If a brother walked up to you in church and called you a fear-mongering racist with an insidious agenda who has their head in the sand, you’d probably wonder if he was really your brother or if he was working for the enemy. Yet I’ve seen Christians call each other by those names (and worse) during this election cycle.
It’s clearly the enemy’s work to divide the church. The church was already divided, you might say. It may have been, but the tear now runs deeper.
I’m so grieved. This is not the spirit of Christ. The enemy found an open door in the church and successfully planted seeds of strife that are yielding a harvest of hateful words and slanderous missiles that some may not soon forgive or forget. I’d call it friendly fire but it’s not so friendly. Again, this is not the spirit of Christ.
Jesus said, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). Calling people nasty names is not a manifestation of love by anyone’s measure. Christians shouldn’t be persecuting other Christians over political beliefs or anything else.
If you don’t agree with what someone else is saying, there’s a way to communicate your opinion respectfully. It’s called speaking the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). I’m not seeing the love—or even human decency—in some of the acidic accusations from believers against believers who voice their stance for biblical values. I see a spirit of bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking and malice. Again, this is not the spirit of Christ.
Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote: “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:29-32).
Is it OK to throw the Word of God out the window just because we don’t agree on political issues? I think we can all agree that the Word should govern our lives. Yet, if a prophetic voice suggests that our nation has witnessed a swift departure from government that is based on the Judeo-Christian values, people who claim Christ as King beat him over the head with Psalms suggesting he’s a “deceitful worker.” Again, this is not the spirit of Christ.
The enemy has entered the church sowing seeds of strife and executing a clear agenda to bring more division because he was listening closely when Jesus once said, “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand” (Mark 3:20-27).
Jesus made the statement after the scribes—people who were supposed to be among the godly leaders of the nation—accused Him of casting out devils by the power of devils. Those who considered themselves sold-out, on-fire followers of God actually accused Jesus of having a devil because He was speaking and acting out God’s will. Can you imagine accusing Jesus of having a devil? Yet that sounds an awful lot like some of the accusations launched against Christians who voice their desire for a leader who will govern according to morality.
Yes, Satan knows that a house divided cannot stand. And he has used this election cycle—among other things—as a tool to bring such division to the body of Christ that believers are vehemently attacking one another. Churches are divided. Christian brothers have become bitter enemies. This is all the bait of Satan—and he’s reveling in his success while believers continue to use the deadly poison in their tongues to stir up strife.
Strife and love cannot co-exist. Strife is an abomination to God (Prov. 6:16). Strife affects the anointing and the flow of the Holy Ghost (Psalms 133:1-3). Strife grieves the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30). Strife destroys relationships (Prov. 17:9). Strife is rooted in anger (Prov. 29:22), hatred (Prov. 10:12), pride (Prov. 13:10) and a quarrelsome self-seeking spirit (Gal. 5:14-18; Luke 22:24-27).
Now that the election is over, we have one more thing to repent for: allowing the enemy to bring greater division in the church over a presidential election when all the while God is in control. We did not endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:3). We did not walk in love, which binds us together in perfect unity (Col. 3:14). We did not go out of our way to live peaceably with our fellow believers, much less all men (Rom. 12:18). How can we expect a revival when we’re at each other’s throats?
But it’s never too late.
I can’t say it any better than did Paul: “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10). Amen.
Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also the author of several books, including Did the Spirit of God Say That? You can email Jennifer at [email protected] or visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.