Should Christians live in Conflict with One Another?

In today’s sermon from 1 Samuel 18 & 19, Saul is in conflict with David and is not interested in restoration.  Is this proper behavior for a Christian?  The simple answer this question is no.  Christians should never live in conflict or anger with other Christians.  I want to call us as a church to never be OK with slander, gossip, and division.  This reality is so clear in the pages of the Bible.  Jesus tells us that if we are angry with another Christian, we are liable to judgment, and if we speak ill of our brother, we are liable to the hell of fire (Matt. 5:21-22).  Jesus applies that to us by commanding us to always seek restoration with our brother if he or she has something against us (Matt. 5:23-26).

Later in Matthew, we also read Jesus commanding us to go to our brother if they sin against us with the goal of restoration (Matt. 18:15-20).  If we decide to gossip about someone or tell other people what sin they committed rather than going to them in love for the sake of restoration, we are rejecting the words of Jesus and living in rebellion against God.  James commands Christians to not speak against one another, because if we sit in judgment against our brother we are not doing the law. We read in Proverbs 10:18, “He who conceals hatred has lying lips, and he who spreads slander is a fool.” A mark of a true Christians is not anger and conflict but love, encouragement, and compassion.  Slander, gossip, and anger are marks of unbelievers, but we must put these things to death since these sins are placed in the Bible to describe haters of God (Rom. 1:29-31).  To read more on conflict with Christians as well as slander and gossip read 2 Cor. 12:20, Eph. 4:31, Col. 3:8, 1 Pet. 2:1ff, Lev. 19:16, Titus 3:1-2, Matt. 5:11 below.

 

2 Corinthians 12:20 (ESV) — 20 For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder.

Ephesians 4:31 (ESV) — 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

Colossians 3:8 (ESV) — 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.

1 Peter 2:1–3 (ESV) — 1 So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Leviticus 19:16 (ESV) — 16 You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord.

Titus 3:1–2 (ESV) — 1 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.

Matthew 5:11 (ESV) — 11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

 

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Sermon: 1 Samuel 21:1-6 Bread From Heaven

  1. David embodies the people of God.
  1. David acts as a priest-king.
  1. David is above the Torah.
  1. David is despised and rejected.

Application: Even in Exile (difficulty) there is hope and provision for us as God’s people.

How do I Form a Christian Worldview?

It has been established over the last two blogs (What is a Worldview? and What is a Christian Worldview?) that worldview is a central aspect of life and having a Christian (biblical) worldview should be the Christian’s priority.  Therefore, here I address several ways for Christians to form a Christian worldview.

  1. Pray for the Spirit’s transformation. Many of our wrong beliefs and perspectives are rooted in our sinful flesh and therefore a miracle of God’s spirit is needed to bring purity.  Furthermore, all of the steps in this article will be futile without the Power of God’s spirit. (John 6:63)
  2. Read and study God’s Word. The best way to form a biblical worldview is to read and study your Bible until it falls apart, and then buy another Bible and read it, repeating the process until Jesus comes back.  It is vital though that we read and study the scriptures properly. It can be easy for us to wrongly read and preach the scriptures as if it is a book of inspirational points, each verse beginning a new quote.  Even more horrendous is the tendency and temptation that we naturally have to interpret scriptures based on our preconceived opinions.  The scriptures are rather to be read and interpreted as the authors intended.  Our goal when we read a book of the Bible is to ask the question, what is the author’s intention, or what is the author trying to teach us.  Only after we do this can we apply the text to our life and worldview.  (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
  3. Re-Examine all of Your Beliefs Next to the Bible. We all have assumptions about life, opinions about politics, and beliefs about ethics.  The challenge with this is that every person on the earth begins life with a sinful heart, a fallen mind, and a disposition towards error and rebellion against the Christian worldview.   The first part of our life is spent forming an unbiblical worldview so that when we are regenerated by the spirit of God, much worldview change needs to take place.  Therefore, as Christians, we must take everything that we once believed about life, and examine it next to what God says. Many of the things we think are common sense are wrong and need correction.  We do not place ourselves above the Scriptures by searching it in order to prove our worldview right, we rather place ourselves under the Scriptures, in humility asking God to give us a correct way of thinking about the world.
  4. Re-examine worldview intake- Practically everything we do influences our worldview. Every word you hear, experience you have, and sight you see shapes and informs your worldview.  With this reality in mind, we must examine the voices we are listening to in our life.  For example, a Christian who watches a certain news or radio station more than he reads the Bible will have a worldview based more on that station rather than the word of God.  For example, a Christian who reads books or watches shows on paranormal activity may begin to have a wrong view on the dead and the spiritual realm.  A Christian who allows himself to be overly influenced by unbelievers will begin to form an unbiblical worldview.  We should always be in contact with non-Christian perspectives, we just need to be wary of their negative influence on our life and counter those beliefs with daily Bible reading.  (Psalm 26:4-5, Romans 16:17, 1 Corinthians 15:33)
  5. Commit to and become part of a healthy local church. A Christian worldview will never be formed in isolation.  The majority of the NT consists of letters to churches, intended to transform the community Jesus redeemed with his blood.  If a Christian is not part of and living life with a community of believers, there will be a decline in Christian maturity and worldview formation (1 Corinthians 5:6, Hebrews 10:24-31, Proverbs 13:20).  This Jesus loving community, especially if it consists of people from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and ages, will include some disagreement, yet will be a healthy ground for the formation of a Christian worldview.

