I’ve always liked this quote:
“This is a war universe. War all the time. That is its nature. There may be other universes based on all sorts of other principles, but ours seems to be based on war and games.”
~Burroughs, William S.
It’s not from the Bible, so I don’t base my life on it or anything, but it has always made me think.
Working Through Conflict
I’ve recently read a couple of interesting articles by Mark Driscoll.
But I thought I’d write out some quotes from those articles which I found interesting and helpful here…
(Just for the record, I’m not writing this blog to address anything that is happening within the organization of people I work with or under–these are just items of interest that I find to be helpful in dealing with all the general conflict I see around me everyday.)
Unlike institutions where control is maintained from a distance, influence within movements happens through relationships. Unlike institutions where relationships are closed to those you agree with, movements are open relationally. During movements, we will at times be placed in contact with those outside of our comfort zone, or those with whom we would normally not associate with. This is a good thing.
My desire is to build relationships with various people and tribes outside of my normal range as a way of influencing the movement relationally. Though differences will arise and friction created, my desire is to relate publicly and to confront privately as others have done for me.
I believe we’re sitting at the edge of a precipice. God is moving in ways I believe history will look back on as the beginnings of a new movement in the church. The flows of this movement have and will continue to run over the banks of our current relational boundaries and influence all of the church around the world, not just our own local gathering.
…we have to decide if we want to make a difference or a make a point.
If we want to make a point, we don’t need to pursue, know, or love someone. We can simply sit back, create a caricature of them, and shoot them. If we want to make a difference, we have to pursue them, get to know them, understand them, love them, and serve them.
Making a point is easy. Making a point will get you a rabid online fan base that loves it when there’s someone else’s blood in the water.
Making a difference is hard. Making a difference will get you attacked by that rabid online fan base that loves it when your blood is in the water.
But in the end, it’s not about us. It’s about Jesus. And I’d rather make a difference for Jesus than make a point about him. How about you?
I appreciate godly friends who don’t want to defeat me publicly but rather help me privately.
People like this are a gift. I want to grow in becoming a person like that, and though I’ve got a long way to go, I want to not get more angry, narrow, hardened and tribal as I get older but rather grow in grace. I don’t want to be a lonely old man shooting everyone who does not fit on my island.
My theology is a home and not a prison.
My theological convictions are deep. But I also want my convictions to love people, serve people, and desire the best for people to grow to be as deeply passionate as what I believe. So, I like to visit other churches, denominations, and tribes. I like to see how things work at their house and what we could do better at our house.
I want to be helpful.
I don’t want to be controlled, and I don’t want to control people. I prefer to be influential by giving things away for people to wrestle with on their own.
Fear of man is deadly.
Proverbs 29:25 says that fear of man is a trap or a snare, depending upon your translation. Fear of man causes us to live for the approval of our tribe and to fear criticism or ostracism from our tribe. Fear of man is a form of idolatry—living to please someone other than Jesus Christ. One day I will die and give an account and it won’t be to a mirror or a blogger.
Winning people is better than winning arguments.
Winning arguments is fun. Winning people to Jesus is more fun.
My main aim is not to win arguments with my critics, but win people to my Christ.
I love people I don’t agree with.
Some of them I even like. Some people who agree with me aren’t much fun to hang with, if I’m honest. So, sometimes I will spend time with people I love, like, and enjoy—even if we don’t agree. I’m no Jesus, but he lived that way, and religious types lost their mind seeing him hang out with the wrong people. The truth is, we’re all the wrong people, and I’m sure glad Jesus is willing to hang out with me, as I’m sure I drive him nuts much of the time.
The Holy Spirit is not done with me.
And the Holy Spirit is not done with you. The Holy Spirit is not done with others.
So lets be peacemakers and advance for the Kingdom…