After August’s Charlottesville rally by white nationalists ended in violence, many social media users demanded that pastors speak out during Sunday services or be deemed complicit. Must preachers apply the gospel to breaking news?

Responses arranged from “yes” to “no.”

“The church needs to become part of the voice on hot news stories. Jesus was constantly referring to stories of the day and putting his spin on hot topics. Often he said, ‘You have heard it said, . . . but I say to you.’ I think any time we can reference the gospel and insert biblical truth into a hot topic, we should consider it. When the gospel specifically speaks to a hot topic, by all means, use that topic to share the Good News and the love of Jesus.”
~ Alex Himaya, senior pastor,, Tulsa

“As long as it promotes the gospel and equips the saints to live more faithfully, I would not avoid carefully applying God’s Word to current events. However, it takes wisdom and care to broach current issues in a way that serves—and does not detract from—the Bible’s eternal message. I find it necessary to broach current events when they get in the way of people seeing Christ. When people are anxious, grieved, confused, or distracted, don’t run from the issues. Instead, show them Christ’s sovereign compassion over them.”
~ Mika Edmondson, pastor, New City Fellowship, Grand Rapids, MI

“Pastors do not need to be experts on every current event, but neither should they view these tragedies or cultural tensions as distractions from pastoral work. They are some of the most practical opportunities to help our people engage this world in gospel-shaped ways. The church ...

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