Here’s a letter I’m using with permission and Wednesday I’ll give my reflections. Have you seen this? Have you seen it the other way, too, with a person getting in trouble for being too conservative?


Let me first say that your thoughts and writings has encouraged me
as a believer and pastor.  I am a pastor of a church plant.  We began just over four years ago. I would love your thoughts on something.  This election I voted
for Barack Obama.  This is a break in my voting pattern.  I have never
voted for a democrat and typically the abortion issue has been the
primary issue that I filtered my choice through.  Over the past many
years I have become frustrated with the abortion debate and the lack of
any movement due to partisan politics as well as my perception that the
church is only interested in the passing of a law.  It is all or
nothing.  Despite my frustrations on this specific issue, my decision
on who to vote for was in no way easy.  I struggled with the complexity
of all the issues and specifically the abortion issue up to the last
minute.  I shared with many close friends within my church my struggles
and they listened and discussed the issues with me.

In the days after the vote, many within my church came to know of
my voting decision as well as my wife’s vote which was the same.  It
wasn’t something I was declaring but it became known.  Since then I’m
aware of a few families that are leaving our church and another that is
close.  I am in shock.  I have been living life with these families. 
Our values declared by our life and words.  They’ve seen us pursue
doing foster care.  They’ve seen my wife, me, and our teenage son continually pursue ways to
help the homeless in our community.  They’ve heard me teach.  In the
end, their perception is now that I am pro-abortion.  I’ve been told
that I have likely disqualified myself from the pastorate.  We are
heartbroken.  I can’t eat.  I’ve missed work.  I’m utterly devastated
by what my choice may do to our community of faith.  We are not a big church so weathering storms like this gets very personal. 

I guess my question is this, have I missed something?  Have I
entered into this decision unaware as to the expectation on pastors in
regards to how they vote?  Right now we feel very alone.  To see people
who have lived life with me for years suddenly doubt my heart.  They’ve
seem my core values displayed in our choices and sacrifices.  All of
that has become void.  Filling in a certain box with a marker has
completely changed how they see me. 
I’d appreciate any thoughts.
In Christ,
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