Should pastors influence their congregations in politics?

This has been a vigorously debated topic recently. Some pastors directly support some candidates, while others completely refrain from engaging in any political issues. So what does God's Word say about a pastor's responsibility?

Titus 1:9 tells us that a pastor shall "hold fast the faithful word [the Bible] as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict." A pastor has the responsibility of teaching God's faithful, true and consistent Word - not to please or entertain, but to encourage godly principles and warn of ungodly behavior in every aspect of life, including politics. A God-honoring, Bible-teaching pastor does not need to advocate a specific candidate. If he has done his job his members will prayerfully and correctly use the standard of God's Word to select the right candidate.

Additionally, it is a Christian's faithful duty to take part in the political process. Followers of Christ are called to be both salt and light in a dark world (Matthew 5:13-16), making an impact for righteousness' sake.

Taken from Adrian Rogers' weekly newspaper column. Used by permission. 2001, The Commercial Appeal.