Former Charisma editor and author J. Lee Grady says he is troubled by the rancor between Christians during this election season, and believes that it grieves the Holy Spirit.
In a recent piece for Charisma, Grady writes in support of “legitimate political debate” but says he’s concerned about Christians attacking each other during the election cycle.
“I’ve heard Christians swear at each other, verbally assault each other and dissect each other in self-righteous Facebook posts,” he writes.
“I’ve watched one Christian demonize another Christian simply because they have different views on a public policy issue. And I’ve seen how the racial divisions in the church grew deeper when a pastor decided to politicize a sermon or tell people they had to vote a certain way to please God,” he continues.
Grady says he believes Christians are confused about how to disagree politically.
“We have the idea that standing for truth requires us to blast our opponents out of the water. We wield our verbal swords and skewer our enemies like Roman gladiators in the Coliseum,” he writes.
Grady notes that the apostle Paul explains how to avoid grieving the Holy Spirit in Ephesians 4:31-32: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ has forgiven you.”
Grady encourages his readers to “go on a fast from ranting and raving. Stop being outraged and encourage somebody.”
“About half of our population will be celebrating the winner of this election next Tuesday, while the other half will be licking their wounds. I don’t believe the Holy Spirit will be taking sides,” he said. “I believe He is grieved by the way the church behaved.”