Unnecessary Conflict

Isaiah 1:18 KJV
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Emphasis is mine.

I don’t know of any level headed person who actually enjoys conflict and I have, over the years, modified my reasons for when and if I decide to enter into the fray. But as any ardent student of the Bible knows, there will, of necessity, be times when one feels compelled to voice an opinion with regard to sound Biblical reasoning on a given topic. We all do it, some more than others, some less, and as a general rule of thumb, I personally find that as time progresses with our walk with God, we become much more selective of when we enter into a potential disagreement. In other words, the longer you walk with God, the less likely you are to get involved with conflicting issues. But, there are admittedly times, when you do need to, especially when false teachings or false gospels are put forward as God’s truth. 

The Bible is literally filled with God’s reasoning and God does encourage us to use and renew our minds by learning of His thoughts, His ways and His will. And of course, Jesus told us to learn of Him, and therein do we see the will of God our Father being articulated and demonstrated by literally everything that Jesus said and did, which in itself is actually amazing. 

But you and I are not all that Jesus was and is. Yet, as Jesus promised us, His Holy Spirit resides within us and we now experience the conflict that the Apostle Paul touches on, between the flesh and God’s Holy Spirit within us, as explained in chapter 7 of Paul’s letter to the Romans. We are indeed already sanctified now in Jesus (Hebrews 10:10), while at the same time we are in the progressive process of being sanctified. (Hebrews 2:11) (Hebrews 10:14). Now complete in Jesus but still becoming complete in Jesus. Graduation day is when we get to see Jesus face to face, when we go home and we are changed into His likeness. (1 Corinthians 15:53-57).

That progressive sanctification process, that we all go through, in my mind, is likened to the restrictive path and narrow gate that Jesus talks about in Matthew 7:13-14. But that restrictive path, has many off ramps, that beckon us to take our focus off of, that which we are encouraged to, in actuality, focus on.

I find it strange how some Christians can spend all kinds of time and effort, sourcing, discerning and disseminating information on the authenticity of worldly concerns (politics, current events and speculative theories as examples), but at the same time they can’t seem to find the same amount of time and effort to source and discern Biblical teachings that God would have us understand. It seems reasonable to me that if our focus is on two priorities (the restrictive path and an off ramp), at least one or both of them will suffer. And as I have indicated before, I am NOT advocating that we hide our heads in the sand about what is happening around us or avoid our electoral responsibilities, but if we can find time to authenticate worldly concerns, why is it that we can not find the time to expend at least equal time and effort, at a minimum, on the restrictive path that we all do walk on via adherence to the directions of God’s Word? 

Mixed messages produces mixed results.

Did you ever notice how the writers of the New Testament Gospels, letters and Epistles did not get involved with worldly concerns such as politics, current events and speculative worldly theories? Did you ever wonder what it was that they grasped that we haven’t? Were they focused on one message and if they were, why aren’t we? 

Whether we realize it or not, when we spend an inordinate amount of our time advocating our opinions on political, current events or worldly speculative theories, we demonstrate that our beliefs, our faith in God and His will, hasn’t really changed our worldly perspective at all, and as far as credibility goes, with regard to us shining a light on a hill to a dark, dark world, the light that we shine is no different from the light that currently shines in this dark world. Our light is not a different light, it is a worldly light. If you were Satan, would you want that light that is different, to be defused or lessened? And how do you think that tentative project of his might be working out? Candidly I would say it is working out very well.

