This week's question we covered at WNW was "What does the Bible say about war/conflict/arguing? We began the night with a worship set that was all David Crowder Songs as most of us are Crowder fans, and the fact that it was my wife's birthday and I knew she would enjoy it. The song list included "Here Is Our King", "Oh Happiness", "O Praise Him", and "SMS-Shine". After that we dove into the question, but I broke it into two sections: the first being "War" and the second "Conflict and Arguing".
When talking about war people said that the world is either for or against it. Some said that the media either makes it glorious or does not give the full picture. When we looked at what the Bible says, the first thing is that because there is sin in the world, war is inevitable- Romans 3:10. Since the moment sin entered into the world when Adam and Eve ate the fruit and disobeyed God, war became one of the repercussions of sin. While war is not great, it is sometimes necessary as we read in Ecclesiastes 3:8. God even ordered the Israelites to go at war with other nations at times- 1 Samuel 5:3. The Bible is clear that there will be war prior to Jesus' return (Matthew 24:6-8), the tribulation period will have wars (Revelation 6), and Jesus' second coming will be violent as He conquers evil (Revelation 19:11-21). As Christians we should never desire war, but we should also never oppose the government that God has placed in authority- Romans 13:1. One thing that some people who oppose the Bible will argue is that why would God allow war and even command it at times when one of the Ten Commandments reads "You shall not kill/murder"- Exodus 20:13? This commandment literally means intentional premeditated killing of another person with malice. This does not apply to war.
The second part of the message dealt with conflict and arguing. The students shared that the world views conflict and arguing as a way of life. We especially see that in regards to teenagers and their conflicts and arguing they do with their parents, siblings, and classmates. If you watch television much today it shows this as a normal way of life, which could not be farther from the truth. As we looked at what the Bible says, as with war, conflicts and arguments are a result of sin in the world. As I studied Scripture on this topic, two main sources and themes of conflict and arguments arose.
-Source of Conflict #1- The Tongue
James 3:5-12 teaches us the dangers of the tongue. The tongue is a fire that can spread quickly. We see this all the time as the words people use spread rapidly through gossip and through the world of social media. As it spreads it cause complete damage to those it consumes. Our words are dangerous and can have an everlasting affect on people. Ephesians 4:29 tells us to build each other up with our words instead of tearing people down. Often the words people use are aimed to tear someone down in order to build themselves up. This is completely against what God's Word commands us to do.
-Source of Conflict #2- Spiritual Immaturity
In 1 Corinthians 3:1-4 Paul is addressing the church at Corinth on one of the conflicts that was taking place. The source of this conflict and disagreement was the fact that they were spiritually immature. They were not growing in their faith. When we sit comfortably and decide to not grow in our relationship with Jesus, then we become a source of conflict in the midst of our selfishness and the inability to hold our tongue. If you are a person who is involved in a lot of conflict and arguing, then it is a good indicator that you are spiritually immature and need to mature in Jesus Christ.
As we closed the night I really challenged the students to understand the weight of their words. We will have to give an account before God on every word we speak- Matthew 12:36. It burdens me to see people tear others down with words. I breaks my heart for those who are beat down by people are simply cruel. My prayer for the students is that they would recognize how important this subject is and would seek to glorify God with every word that comes out of their mouths. I also challenged the students to understand that in any conflict that we may endure, vengeance is God's and we are to love those who oppose us- Romans 12:19-21. This is a very tough lesson, but as we mature spiritually is one that God grants us grace on.