Belligerence or Love?

Every Christian should have a burning desire to zealously share and teach biblical truth. It is possible, however, that this zeal may cause us to remove our focus from the real enemy and to place barriers between us and other Christians. While preaching and teaching biblical truth are important, we must also nurture and protect our relationships with each other. According to our Lord’s prayer, only when Christians show that they are “one” (united) can we be effective in sharing our Lord’s gospel with the world. (John 17:20 & 21).
 One key issue facing our Lord’s disciples is this: Does “love” or “belligerence” come closest to describing relations between Christian and Christian, preacher and preacher, congregation and congregation?
The word “belligerent” means hostile or warlike in attitude or intent. It connotes the idea of being opposed to somebody or in this context using words and attitudes to fight against someone.
When Christians (in spite of our differences) began to reject and judge and condemn one another, we do not represent the church for which Jesus died. Strife, bitterness, and division result when Christians are belligerent toward each other.
Unfortunately, some Christians and congregations have become comfortable with “declaring war” on those whose biblical  emphasis or styles of preaching or patterns of worship may be different from theirs. Such belligerent attitudes are more of a hindrance than a help to sharing the principals of Jesus.
If our Lord’s death can heal the breach between a righteous God and sinful people, certainly it should be able to heal any conflict among Christians.

God, Give us men! A time like this demands
Strong men, great hearts,    
rue faith and ready hands;  
men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men who possess opinions and a will; 
Men who have honor; men who will not lie;
-------------------------------Josiah G. Holland
Men whose hands will do HIS work today
Men whose tongues will share HIS story
Men whose footsteps for HIM will be followed by others
Men whose Christian examples for HIM are too strong to ignore
Men whose family attitudes will gain HIS approval
Men whose service for HIM will encourage people to serve
Men whose faithfulness to HIS Church will motivate believers to love and good deeds
Men who will “Let your good deeds shine for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father” (Matthew 5:16)
Dr. Taylor A. McKenzie