Displaying 30+ Stories
Allow Ads

'Anger is a Call to Prayer': Pastors Urge Unity After Divisive Election 

Woman praying

A recent Associated Press headline pointed out that many of today's churches mirror the country's political divide. 

Pastors across the country say the remedy for a divided country is a united church.

"A lot of people are struggling with the division itself," said Dr. Ed Stetzer of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College. "After all this is said and done, we need the church of Jesus Christ to come together, stay together, on mission together."

Dr. Stetzer maintains that when politics causes people to see one another as enemies, the church cannot afford to follow suit.

"At the end of the day the people that I'm in the body of Christ with need one another," Stetzer told CBN News. "And I think one of the things is we don't want to bite and devour one another as the scriptures talk about, right?"

Click Here Get the App with Special Alerts on Breaking News and Top Stories

Pastor Dan Backens of New Life Church in Virginia Beach, VA pointed out that believers, both Republican and Democrat, share a faith that encourages love for one's neighbor.

"In the church, in the house of God, we have a higher ideal and that is to say we may not agree but we can love each other," Backens said in an interview with CBN News. "And both sides of the issue, I think, should both take steps toward friendship. Not one or the other having to initiate but both sides, if you will, come together."

As many take a political hard-line, Backens cautions against potentially threatening the church's witness.

Case in point, Christian author Trillia Newbell once posted an online prayer asking God to watch over President Trump.

When she did the same for Vice President Joe Biden it led to someone telling her to go to hell.

She followed up a Tweet saying, "I'm troubled for all my non-Christian friends on Facebook who see professed Christians say this stuff over a politically neutral, Christian discipline."

"This zeal has caused a radicalism on both sides. And when you get radicalized, it's hard to reason with you," said Backens. "So, I appeal to the church that kind of is in the middle and pastors to speak up and let's all commit to being bridge-builders and peacemakers."

Backens' message to believers who voted in this election – "The person really holding out for Mr. Trump, I say, 'that's ok pray, and intercede.'"

"If it doesn't happen, like King David – he prayed for his son to live. He didn't get what he wanted. So what did he do? He got up. He washed himself. He worshipped and he went home. Reset. Go on worshipping God and go home."

"And the other side, if Biden is the winner, don't have triumphalism and point your finger at the guys that lost. Walk-in some humility. Model Christlikeness," said Backens.

Dr. A.R. Bernard of the Cultural Christian Center in Brooklyn also encourages believers to look to scripture.

"God works everything in accordance with His purposes, no matter who's in power," Bernard told CBN News. "If we believe in the sovereignty of God, God is sovereign at all times whether it's our chosen candidate in power or someone we would not choose."

Faith leaders point to humility and understanding as keys to bridging the gap.

"There's that verse that says the anger of man, the anger of women, the anger of the world cannot avail the righteousness of God." explained Backens. "And most anger, 95 percent of anger, is unrighteous anger. That angry spirit doesn't make consensus, it doesn't make unity. It doesn't make friendship. It hardens our points of view and hurts people in the process."

The pastors say that prayer is also vital. "Anger is not a call to action," Bernard explained. "Anger is a call to prayer. 

"Because prayer is where we elevate the heart and mind to God," he added. "We allow Him to lift us out of our circumstance and situation and get His lens on the situation. Get His perspective on it. And it frees us from the anxieties associated with the anger."

Meanwhile, Stetzer's desire is that the church comes together as one regardless of who occupies the White House.

"At the end of the day there's a bloody cross and an empty tomb," said Stetzer. "Jesus has been raised from the dead and that same Jesus that's been raised from the dead dwells in us and if he dwells in us that brings us together."

How can I overcome fear? Where is God when bad things happen? Does the Bible talk about fear? Click here for those answers and more.

Need prayer? We’re available 24/7. Call (800) 700-7000 or request prayer.

Learn why Truth Matters at CBN News.
CBN Partners provide hope to those who are suffering! You can help bring hope today!
Bring Hope

Did you know?

God is everywhere—even in the news. That’s why we view every news story through the lens of faith. We are committed to delivering quality independent Christian journalism you can trust. But it takes a lot of hard work, time, and money to do what we do. Help us continue to be a voice for truth in the media by supporting CBN News for as little as $1.