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SHIP OF FOOLS | terimccarthyblahblahblog
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SHIP OF FOOLS

Posted by admin in September 17th, 2021
Published in Uncategorized

Hey! It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Death of a loved one. Fractured relationships. Addictions and unwanted dependencies. Tensions that stretch marriages to the point of breaking and children who choose a life path that is so beyond recognition it’s hard to believe they were formed in your womb.

We are experiencing polarization at every level in our world and for the last year I have been struggling to understand it and trying to learn how to counteract it in my own life. But wherever I go and whomever I speak to I hear stories of division, heartbreak, and stress. Stress over politics; stress over church doctrine; stress over health issues; stress over family conflict. It’s as if a darkness has been unleashed over the earth. It feels intentional and it feels invasive.

Fighting.

Suspicions.

Whispering.

Alliances.

Exclusions.

Rejection.

Cruelty.

Wounds that simply do not heal.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Not originally. Not in the Garden. But Jesus warns us, “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.” 

Luke 12:49-53, “I have come to bring fire on the earth…Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN THE PRINCE OF PEACE NOT ONLY WARNS US OF DIVISION, BUT ACTUALLY SAYS HE CAME TO BRING DIVISION?

This falls under what I call, Nervous Faith. Nervous Faith is when I read something Jesus said and I can hardly believe they are HIS words, but I know them to be truly His. I trust them in spite of what I feel. I trust Him regardless of what I see.

Well, here’s what I think. In this day, in this hour, I see more divisiveness in the human race than ever before in my life. This is not hyperbole. There’s division in our world, our nation, in our churches, our families – divisions that are great chasms that seem impossible to breach, impossible to mend.

Where do these tensions and fractures come from? I think there are two origins for these intense conflicts.

One is because of truth. TRUTH can be an ultimate divider. Truth can draw lines in the sand. Truth is separating the sheep from the goats; the wheat from the chaff. Truth can oftentimes force a person to choose sides, in a court of law for example. Much of the split I see in churches these days is over truth – truth of doctrine, truth of Christ’s commands, truth of biblical versus unbiblical lifestyles. I am sorry to say, I think this chasm will only get worse in the days ahead. As darkness descends upon the earth, I fear more and more contention, especially within the church, will occur.

Truth can be a litmus test in our relationships.

The second source of this divisiveness is the enemy of our souls. Satan loves discord. The Bible talks about God hating those who sew seeds of discord among God’s people. It’s one of the six, no seven, things God hates.

Proverbs 6:16-19, “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him…a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”

Paul warns believers in the Book of Romans to avoid people who like to sow divisiveness within the community, “take notice of those who cause divisions and offences…avoid them” (Romans 16:18).

The enemy loves to sow discord, divisions, arguments, and separations. He does so by playing on our vanities and weaknesses. It is as if he has little minions that bite and nip at our heals and cause not only confusion, but anger and malice. Arguing, contentions, bickering, backbiting – we become like Plato’s Ship of Fools. We become a dysfunctional crew unable to navigate the difficult waters of our time and culture and that’s exactly the enemy’s purpose. He uses it to distract us from the more important things of God’s calling.

So, the BIG question is, how do we know one from the other? It’s hard sometimes because discernment doesn’t always let us know who is standing for truth and who is just wanting to pick a fight, right? And unfortunately, there’s not a check list that we can consult in the middle of a conflict. But I think important questions we can ask ourselves are, What is the purpose of the conflict? What do I hope will be the outcome? Is it to live with more division and more anger? Or is it to get at the truth and find God’s shalom? Outcomes, purposes, results, issues of the heart – these play an important role in defining what is good division and what is evil division. We need to avoid any situation that is just looking for endgame results where winning is the only objective.

Divisions are tough and even Paul and Barnabas experienced a separation based on opinion and disagreement. But there is a time when divisiveness means an amputation and that’s the hardest of all. Like an infected limb can destroy the entire body with toxins and gangrene – so it is with people. Does this separation bring life, preserve life, or does it bring death? That should be our ultimate and basic question.

Don’t flee all division, but we need to know which is of God and which is not and that takes prayer and seeking God’s wisdom. Hard stuff, I know, but God will give us the revelation we need, when we ask.  Peace.

4 users Responded In This Post

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60097. Amy Torres said,
September 18th, 2021 at 10:01 am

Wow! This is literally what I have been dealing with and pondering for the last 2 years! I couldn’t put words to it, but you did so perfectly! Thank you for writing this!! I needed it desperately!!

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60103. Steve Aceto said,
September 18th, 2021 at 8:23 pm

Responding to Terri who has once again quit preaching and commenced to meddling, this time over where we all sit among truth, falsehood, and consequences. Jesus ultimately corners us in a choice about who he himself is, thus defining who we are, and likewise all who come into contact with us. The act and consequences of choosing inevitably brings conflict to and inside our door. But times of refreshing follow, surely as the seasons.

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60128. admin said,
September 19th, 2021 at 1:45 pm

Amy, I really appreciate your encouragement here. Writing a blog is sometimes like sending soundwaves into outer space – is anyone listening? I’m grateful for your kind comments. Thanks.

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60129. admin said,
September 19th, 2021 at 1:46 pm

Surely as the seasons! Appreciate you brother! And Fran too!

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