In Luke Chapter 12:49-51, Jesus, the Prince of Peace, tells His disciples that He had not come to bring peace to earth but division.
Surprising to say the least.
After I joined a church community a number of years ago, the pastor told the new members that God had not called us to a love boat, but to a war ship.
In my efforts to bring to light abuse in the church, sadly, I have found this verse of Scripture and the pastor’s words to reflect my experience. Yet, I have hope.
Why would the Prince of Peace bring about division?
My hope is that the current conflicts between church leaders of various denominations and survivors of abuse are part of the birthing of a new maturity in the Body of Christ.
Instead of settling for the status quo, where we all politely gather together on Sundays, collectively in denial about the existence of the deep sin of sexual abuse affecting our lives, might Jesus be stirring up the voices of some survivors to raise up a sword of truth – not to harm anyone, but to dig us all out of the dark and into the light of Christ and true Christian living?
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:12-13, NIV)
To enter the Promised Land, the Israelites had to fight battles.
Some survivors fight in court cases. Others fight ignorance through writing or speaking about abuse. Others are simply fighting to stay alive.
Our future ‘Promised Land’ will come directly from the Prince of Peace.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27, NIV)
May Our Lord bless our fight to bring truth and holiness to His church.