Demonizing those of opposing opinions has become the default conversation of choice by those who have allowed fear, not faith, to form the content of their words and the integrity of their speech.
The word “demonize” is formed by the word “demon” and the addition of the suffix “ize.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the suffix “ize” as “cause to be or conform to or resemble.” We add the suffix to familiar words to transition a noun into a verb, as in plagiarize, idolize, legitimize, crystalize, and so on. It is a transformative word that labels a person and presses them into the narrow scope of our understanding in an attempt to define them. That is where the danger exists. The process of demonizing someone rarely includes God’s viewpoint about them or what He is doing in their heart outside the scope of our limiting observation of their life.
When we demonize a person, we walk on dangerous ground. Demonizing people is popular now, especially as issues within our culture heat up because it gives our opinion what appears to be spiritual clout. It also separates us from the very people God may want us to influence for good, but because we made them into the enemy, these demonized ones are held at arm’s length.
Hell uses a lot of people for dark purposes. Sadly, some of those hell uses are within the Church. This happens when we relate to those in opposition to our worldview by adding demonizing labels to their life, not the dark spirits that may well be using them. When we give people a label based on our limited understanding of their place in God’s greater redemptive reality, we have lessened the impact of our voice in the culture and God’s Kingdom.