Saturday, January 01, 2011

Why Do Christians Fight

I had quite a few readers who answered this question by writing me. It has been a good discussion and I am grateful that they focused mainly on the sin of PRIDE. In fact, several proposed that the major sin issue is pride and it leads to other deceitful tendencies in our humanity.

Here is some of the passages about pride from the Bible.

II Kings 19:20 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I have heard your prayer concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria. 21 This is the word that the LORD has spoken against him:

22Whom have you mocked and reviled and insulted and blasphemed? Against Whom have you raised your voice and haughtily lifted your eyes? Against the Holy One of Israel! 23By your messengers you have mocked, reproached, insulted, and defied the Lord, and have said, With my many chariots I have gone up to the heights of the mountains, to the far recesses of Lebanon. I cut down its tall cedar trees and its choicest cypress trees. I entered its most distant retreat, its densest forest. 24I dug wells and drank foreign waters, and with the sole of my feet have I dried up all [the defense and] the streams of Egypt.

25[But, says the God of Israel] Have you not heard how I ordained long ago what now I have brought to pass? I planned it in olden times, that you [king of Assyria] should [be My instrument to] lay waste fortified cities, making them ruinous heaps. 26That is why their inhabitants had little power, they were dismayed and confounded; they were like plants of the field, the green herb, the grass on the housetops, blasted before it is grown up 27But [O Sennacherib] I [the Lord] know your sitting down, your going out, your coming in, and your raging against Me.

II Chronicles 26:16 But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God, and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense. 17 Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the LORD followed him in. 18 They confronted King Uzziah and said, “It is not right for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD. That is for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful; and you will not be honored by the LORD God.”

In each of these instances we see that pride is the core problem that then lead to other problems.The Lord says to King Hezekiah ... you have mocked, reproached, insulted, and defied the Lord..." as if to make sure the readers understand that the garden variety of pride is not the focus here. Instead it is the fact that the pride is disrespectful of God not just other people.

Then King Uzziah got power and forgot to humble himself before the Lord. Not only that, his pride led him to try to offer a sacrifice in the temple; an act that was restricted to priests only.

Both kings acted as though God was not involved in the affairs of state. They were wrong. They failed to be contrite toward God and His power, authority and activities. They blasphemed against God and that is serious business.

So pride is an attitude of narcissism and of acting like I can do anything. Have you ever done something that was rebellious toward God or your parents or an authority because you thought you were too big to fail? I have. I became "Too full of myself" and made foolish mistakes and suffered from them.

Is pride the core weakness in humanity that leads to all of the other sins. I don't think so. It was the great sin of Adam and Eve. It was the great sin of Satan that led to his being kicked out of heaven. It is a basic weakness of humanity. But, ....? What say you?

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