They're issues that often draw heated debate, and they're topics that have caused some people to leave their churches when they find their way into a Sunday sermon. Topics like gay marriage, abortion, contraception, and gays in the clergy.
"Political hot potatoes," as Methodist minister Marv Repinski described them.
But they're issues that are finding their way into church pulpits more and more. and it's not happening by accident.
"I think there's an obligation when it comes to social issues to teach the word of God," said Pastor David Simerson of Cornerstone Church in Austin.