and endless discussions. Most in this group ended up allowing their churches to become accomplices.

The other main group advocated staying on the sidelines and simply obeying the government, saying that gospel witness was just too important to be muddied up with controversial political stances.

In both cases, Hitler had little to fear from these pastors-and he knew it. “They will submit,” the Fuhrer said derisively. “…they are insignificant little people, submissive as dogs, and they sweat with embarrassment when you talk to them.”

Well, the battle has moved to Minnesota. This November, an amendment to define marriage as being between a man and a woman will be on the ballot. You would expect pastors in the Land of 10,000 Lakes to take a clear stand.

Unbelievably, a couple of evangelical stalwarts are electing to sit this fight out-choosing not to endorse the amendment. Leith Anderson, a former pastor and President of the National Association of Evangelicals is one. John Piper, of Bethlehem Baptist Church, is another. During a recent sermon, Rev. Piper said “Don’t press the organization of the church or her pastors into political activism . . . Expect from your shepherds not that they would rally you behind political candidates or legislative mandates, but they would point you over and over again to God and to his word.”

I’m all for pointing people to God’s Word-surely we need that! But is attempting to protect marriage from a dangerous redefinition mere political activism? Anderson warned that “churches should seek to be nonpartisan in their approach to teaching moral truths.” Agreed! But defending marriage is not a partisan activity!

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