Greg Metzger

Applying Volf

Ordained ministers who are politically active: caution!

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Jackson was making a salient political point that many other non-ordained political commentators have made, but the fact that he is a Christian leader gave the article added weight and appeal. Of course, a month and an abundance of allegations later, with Cain having withdrawn from the campaign, Jackson's article reads like a politically opportunistic broadside of the kind we are accustomed to seeing from the chattering class. The obvious difference is that Jackson is not merely a "talking head"; he is bishop of more than a thousand congregations worldwide. We owe it to those congregations, and to the countless other congregations led by dual role men and women, to respectfully ask, in the words of Volf, if their efforts are a "proper functioning" of ordained Christian ministers or a type of what we might call "Protestant clericalism." To ask this question is not to yield to a "naked public square" but rather to seek to guard the integrity of the Church's voice.

Greg Metzger mastered in International Relations at Boston University. In addition to Books & Culture, his work has appeared in The Christian Century, Touchstone, and Commonweal, and at the websites Talk to Action and Patheos.

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