Faith leaders met in Dallas, Texas, in May for Bishop TD Jakes‘ 2017 International Pastors and Leadership Conference, where they discussed a range of issues, including how the church addresses the needs of the congregation across political and economic lines.
NewsOne Now broadcast live from the event, with host Roland Martin zeroing in on the session,”The Polemics of Politics and the Pulpit: Rightly Dividing Between Church and State,” which was moderated by April D. Ryan.
“I think this is an opportunity for the church that we better not miss,” Chicago priest and activist Father Michael Pfleger said in response to a question. “We have looked for government, in particular, Democrats and Republicans, to shape us and to shape our character, our culture, our morality, and they both failed because they’re not supposed to be shaping morality, the church is.”
Pfleger argued that everyone has a lobbyist but the poor.
“The church is supposed to be the lobbyist for the poor, and if the church is not the lobbyist for the poor and the disenfranchised,” Pfleger argued, “We have failed.”
Joshua DuBois, who led the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships in President Obama’s first term, Ryan followed with a question to the panel asking openly how the church help people and maintain its status in the community.
“When a politician calls and says ‘can I come and speak to the congregation from the pulpit,’ say no and say you can come to my food pantry and serve people there. You can come to my ex-offender ministry and hear from formerly incarcerated persons,” DuBois answered.
Watch Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now breakdown of Bishop TD Jakes’ pastor’s conference in the clip above.