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We are undoubtedly living in one of the most divisive times in our generation. At every turn, there seems to be something to argue about, something to be mad about, and something to stir up fears among us.  Division is one of the oldest, and most comprehensive, destructive, and successful tools in our arch-enemy’s tool belt.  Division is alive an well among us at an alarming rate! As our brother James has said, “it ought not to be so”.

Mark 3:23–25 (NKJV) “So He called them to Himself and said to them in parables: “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”

Why aren’t you following that popular pastor in ______ (fill in state)? You’re a compromiser!  You are New Age! You’re un-American! You aren’t a real church! You’re a false teacher. You are un-American! Are you for or against masks? Are you for or against vaccines? Is the virus real or not? It’s the Illuminati! It’s Marxist. Is the virus deadly or not? Should churches meet or not meet? Why can they riot but churches can’t meet? Should you have to do this or not? Are you for or against the police? Do you believe black lives matter or are you politically against law and order?What about Critical Race Theory? You’re racists! You’re anti-police! Get the picture?  It’s hard and challenging and no matter which direction a man or woman takes being led by the Spirit, he/she faces opposition.

Mix into these difficulties a real dose of fear, anxiety, angst, anger, frustration, and those stinking YouTube videos that convinced you in 3 minutes of your new and polarizing position and you have a real mess.  New knowledge has fueled pride. Pride has fueled opinion. Opinion has fueled conviction. Strong convictions has fueled divisiveness.

1 Corinthians 8:1 (NKJV) “Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.”

Add to that the voices of popular pastors, preachers and pundits.  Last year a prominent and well-respected pastor who went viral with his church’s public stance said openly and publicly in a sermon: “There has never been a time when the world didn’t need the message of the true church (open without restrictions).  I have to say ‘true church’. I hate to think of that, but there’s so many false forms of the church. Let them shut down.” This bold statement implies very explicitly that if you don’t do things like he is, then you might as well be a false church and shut down.  It’s even worse now. Other pastors are declaring if you don’t agree with their viewpoints that vaccines are evil, or that how you’re responding isn’t right then you’re in sin “just like” some pastors during the holocaust! It only adds fuel to the flames of division when good, solid, God fearing men, leading real bonafide churches simply choose to respond differently as led by the Spirit!  Highly inflamed rhetoric and political speeches do not belong in the pulpit! Period. People get emboldened when they see and hear people take sides and name call on the back end. But friend, it’s not helpful.  We need to learn to praise God the Church is not monolithic but full of diversity.

We are unfortunately living in a time where decency, reasonableness, and human compassion have taken a back seat to anger, frustration, and winning the argument, even among the leadership of God’s precious Church. Along the way there are spiritual casualties, many of them. Why? Because so many have forgotten the agape love of Jesus! Life and ministry is now about winning an argument, instead of about winning the lost and loving our neighbor!  Why is it ok now for pastors to name call and fear monger? Why is ok for outright sin to be approved because it seems to be the popular opinion?

Matthew 22:37–40 (NKJV) “Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

Pastors and leaders like me have taken the brunt of angry responses. I’ve seen a lot of nastiness in the 20 years I’ve been the lead overseeing pastor of Calvary Church, but wow, this season is so much more intense! Whatever decision is made, on just about any topic, you can be sure that it will draw widespread support and widespread animosity. Most of the time, your pastor’s email box is filled with the animosity unfortunately. Ministry throughout 2020 now into 2021 has become a minefield of pain for many pastors and leaders.

A pastor shared with me just this week:

“I struggle with relational anxiety because I’m non-confrontational. This fight of exact opposites is starting to impact my health. I need prayer and guidance. I’m not strong enough for this.” Yes that is from a pastor, overwhelmed with the lovelessness of many.

It’s so hard that I felt compelled of the Spirit to encourage a few of the pastors I have the privilege to serve alongside:

“It’s interesting how the enemy of our souls is using the COVID crisis, really how we as pastors respond to it differently, as a major point of division. It seems that there is always this underlying pressure that if you aren’t doing it “this” way then you are not really a part of “our” group. Refuse that nonsense. You have the Spirit of God and He has entrusted to you a portion of His flock and greater influence beyond. It’s because you are unique that you may do things differently to care for your local fellowship. Choose to not speak about a brother negatively and don’t allow it in your presence. We are His family. Unity wins. Disunity destroys precious lives. Even in what should be the best moments of our lives, comparison lurks in the shadows, always seeking to exert itself and secure our worth at the expense of others.”

