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Sunday Sermon. Welcome to the Battlefield.

Updated on January 12, 2014

A Church built upon a pyramid is symbolic of conflict.

And the active volcano in the background is symbolic of the violence of nature that brings change.
And the active volcano in the background is symbolic of the violence of nature that brings change. | Source

Let us start out with a prayer.

Thank you

Probably one of the shortest prayers ever. Probably one of the most important. However we view life we should be thankful to be a part thereof. Each day there is some reason to give thanks without limit. We could add to the prayer, persons, places and things that we a thankful for and we could direct it to something that we are thanking. But let us just leave it be.

Battlefields

Let us direct out thoughts to Jesus. We can leave his deity/divine status for another occasion. For most of us recognize that Jesus walked the earth and is not some great conspiracy theory.

And for now let us not even look to his message. Let us search our minds of the history that we understand and ask our selves, where did Jesus keep returning to? Well we know he liked mountain tops and seashores. And we know he liked to retreat into quiet places. And we should know that these are very important to the other place he continued to return to time and time again.

For me, I find refuge in any kind of "house of worship" and that includes very much so the great nature of our earth. Personally I like synagogues, and temples and churches and mosques and even Kivas. I like to drop in on the cool little places in airports and hospitals that are set aside for all kinds of religions. I find peace in these places and have never felt like I could not worship my God in any of them.

But our friend Jesus did not go to the synagogues for this purpose. He went there to do Battle.

Should we deny conflict at the cost of truth?

Hardened legalistic hearts

Yes Jesus prayed there and yes He taught there. But mainly what He did there was challenge the hardened hearts of the religious leaders of the day. He challenged their near caste system and He challenged the notion of putting a law above love.

He healed on the Sabbath in one such place and He attacked with vengeance the money changers outside another. He withstood being questioned by those who could have him killed for wrong answers and He spoke with authority that they had never seen before.

He corrected their application of scripture and He answered their hypotheticals meant to trap with direct and revolutionary fervor.

And ultimately He forgave sins in such places which lead to the only possible claim they could make against Him in order to crucify Him.

Do you mock those that go to war in the fields of the soul?

Does conflict make you sick not matter the cause?

See results

Why did a man who preached love and tolerance do this?

We see men and women nowadays that lead wonderful peaceful lives of loving and caring go to battle in such places. Almost like a moth drawn to a flame. Why did Jesus who was the epitome of love do such a thing.

There is no nutshell answer. But we can learn from such conduct.

Please do not confuse this with the physically violent acts of war. Please do not confuse with the missionary types that go door to door or overseas to do battle with the materialism and lack of faith.

This is the intentional act of engaging those who despise you for what you are. It is not for the faint of heart and it is most assuredly not for a young disciple with little experience. It is not restricted to a given religion or faith. And it is not just about belief or faith. It is about stemming the tide against spiritualism and a way of life that is not strictly empiricism and hedonism. The battles often seem innocuous and inconsequential and filled with rancor and personal attacks. Well I have to tell you that it is personal and should be. That should be a major point in fact. And the little seemingly unimportant skirmishes are designed to prevent major conflagration and conflict without resolution.

It is in these small one on one fights to the finish that understanding is gained. Communication established and open lines of familiarity and same language are founded.

We so often go about our business and live and let live that what we are actually doing is creating barriers between ourselves, because in our day to day we never get to the heart of the matter of what really matters.

Is there peace in this church or a commitment to truth?

Even without man there is conflict in nature.
Even without man there is conflict in nature. | Source

Let us learn to go where we are needed not just where we are wanted.

I cannot stand on a street corner and convert people to my faith. I just cannot get the hang of quoting some type of scripture and proclaiming that my interpretation is right and yours would be blasphemy if different. God did not give me such gifts. But since I can remember and before I understood I went to battle for my beliefs. A couple of times I have asked that this mantle be taken from me as I just love my love and peace.

So if, for you this is not a calling, then so be it. I would merely suggest that not everybody is meant to play soccer, in fact most are not. But everybody can be a soccer fan. And we can all take away from that field of battle some important lessons of the human condition and our relationship to our God.

I read some of that old testament stuff, the mayhem is horrendous. The waste of vengeance is palpable and shocking. But I take away from that certain helpful truths and understanding. So how much is it to ask that people nowadays do not just shun those that confront and criticize how the battle is fought but pay attention and learn from these confrontations that here are words yet in Somalia or the Sudan are lives at stake.

Let us hash out these differences here and hope that a greater understanding arises that may someday prevent those who would use faith in vane as a call to violence.

Start a new page in your life.

What we need to focus on is discerning what is worth the battle.
What we need to focus on is discerning what is worth the battle. | Source

We must all strive to understand conflict

© 2014 Eric Dierker

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    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Denise I served on a door to door missionary group once. It was awesome. We all talk bad about them bible thumpers knocking on our door but I had a great time and still maintain some relationships in Christ started there. What can I say, ten doors and only one wants to talk and you can make that difference in love in their life. --- I love you!

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      I recently accepted a call to serve as a missionary for our local congregation. I go with the full-time missionaries to visit people. As I have done so, I have been reminded repeatedly that the battle for the souls of man is raging all around us. We do not have to go to foreign places to be involved, we only need look around in our own back yards. The hearts of men are torn, wounded, and bleeding from the buffetings they experience as they search for truth and try to do right. The casualties are many, and there is a sore need for workers to help the wounded. We need not wait for a formal invitation to serve!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks much Eddy, see you in a bit.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      A wonderful hub Eric and voted up for sure. Enjoy your day.

      Eddy.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      If I had a nickel for every time I told the demon to get out of my head I would be a gazillionaire. I sure am glad that you and I are on this walk together.

    • cleaner3 profile image

      cleaner3 3 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

      I battle my demons every day in my own mind.. I do not need help from no other than the faith I have in my heart.. thank you for reinforcing my beliefs.. AMEN brother, Amen.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Dora, and as do you.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      You're right, Eric, about the courage it takes to go on the battlefield. If we fight the good fight, we may still experience and share the love, peace and unity which you promote so well.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Some are blessed to just stand for good as you are my friend. Sleep well knowing that you bring steadfastness to those of us who are weak.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Jodah you may have fear but appear fearless and this gives great hope to us that are afraid of the next day and even this day. You stand like the great oak and we are lucky to find shelter in your branches and trunk.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Sister WanNess, yes I now call you sister, for you put up with my nonsense and seem to love me with my faults. A beacon is what you are and I shall look for it in my next soon travels through Chino Valley.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      The greatest hypocrisy of them all...a holy war! We all must do our part to end this insanity; change begins with each of us. Well done my friend.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Great hub Eric, Yes we have to be willing to take the battlefield to stand up for our beliefs and what we think is right, as long as it's done with love. It doesn't matter what our religion, Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, atheist even. As VVanNess says, "life is a battlefield".

    • VVanNess profile image

      Victoria Van Ness 3 years ago from Prescott Valley

      Beautiful article! I believe we are always involved in a battle. Whether you are battling to keep your values, stand up for what you believe in or defend the ones you love, life is a battlefield.

      And if I could get into the spiritual battle I feel we are all fighting everyday, we would really feel like daily warriors in life, needing armor and all to protect ourselves.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Brian it has been my pleasure to learn about you and from you. Thank you.

    • Brian Prickril profile image

      Brian Prickril 3 years ago from Savannah, GA

      I keep an open mind and an open heart. I am always willing to listen because I don't try to pretend that I know everything. I have my faith and my beliefs and most of them have grown from the teachings of others.