Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Posted: January 25, 2012 in Blog
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Why can’t we all just get along? Answering this question is not easy. Then again, answering is very easy. The problem is sin. Particular sins are not fully to blame, though individual and particular sins do contribute to the problem. The futility of fallen humanity becomes the general reason we cannot get along. A world full of sinners will obviously exist in sinful unrest. Thus there is a need for the restoration of what is futile into what is fruitful. Consequently there is the need for Jesus.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God for salvation, it is the power of God for peace and reconciliation, it is the power of God to unify those who are in Him. It is sweet to see brothers dwelling in unity because of man being reconciled to God and thus to one another. All of this is to be for the magnification and glorification of the Christ of God; they will know we are Christians by our love for one another.

Difficulty arises when apparent brothers in Christ cannot love each other, or at least they don’t appear to love one another. One brother correcting another appears loveless and arrogant. One brother accuses the other of judgmentalism appearing unfaithful to the Word of God. Both believe that the other is being a poor witness for Christ. Why can’t we all just get along? Aren’t we supposed to be known for our love for one another? Aren’t we supposed to be peacemakers? Why is there so much division? Why does there need to be sides taken and lines drawn? Why can’t we all just get along? Problems only amplify as social media, and various other venues make mountains out of mole hills, or conversely, make mountains to be mere mole hills.

There are those who claim the high moral ground and seek to be like Jesus in their behavior. Then there are those who claim, presumably the same, high moral ground on the other hill across the way, seeking to be like Christ. One side lobs veiled grenades of judgment while professing to be Christ centered peacemakers. The other side lobs grenades while professing to lob grenades and stand on the truth. (I am quite aware at the absurdity of this dualism, and I am also rather sure that my point is made, even if imprecise). Who is right? Who is exercising gospel fidelity? Frankly at times I’m not sure, especially when the parties involved seem to be faithful servants of God.

Sadly I believe division will continue to be among us, it is not only a trait of religious people, but people in general divide over anything, religion is just another excuse. I have seen families divide over finances, possessions, and politics. Division will cease when our adoption in Christ is finalized and when our bodies are redeemed along with the whole of creation.

1 Corinthians 11:19 gives some hope in this matter while on this side of eternity. The apostle teaches that factions must be among the body of Christ for the purpose of showing who is genuine. Now, this is no excuse for being divisive or factious. And while this might not feel encouraging, the testing of the bride of Christ through division in the church, God’s unimaginable grace is manifest as his children faithfully endure in these trials.

Another aid in times of dissension is to realize that the gospel is essentially divisive. It has become a common assumption for Christians to think that some how we need to make Jesus palatable to everyone at any cost. Truth then is sacrificed on the altar of love and kindness, or to combat any error, love is sacrificed on the alter of truth. Neither option makes any biblical sense.

Jesus teaches in Matthew 10:34 that he came not for peace but to bring a sword. In other words, the truth of the gospel will divide followers of Christ from those who are not. Again, no cause for divisive behavior should be justified through passages like this, however assent must be given to the fact that the gospel will divide. While the gospel might divide, believers are not absolved of being peace makers. In Matthew 5:9 Jesus teaches that blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called sons of God.

This may appear like a fundamentalist approach, because that is what it is. This is a blog post and not a complete systematic theology. However, my simple point is that gospel wisdom grounded in the fundamentals of biblical fidelity are needed for our current milieu to grasp that these disagreements are necessary to demonstrate who is genuine in Christ.

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