Galatians 5:13–15 (NLT) “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.”

Since you’re reading this I’m asking you, I’m begging you, to humble yourself before the mighty hand of God today and pray for your pastor, spiritual leaders, and enemies. Yes, pray for those who hold to a differing opinion than yours. I’m sure you can cogently make your point, but as you do, please don’t destroy the person who disagrees, especially if they are unsaved, especially especially, if they are your brother and sister in Christ.

Galatians 6:9–10 (NLT) “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.”

Refuse to take sides on the matter and choose to side in Christ. Refuse to fear monger. Refuse to attack. Refuse to belittle. Refuse to respond in the flesh.

Joshua 5:13–14 (NKJV) “And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?” So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?”

Jesus our Great Shepherd will lead and guide you, giving you the words that will spread the aroma of Christ in an environment is more like the aroma of death.

2 Corinthians 2:16–17 (NKJV) “To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.”

In His Great Love…


John 13:34–35 (NLT) “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

edited from a post in 2020 to re post in 2021


  • God daughter says:

    Amen thank you for the love of GOD word

    • Iris V Lopez says:

      Thank you Jesus has been dealing with me on these issues. I realize and have begun to really love Jesus actually love myself love others and respect my husband the way Jesus wants me to.

  • Mario De La Cruz says:

    Amen Pastor Ed and I’m not going to point out any verse that would also prove my point. I’m simply going to live by John 3:30. And if I speak to anyone regarding my beliefs or views I’ll remind them that it’s just how I see things and nothing of what I say is written in stone but only what is found in Gods word is. Thank you for reminding me of what is truly important.

  • Danny Jacobo says:

    I just decided to shut down a Pastors meeting because the atmosphere was so contentious. Somehow no matter the topic it always seemed to lead back to a doubtful issue that caused us to leave with an uneasy feeling. I am totally shocked that pastors with such a large influence are using that influence to subtly cause division. It’s a really discouraging time of arguing in the church, when it should be a great opportunity for the church to be winning souls.
    Keep leading the flock through the scriptures and the scriptures will lead the flock.
    God bless Ed, keep your hand on the plow.

  • Donna Brooks says:

    Many of my prayers these days begin and end with, “When I don’t know what to do Lord, my eyes are on You.” Pastor Ed, thank you for the grounding words.

  • Kathy Starkel says:

    I never realized how each lead pastor of several churches could be so different. But why not? Each church is as individual as the lead pastor. No one should ever cause divisions among each other. Jesus taught on love for each other. That’s more important now than ever before. No one person will agree with everyone and that’s okay. How important it is to respect another. In the church, we are to be family and therefore, should love and edify one another. It’s amazing what the Lord has shown me and the importance Jesus is during my journey with covid. We need to smile and if need be, take one hour at a time. This keeps one in the positive perspective about our lives and others. Father God, please give Pastor Ed courage and strength as he deals with so many people each day. Keep him strong, never giving Satan a foothold into his life. Father, Pastor Ed has done such a great job in his teaching reminding his flock that Jesus is where we need to be. Wrap Your arms around him and his family each day. I for one, appreciate my pastor so hold him up each day. In Jesus’ name, Amen

  • Karen Ikeler says:

    So grateful for a pastor who points us back to the Word of God and reminds us to stay focused on what matters in these last days!

  • Stephanie says:

    Thank you again. I needed these two today.

  • Christy from Grace Church in Amarillo! says:


    Thank you for the encouragement and pointing us to Christ, Pastor Ed! We soooo desperately need Jesus, and we need Him to be our focus everyday!

    Speaking of encouragement, I also wanted to say how much I appreciate listening to Abounding Grace. I really, really, REALLY appreciate it! God has used this program to help and encourage me in so many ways, and especially during these hard times! Thank you!

    Praying for you, your family, Calvary Church, and THE church!

  • Danielle says:

    So so encouraging. Thank you for this and your faithfulness to the Lord during such a hard time to be a Pastor. The Lord is using you mightily!

  • Todd Rollison says:

    Thank you Pastor Ed! What a great reminder to be careful with my personal convictions, and mindful of my brothers and sisters.

  • Christine Search says:

    Thankyou SO much for writing this and Caitlin, for sharing!
    The most heartbreaking thing going on around us has been the division of dear brothers and sisters….bless you for speaking the truth so clearly and graciously, Pastor Ed

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