Blessed are the Peacemakers

by Joe Johns
A few years ago, a word hit my ears and stuck with me.

Disputatious.
It means being inclined to dispute or marked by disagreement.

Now, let me say something that cannot be disputed: we live in disputatious times!

There can be no doubt that seismic changes in our common lives together as Americans have amplified the degree of disputatious conversations among us. Momentous political changes, along with civil unrest all happening under a dark pandemic cloud have combined in an unprecedented way to multiply a disputatious spirit in our society.

From a carnal perspective, disputatious and divisive behaviors are fine, even necessary for one’s views to prevail. In fact, some folks seem to celebrate a disputatious nature.

But from a Kingdom perspective, these behaviors are sinful and worldly. Scripture calls a quarrelsome spirit and behavior unholy (1 Corinthians 3:31Timothy 3:3, Romans 14:1, 2 Timothy 2:1424).

"Can the church do conflict better than the world? I believe we can."

Jesus, himself, sets the bar at its holiest, saying “Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they will see the Kingdom of God” (Matthew 5:9).

So how can we, as the Church, pursue holiness in disputatious times?

How can we keep the divisive quarrelsomeness of our culture from seeping in?

Can the church do conflict better than the world?

I believe we can. But to do so we need to practice what the Bible says regarding handling conflict—especially in disputatious times.

So, I’m going to share some practical insight on the matter over a series of posts called: Blessed are the Peacemakers.

We’re going to look at a particular conflict between Godly people in a church called Philippi. The apostle Paul hears about the dispute and addresses it in a letter he sent to that church. What he says to them about how to resolve their conflict is incredibly instructive to us in ours.

If you want to get a jump, starting reading Philippians 4:2-9. Conflict is inevitable—even in the Church. But disputatiousness isn’t. I thank God for you and your desire to get better at peacemaking.
Joe is the senior pastor of Fellowship Missionary Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He and his wife, Stephanie, were high school sweethearts and have been married for 27 years. Joe is an avid cyclist and enjoys international travel, mountains vistas, and geeking out on scholarly theological journals.
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