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ON CHRISTIANITY

By BILLY GRAHAM

This article was published February 6, 2013 at 3:45 a.m.

— DEAR REV. GRAHAM: Why can’t Christians get along? Our church is going through some conflict right now over what is really aminor issue, but no one wants to give in or admit they might be wrong. Are all churches like this?

  • N.F.

DEAR N.F.: No, all churches aren’t like this, not at all. God’s will is for Hispeople to live in peace, with each other and with the world around them. And when church members understand this and understand too God’s command to love each other, conflicts will be rare. Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).

However, Christians admittedly don’t always live up to this standard, and I’ve often asked myself why. One reason is because we’re still human, and although God has come to live within us by His Holy Spirit and has given us a new spiritual nature, our old sinful nature still lives within us also. Even the Apostle Paul admitted that his old sinful nature sometimes overwhelmed his new nature. He declared, “The evil I do not want to do - this I keep on doing” (Romans 7:19).

But there is another reason for this: Satan loves to see Christians squabbling among themselves, and he’ll do everything he can to make it happen. He knows it brings dishonor to the name of Christ and hurts their witness to nonbelievers. The Bible reminds us that “God is not a God of disorder but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33).

Pray for your church and its members, and especially your pastor. Ask God also to make you an instrument of His peace and love. Above all, don’t be distracted but keep your eyes on Christ and His will for your life and your church.

Write to Billy Graham in care of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C. 28201 or visit the website at billygraham.org

Food, Pages 32 on 02/06/2013

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