Politics and Preaching

I preached at St. Paul’s again this past Sunday. There was a search committee from a church that is considering me for their open vicar position at St. Paul’s evaluating me as I did my “stuff.”
Afterwards, two St. Paul’s members, two of our more mature members whom I love, came up to me individually and said that they really liked the sermon, but could certainly discern my politics from the sermon. One said they really don’t like politics in the pulpit, but the sermon was great anyway. So, I said, “I bet you really don’t know my politics from that sermon!” Both of them said something like, “Oh, yes, it came through loud and clear.”
I asked one of them, “So, what do you think my political persuasion really is?” He said, “On the far left of the Democratic party.” Oh my gosh! A far left-Democrat! Me! Well, I said, “Oh my no!”
Isn’t it funny the perceptions people form about us from our words? Of course that is how they form opinions, but it drives home the need to be very careful with our words. I try very hard to be neutral concerning politics when I preach. It is not so important to me whether someone is a stanch conservative or a socialist, but that they are informed and reasonable. Yet, I think when some people hear what sounds unconventional (which the way of Jesus will always be!), it sounds liberal.
The search committee really liked the sermon, too!