Thursday, October 22, 2009

Faithfulness and conflict

In a recent blog post, Will Willimon reflects on real churches and conflict:
During a recent discussion with a conflicted congregation one of the leaders said, “If this were a truly Christian church, we wouldn’t be having these problems.” The assumption was that the congregation’s crisis was due to a failure to be real Christians.

Sometimes that’s the case. But not always. Sometimes we find ourselves in a painful, conflicted and difficult mess not because we’re not faithful to Jesus but because we are following Jesus!

In Judges 6, amid all sorts of defeats and struggles related to the conquest of Canaan, an angel appears and tells the Israelites that God is with them. Gideon impudently asks the angel, in effect, “If the Lord is really with us, why are we in this mess?” The implication is that, if the Lord were really behind us, we wouldn’t be failing.

But when the Lord promised to give Hebrews land, the Lord did not promise it would be easy. When Jesus promised us salvation he did not promise it would be painless.
Amen. I recommend Dr. Willimon's whole article.


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