Many things can be assumed to be true, correct, and good in Christian circles that have no biblical basis.  It is our job as Christians to reexamine and put off much of our old worldview and replace it with the truth of God’s world.  Only when a Christian has a truly Biblical worldview, will he begin to be a truly prophetic voice in this world of confusion.

Can you think of more ways we can form a Christian worldview?  Share them below in the comments.

 

What is a Christian Worldview?

If you have not read the previous article, What is a Worldview? click here.

Now that you understand what a worldview is, I will now move on to answer the question, what is a Christian worldview.  A Christian worldview is a perspective on the world that is based on the Bible and is the only worldview that will generate a correct understanding of the world.  Someone who has a Christian worldview will examine everything in life in light of what God has revealed in His Word.   The vast majority of people, including many professing Christians, do not have a Christian worldview and therefore examine life through a faulty lens, resulting in wrong beliefs and wrong conclusions.   The preeminence of a biblical worldview comes down to the nature of the Bible itself.  The Scriptures are God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16 2 Peter 1:21), inerrant (Psalms 12:6, 119:89, Proverbs 30:5-6), sufficient (1 Timothy 3:17, 2 Peter 1:3-4) and therefore a worldview that is based on the Bible will also have the same nature.   We must admit though that no matter how hard we try, our worldview will not be perfectly based on the Bible.  Until Jesus comes back there will always be things that we wrongly believe.  But even with this truth, it should be a major goal in our life to put aside unbiblical ideas and form a worldview that is distinctly Christian and therefore true.

The next article will be a practical application on how to form a Christian worldview.  You can read it here. Be sure to follow this blog on the left to get notified about new content.

 

 

 

What is a Worldview?

A worldview is a paradigm which influences the way one looks at the world.  Your worldview is the philosophy of life that you use to interpret everything.  You may respond by saying “I do not have a worldview” to which you would be wrong.  We all have a worldview which naturally flows from our life experiences and influences.  Understanding the existence of different worldviews explains life in a brand new way.  Differing worldviews explain divisions, disagreements, and the existence of different political and social groups of people.

With this in mind, the big question that needs to be asked at this point is this: Are all worldviews equally valid? Is one way of looking at the world better than another?  The answer is yes.  In a post-modern world where everyone’s beliefs are expected to be welcomed as true, Christians must affirm the existence of truth and the existence of a correct worldview and faulty worldviews.  As I will be arguing next week, the only truly inerrant worldview is a Christian worldview (a biblical view of the world).   When we examine the world from any other perspective, our vision will be flawed and our conclusions will be wrong.  So in conclusion, I would ask you to evaluate your worldview.  How do you look at the world?  What is your worldview based upon?  What has formed your worldview?

Be sure to follow us on the right if you have not already so that you can receive updates when we post articles and teaching.  Next week we will answer the question, What is a Christian Worldview?