A man by the name of John Stuart Mill, If I remember correctly, stated, "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth a war, is much worse." This he said in defense of taking up arms in a cause which he believed was worth fighting for. This was worldly wisdom from an earthly mind, in the context of what he was supporting. I would like to bring out the fact that He, along with countless others, have admitted that war is indeed an ugly thing: think of all of the blood, innocent parties who suffer in the crossfire and in the explosion of bombs; ugly indeed is all of the hatred, prejudice, and lasting effects that such violence and injustices have had upon the sober minded and tender consciences. However, far uglier in their minds was the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling that nothing was worth war. In light of these thoughts consider the words of Jesus: "My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice" (John 18:36-37). Though we are not to fight in the causes of this world we are however, called to lay down our lives for the cause of Christ.
Though the servants of Christ do not fight earthly battles, there is a battle in which all must participate if all would be His disciples. This is the battle for the truth. Not for Sola Scriptura, not for Biblicism, not for Politically Correctness in the so called churches. This war in which all of His followers are to fight is the age old battle between truth and falsehood, light and darkness, good and evil. I say, in a spiritual sense, that, "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth a war, is much worse." Think of all of the strife and divisions, all of the railing accusations and evil surmising's, all of the judgments based upon assumptions and hearsay, all of the offenses and bitterness, are indeed ugly. Far uglier however, is the decayed and degraded moral and patriotic feeling that the truth, light, and good are not worth fighting for. Far uglier is that fake peace which keeps the covetous, proud, and idolaters worshiping together. Indeed they strive together for unity, but not as Paul commanded. He exhorted men to strive for the unity of the faith. Apparently , God feels the same way. Christ's kingdom is not divided, though many professing to belong to such a kingdom are.
Mat 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
Luke 12:53 The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
John 10:19 There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings.
Acts 14:4 But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles.
Acts 23:7 And when he (Paul) had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.
John 7:43 So there was a division among the people because of him (Jesus).
John 9:16 Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man (Jesus)is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.
I write this as an exhortation to the spiritually minded engaged in the Lord's battle: do not grow weary in well doing, fight the good fight, strive to enter in, and having done all, stand. Compromise is the quickest way to die, and Christians are not given a backplate of cowardice to protect them from retreating. Press into perfection and be what God has called you to be: Holy as He is holy!
"Is Christ divided? (1 Corinthians 1:13)" Certainly not! He is the Truth, the Life, and the Way and those who say that they abide in Him ought even to walk as He walked. (1 John 2:3-6)
"Then Jesus said unto them (His brethren), My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready. The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil." How is that the world got along so well with Jesus' brethren and not with Him? Because Jesus testified that the works of the world were evil. He was vocal and taught against its ways, having called all men to forsake them. This created strife and divisions. He said, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. He openly fought this battle and His disciples followed in His steps, and consequently, suffered similarly for it.
What did John see in his revelation when he heard a voice say, "Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof"? Did he see a lion with large teeth and sharp claws and brute strength when He turned to look upon Him who had prevailed and conquered in this holy nonviolent war, having defeated death and crushed the serpents head? Nay!! Then what did this Lion of the tribe of Judah look like? "In the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain." This Lamb, though meek, lowly, and nonviolent, His truth thundered as a lion's roar in the hearts of men, who turned the world upside down and conquered evil with good. Indeed, His servants fight as He fought, and overcome as He did, with grace and truth, not with guns and bombs. They strove and fought for the truth with patience and forgiveness as they were stoned, crucified, flogged and beheaded. As they went from city to city, country to country, they lived the truth they preached and called men out of the synagogues and places of heathen worship to know and to serve the One True God. This caused division and strife, and if you will be Christ's follower you are enlisting in this only holy war! Be faithful unto death.
To be sure, this holy nonviolent war may be an ugly thing, but NOT the ugliest of things. Far uglier is the present state of moral compromise, and churches filled with spots, blemishes, wrinkles and every such thing. Far uglier is the political reasoning among believers that loves the praises of men more than the praise of God. Indeed, they seek honor one from another rather than the honor which comes from God only. There may be some which speak out as did Nicodemas in John 7, but the other Pharisees are still able to get along with them? Why? Because they do not fight as plainly and unpolitically with the Pharisees as they do with the rest of the world. God is looking for true Israelites in whom is no guile.
Though this only good fight may be ugly at times, far uglier is the polluted, defiled, and unclean thing that has become so called Christendom! Awake to righteousness and sin not! Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead and Christ will give thee light.
Ugly it may be, however, there is beauty in the midst of it. Love does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth. Truth is what sets people free. When we heed the apostles injunction to quit ourselves like men and to stand for the truth, we and other men who are looking for truth, become set free from its power and message. Men are looking for that city set on a hill, therefore, do not set the light (though it may be offensive to darkness and be too bright for some) under a basket; Let your light so shine before men, for indeed men will see the truth and glorify your Father in heaven. For these things, and for many other reasons, this holy war is worth fighting for.
Keep in mind that we are commanded to let our gentleness be known unto all men. It is in the gentle way of Christ, that we can shake the world. Not with harshness, arrogance, highmindedness and pride.
Don't be contentious but earnestly contend for the faith.
For the unity of the spirit to be kept in the bond of peace the Spirit must find a peaceful dwelling place to rest. Conversely, the Spirit will become restless and ultimately quenched if we fail to humble ourselves to wholeheartedly embrace the truth He seeks to guide us into. Many however imagine that they have not quenched the Spirit because they still hold onto the same sound doctrines they've always believed in.
There is no unity in church politics. As politics are used by this world to keep societies together, even so are they used by hypocrites and dissemblers to create fake unity and peace within their churches.
The kingdoms of this present evil world and the kingdom of Christ both desire unity amongst its citizens. However, the unity in each kingdom is created differently. The carnal judge nothing, but the spiritual judge all things. Hence, the conflict between these two kingdoms will always exist. The unity of this world is created through worldliness. The unity of God's kingdom through the holiness of truth.
Peace and mercy be upon the Israel of God.
This battle for the truth of the New Testament began with the Prince of Peace, in the City of Peace (Jerusalem), and from there His disciples fought the only good fight of spreading the Gospel of peace throughout the entire world.
If this post was offensive to you; or if rebuke and correction trouble you, and if you are over-emphasizing mercy and patience, you have been wounded in this battle. Dust yourself off, pick up the cross, and continue to stand for the truth.