As a Christian, there’s nothing wrong in having an opinion on what is happening all around us. But unless someone specifically asks you to share your opinion with them on these things that are happening around us, keep your opinions to yourself. When you shoot down vaccines, global warming, the validity of the prevailing virus, the manner in which the data is assembled and interpreted etc, you immediately separate yourself from a good percentage of the population who does have trust in these scientific and preventive measures . When you belittle those who disagree with your worldly opinions, by inferring that you are awake and they are not, do you really think that the belittlement you articulate towards them, draws them to the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

False pride is a terrible thing and although we may not always see it in ourselves, you can be sure that others can usually see it in us. By entering into these unnecessary areas of potential conflict, we literally send out a mixed message and then wonder why it is that no one listens to us when we talk about how God is real. And the reason for that is obvious, we do have Good News to share but first we need to set the record straight about vaccines, global warming and the corruption within our own governments. You can correct me if I am wrong, but I do not see any of those lead-ins being used within the New Testament. Do you not think that there was corruption within the Roman government in the New Testament times? Do you see any of these secondary worldly issues being discussed within the New Testament narratives? Bear in mind that sometimes what we are NOT shown can be just as powerful as what we are shown. 

The Apostle Paul said we preach Christ crucified (1 Corinthians 1:23-24). The Apostle Peter preached repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38) and Jesus told us to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you (Matthew 28:19-20). One consistent message.

And the common Christian, what were we told to do? 1 Peter 3:15 tells us plainly: “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, but with gentleness and respect;One consistent message.

Something to think about.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

19 comments

  1. With the whole world (it seems) focused on other things – and many of us are SO tired of the mainstream narrative – it’s hard to focus on what’s really important, but we HAVE to. If people insist in talking about political leadership, election fraud, etc, we have an opening to share about God’s kingdom, the only one with no corruption, the only one that will be around when Canada, the U.S., and every other nation is dust. If people are scared of a virus or a vaccine, we can remind them that we’re all going to die – probably not today, but we might. And doesn’t it make sense to think about what happens after that, since eternity is so much longer than the here and now …
    (Etc.) People will either start thinking about the gospel, or they’ll stop talking to us. 😉

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    • Couldn’t agree more, but that would be us responding to their focus and us showing them ours. When we lead in with their focus, our primary focus gets put to the wayside, or at least, that is the way I see it. I find it frustrating that we can’t all get together on this but it is what it is. Kinda sad when you stop to think about it. Blessings Annie.

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  2. I agree with you wholeheartedly. Satan has indeed made much progress in these times to weaken our Christian witness, and Christians have been willing participants.

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  3. I am with you on this Papa Bruce; however, you are gonna give yourself a heart attack! Forgive me for the self promotion but my post today is to let people know where I stand on Scripture. Wisdom and discernment are lacking in SO many areas of life. James says if we ask God for wisdom in faith He will give it to us. As I see it this means A. People aren’t praying for wisdom in faith and B. Aren’t obeying what the Lord has instructed them. It’s a mess. Reasoning is gone and feeling is supreme. I personally do not like online conflict; however, many Christians are being willfully and woefully deceived by this world and we are to take a stand against that. I don’t want to join you on the heart attack train or gray hair train (kidding, please don’t be upset) so I will end it here! Love, hugs and blessings to you and Peggy!!!

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    • I’m looking forward to your post Mandy and I’ll try to pace myself so that the old ticker isn’t locked into a nap mode when it should be sprinting! Well, sprinting might be stretching it a bit, but you get the idea. Peg and I had 5 (FIVE) children so I don’t get upset very easily. You should be safe for launching! Blessings!

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      • Thank you for not being upset! So in total humility and love, I am the funniest person I know so I think that my humor comes across better than it does in actuality 😭🤦‍♀️. Anyway, I can’t help but to continue pondering this. God says in Hosea that “My people are destroyed for a lack of
        knowledge” (4:6) now in current culture God’s people are being destroyed not from knowledge but from a lack of wisdom and discernment in processing knowledge/information. I agree with your other responders in that Satan is having a field day with this. Paul says that we are to become all things to all people trying to save others (1 Cor 9:22) however there is a line. It’s one thing to use sport or some kind of hobby as an opening it’s all together different finding common ground in conspiracies. We should be helping people process politics biblically rather than letting politics process our biblical worldview! I appreciate your efforts in drawing the focus to Christ and His Kingdom!

