Why Do We Fight?

“And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”……And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest.” (Luke 22:19,24)

I really appreciate Dickson’s sermon On “Greatness In The Kingdom Of God” yesterday because the timing was great. The news of the week was that James Dobson, director of Focus of Family, is leading a group to ask for the resignation of Richard Cizik, the VP of National Association of Evangelicals. The reason? Because Cizik is trying to help lead the cause against global warming, and Dobson thinks its somehow inappropriate to do something like that (reference article).

What Dickson shared was really to the point. Jesus’ Last Supper was supposed to be an important time when the disciples finally get a real lesson about the reality of Christ’s sacrifice for the sins of the world. There’s no moment holier than that. Yet, just a few moments later, in Luke 22:24, we find the disciples disputing among themselves to disputing about who’s the greatest. How does that happen?

Apparently, Dobson and Cizik had been disputing for a long time, at least the last a few years (reference article). Dobson is more concerned about fighting issues like abortion, homosexual marriages, etc., basically issues that affect the integrity of the family. Cizik is more concerned about issues like global warming, poverty, etc., issues that is dubbed “creation care.” Slowly, over the years, other evangelicals have been lining up behind them. From a two-people dispute, this has grown into a huge issue that is discourgaing to fellow Christians (reference article), not to mention that this is inviting the jest and jeers of non-Christians (reference article).

Despite all scientific research confirming the reality of global warming, some evangelicals such as Dobson and Falwell do not believe that there is such a thing as global warming. Even so, one has to agree that caring for the environment and the world’s poor is definitely a worthwhile cause. Why can’t two different groups focus on two different priorities? Why can’t each group do what they do best to help the world? I already had a low opinion of Dobson, but I’m further saddened that Dobson has to resort to such tactics as to ouster someone who simply has a different priority than his even though he’s also trying to help others and show Christian love.

I guess it further shows we are fallible humans. We need sometimes look no further than our own church community to find people having heated disagreements about things that are simply different priorities, different methodologies, different personalities, different tendencies, that are really not worth fighting about. When we have different opinions, we still can co-exist and agree to disagree with our different approaches. A perfect example is Paul and Barnabas who disagree amicably and went their separate ways into their own ministries (Acts 15:36-41), and that’s fine. But the Dobson vs. Cizik was ugly and was dragged out to the public arena.

What brings all this home is when I read Sun’s blog about him witnessing to his dad, and his dad’s main issue with Christians is that Christians fight among themselves, and if God is real, He would not allow this to happen. Sometimes I wonder, Jesus saw his disciples fighting among themselves, why He didn’t do more to stop them. But I understand, even those 12 apostles who are with Jesus every day, show that they’re human, we could claim no better. It really makes me realize the level of depravity of our human sinfulness.

And one more thing: I really appreciate the gospel writers for including these things in the Bible. They could have omitted those things. But they include their own sinfulness in the gospel accounts to tell us that they’re sinful beings in need of God.

Related entries:
Lessons Form Jesus Camp

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3 thoughts on “Why Do We Fight?

  1. you know what… I completely agree with that. It just saddens me many people in this world who doesn’t recognize the fact that different people have different thinkings and priorities, and insist on being hostile toward those people who think differently by saying they are “wrong” and themselves “right”, regardless of what the scriptures said.

  2. Differences is not a bad thing, but one should learn to agree to disagree. In the case I mentioned, Dobson and Cizik had been brewing resentments for a long time. At some point, it’s better for them to just realize they need to turn away from each other and do their separate ministries, which is okay. What’s bad is that they keep locking horns (and it’s mostly Dobson’s fault, as far as I understand) and Dobson is meddling in Cizik’s affairs by calling for his head publicly.

    It’s ok to be different. Acts 15:36-41 is a perfect example where, if two parties are in disagreement, they can amicably separate with no hard feelings. So it’s fine, and possibly, to do it gracefully.

  3. yes… I’ve been reminded of the story of Paul, Barnabas, and Mark a few times before. I think even though it’s always God’s will for b/s to settle differences and unite, not having seperations anytime any disputes occur; it’s totally acceptable to go seperate ways under good terms while acknowledging each other’s differences, while not resorting to “tactics” to “ouster” the other to prove oneself more right/superior. It’s amazing someone who’s supposingly to be as “spiritually mature” as Dobsen and Cizik would allow things like this to happen. You’re right, we are all fallible humans, it’s easy to let our “personal” as well as our “spiritual pride” take over. All they really needed to do is take a step back, acknowledging they are fellow brothers in Christ trying to glorify the same God, try to think in each other’s shoes, admit mistakes when needed instead of always finger pointing… and if all things failed, peacefully seperate as a last resort. I doubt they tried that, or they tried hard enough, or maybe just Cizik tried… Either way, yeah it’s turning out to be a sad story and a bad testimony

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