By Rev. John Wesley
How Far is it the Duty of a Christian Minister to
Preach Politics?
By Rev. John Wesley.
VOL. 3 NO. 11 July 2001

LEWISHAM, January 9, 1782..

1. IT is impossible to answer this question before it is understood. We must, First, therefore endeavor to understand it; and then it will be easy to answer.

2. There is a plain command in the Bible, "Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people." But notwithstanding this, many that are called religious people speak evil of him continually. And they speak many things that are palpably false; particularly when they affirm him to be a weak man; whereas a Nobleman, who is not at all prejudiced in his favor, when he was pressed to speak, made this honest declaration: "Sir, I know him well; and I judge the King to be one of the most sensible men in Europe. His Ministers are no fools; but His Majesty is able to wind them all round his finger."

3. Now, when a Clergyman comes into a place where this and many more stories, equally false, have been diligently propagated against the King, and are generally believed, if he guards the people against this evil-speaking, by refuting those slanders, many cry out, "O, he is preaching politics!"

4. If you mean this by the term, it is the bounden duty of every Christian Minister to preach politics. It is our bounden duty to refute these vile aspersions, in public as well as in private. But this can be done only now and then, when it comes naturally in our way. For it is our main and constant business to "preach Jesus Christ, and him crucified."

5. Again: Many who do not so freely censure the King, speak all manner of evil of his Ministers. If any misfortune befalls us at home or abroad, by sea or land, it is "all their fault." If one commander in America is surprised with all his forces when he is dead drunk, "Lord North deserves to be hanged." If General Burgoyne or Lord Cornwallis is betrayed into their enemy's hand, all the blame is laid on our Ministers at home. But still the King is wounded through their sides; the blame glances from them to him. Yet if we say a word in defense of them, (which is in effect defending him,) this also is preaching politics.

6. It is always difficult and frequently impossible for private men to judge of the measures taken by men in public offices. We do not see many of the grounds which determine them to act in this or the contrary manner.

Generally, therefore, it behooves us to be silent, as we may suppose they know their own business best; but when they are censured without any color of reason, and when an odium is cast on the King by that means, we ought to preach politics in this sense also; we ought publicly to confute those unjust censures: Only remembering still, that this is rarely to be done, and only when fit occasion offers; it being our main business to preach "repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.'" JOHN WESLEY.


You may have heard of the two scientists who reported that the story of Balaam's ass speaking to the prophet is false because "the larynx of a donkey could not possibly articulate human speech."
A thoughtful Scotchman overheard them and he walked up to them and said, "Man, you make a donkey and I'll make him talk."
There you have it, brother. If God can make a donkey, God can make him talk. Christianity stands or falls on Jesus Christ - stands or falls on the illumination of the Holy Ghost.
-A.W. Tozer (1897-1963)

The editor, while agreeing with the content presented in this newsletter, does not necessarily endorse all of a writer's works, doctrines, etc. The editor is solely responsible for all mistakes.