A civil war is taking place within the Church. Instead of firing bullets we are firing personal opinion at opposing ideas. Leading up to this conflict, something unique has taken place. The opinion of those within the Church is now as varied as those outside. No longer is there a lock-step interpretation of the facts within the community of faith. Everyone is loaded with an opinion. Our weapon of choice is social media. When an opposing head of opinion pops up on the horizon some see it as their duty to fire off a round of displeasure and dismissal.
This conflict is exposing the breadth of our diversity. On one end, we have over-zealous patriots whose allegiance to our nation trumps matters of faith or at least give it an equal footing. On the other end, we have people who have discarded any expression of national pride as not having spiritual substance. Some are more worried and more vocal about who drops a knee at a sporting event than who will drop the next nuclear bomb on planet Earth. On social media and in the foaming anger of our favorite news feed are people dedicated to packaging and delivering into our homes every neurotic version of reality fed to us from the abundant buffet of our personal demographic.
In a civil war no one really “wins”. We all lose something in the battle. A significant casualty in this civil war is the loss of civility. Sometimes a civil war will take place to dismantle the weakness of our shared status quo to allow us to emerge from the ashes of conflict to reconstruct our civility into a new and better version of our selves. I hope so.
The only way this civil war can be averted is to change the target. Firing at opinions will have no real effect. We must fire at hearts. The only round powerful enough to bring lasting change to that sacred space was fired by Jesus. His ammunition was aimed at the highest good of those who opposed his way of thinking. Paul was shot by one of these rounds on the road to Damascus. So was Nicodemus, the woman at the well and the 12 men who followed Jesus through a culture equally at war with each other 2,000 years ago as we seem to be today. In all civil strife, a resurrection that takes us higher than our narrowly informed personal opinion is our only hope. That is the target we should be aiming for.