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      • I thought you might be upset/offended about my gray hair comment! My dad has said I made him go bald at my birth (there’s documented proof that was happening before me😁😁😁😁)

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      • Not a problem. I’ll get back to you with a longer response as soon as I get all these pins stuck in this little doll I have that looks just like you! (just kidding!). I have a daughter that shoots zingers at me all the time. She will be able to come up from the basement about this time next year! Blessings!

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  4. Good one, Bruce. In his epistles, the Apostle Paul could have weighed in on the records and abilities of the Roman emperor, governors, and various other authorities. He could have boasted about the superiority of his native Tarsus compared to other cities. But we don’t find that kind of preoccupation with temporal matters in Paul’s writings that contemporary Christians concern themselves about.

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    • Hi Tom, you would think that the absence of that type of contemporary dialogue would be noticed a lot more than it is. One could almost accuse them of having tunnel vision, which could partially explain why the Church grew so rapidly in their time and is diminishing so rapidly in ours. Thanks for commenting Tom, always appreciated. Blessings!

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  5. “keep your opinions to yourself.” I wish you the best with that one on the internet. The entire internet is literally a giant collective of opinions nobody asked for.

    It sounds like you just get worked up on Facebook and then vent on here. I don’t think you want to help these people. Not in the least bit. You want them to think like you or shut up. That’s the impression I get.

    But if I’m wrong (big “if”) I recommend the book Tactics by Greg Koukl, which has great advice on planting seeds of faith without coming at people like a bull in a china shop, or telling them to just STFU. Because part of helping people is listening to their opinions, to best know how to help.

    But I’m tired of both extremes and I really don’t want to be part of a hivemind community, so I wish you the best in your future endeavors.

    And feel free to do with this comment as you wish, since it is my opinion, and you advise to “keep your opinions to yourself.”

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    • It would appear that I struck a cord with you Yari, if you read what I recommended it was about not mixing OUR lead-in Christian message with controversial worldly chatter topics such as conspiracy theories and the like. You and I have exchanged a number of comments on Christian topics and I strongly encourage that. I am NOT talking about what non-christians lead their posts with, I am talking about what WE Christians lead OUR posts with, focusing OUR narrative on Biblical truths versus controversial worldly chatter. My apology if I offended you, that definitely was not my intent. Blessings.

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      • My apology for the late release of your comment Yari. For some reason it got sent to my spam folder and I worked today and did not notice it until after I got home, early in the evening. I released it as soon as I saw it.

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      • The odd thing is that I do agree with the message of your post, I just think that people prone to conspiracies can have bigger underlying problems that we should be compassionate about, and too many Christian blogs have taken to belittling them.

        For instance, the guy that spray paints “flat earth” around the park nearby looks very much like a homeless addict. The conspiracy is the least of his problems, but it IS a symptom of something much worse.

        I guess reading all those blogs culminated in me reading this one and it being the straw that broke the camel’s back. Plus there’s another issue I’ve had with another Christian blog, that to share it would be gossip, but suffice to say that I’m very uncomfortable and will be taking a break from participating in Christian blogs for some time. There’s unbiblical behavior that I want to distance myself from.

        And I apologize because I did blow up on you and I was rude. I still think you’re doing a great job sharing the Word. That really hasn’t changed.

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      • No need to apologize Yari, I’ve been there and have the T Shirt myself. I think you thought I was talking about telling others that I wasn’t interested in what they had to say and basically for them to keep their opinions to themselves. That was not my focus, because quite candidly, that would mean shutting out a vast part of humanity. I was addressing what we as Christians focus on, when we post narratives to others ourselves, wherein we deliberately avoid discussing “controversial” worldly related issues if at all possible, much like the writers of the New Testament did. And I should note, something which I have never seen you do. And considering what we’ve all been through recently, I can sincerely appreciate the need to take a break. Your thoughts are always welcome here Yari, pro or con, that is how we all learn and one of the joys of being a child of God is learning that we do have loving brothers and sisters throughout the world, even beyond our local church. I sincerely hope you enjoy the summer and the well earned break. Love in Christ – Bruce

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