Reading 2 Samuel this morning I was struck by the first few words of Chapter 3 ...
"There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David." - 2 Samuel 3:1a ESV
Oh the divisions and wars we create against our brothers and sisters when we follow man and not God. I feel like we are just growing further apart in our social and political "civil wars".
We keep turning to our next savior with a human heart rather than to God.
After further reflection, I was struck by the frequent question (or comment) I hear from those outside our faith (or any faith for that matter) that a topic like this seems to bring up:
Religion [or often said to me as Christianity] is to blame for all these wars anyway ...
To be clear, the wars over the years blamed "by religion" are not biblical Christianity.
Yes, God was building a nation - and it was no surprise that some opposed that. Yes, there were times He commanded them to fight and battle - some to unsettling ends - though often against societies that performed horrific actions (i.e. sacrificing their babies and burning them alive for personal gain).
However, casual war and crusades twisted into forcing a belief system not by choice on others are not God's idea; that was man's. Even some of the battles described in the bible were never God ordained, and are there to show us examples of what happens when men follow men and not God.
Make no mistake, a dividing line in the sand has been drawn by Christ ... but not a dividing line with guns and signs and angry mobs ... a dividing line with respect to our hearts - choice - submission.
Yes, Biblical Christianity comes with a Truth that many do not like - but "liking" what Christianity stands for is your call. Just do not mistake God's message of a hard Truth with how man can represent that at times in wrongful ways ... it was, is, and always will be wrapped in Love, Grace, Peace, and Forgiveness - not malice, hatred, violence, or even apathy.
I don't expect to unpack in a few paragraphs what actual study and loving conversations over a cup of coffee can bring. I know there are other questions, and I'm not naive enough to think that I just answered even one. Though it would also be naive to base the character of God on man ... and not God ... !
So if we need blame, it's man's actions, not God's - but none of that changes who God is and what message He brings. The Scriptures reveal that, the Holy Spirit reveals that to believers, and even Jesus Christ Himself revealed that when He came ...
So what do I take away from this?
#LoveWins ... Truth wrapped in Love is my call ... not pride wrapped in arguments ...
Prayer Requests: I have health goals (both physical and Spiritual) - pray that I can just take one choice at a time and choose well, and by so honor Him.
Praise: Thankful for a beautiful dance weekend! The show was wonderful, seeds were planted, and I continue to love the arts!