Does the Bible clearly show that war is a result of acting according to the inordinate lusts within man?
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. – James 4:1-3
Unrestrained “human nature,” with its pride, vanity, jealousy, lust and greed is plainly the cause of conflict. We don’t have peace because we are motivated by selfishness – spending what you get on your pleasures (v3). When we look at the larger global conflicts happening around the world, we find the motivation is generally money and power – spending on our own pleasures.
You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” – James 4:4-6
God does not want us quarreling and fighting over worldly issues. Instead, we can graciously accept others that have differing opinions. That’s not to say we accept their position, but instead of arguing we can engage in friendly debate. We can listen to opposing views without judgement and present our side of the issue without name calling, etc.
Take for example, climate change. I think we can all agree that the climate changes, right? That’s a point we can agree with and from that common ground build on. The disagreement comes as to the reason for climate change. Is it man-made or is it a natural occurrence in our environment? Those claiming it’s man-made will generally point out the destruction caused by burning fossil fuels. Could that argument be fueled by their hatred of large multi-national oil companies? Perhaps. Without defending those companies, we can present the scientific evidence that our sun drives most of the climate change we see on earth. But, we must do that humbly and without being prideful of our knowledge.
We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. – 1 Corinthians 8:1
Since we live in an age of mushrooming scientific knowledge that makes it possible for a few men to possess tremendous power, will the inordinate lusts of men cause them to become better and better, or worse and worse? I believe this depends on our motives. Are we arguing our point to puff ourselves up, to demonstrate our superiority over others? Or, do we strive to create unity through love?
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God — having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. – 2 Timothy 3:1-5
It shouldn’t surprise anyone there are people around us that do not live up to Christian principles. Sadly, we even find them in our churches (having a form of godliness) misleading their congregations (denying its power). Rather then engaging them in arguments, the best thing to do is simply have nothing to do with them. Get away from them. Leave that church if necessary.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. – James 4:7-10
If we are to avoid conflict, we must submit to God and His ways. We need to resist the source of conflict which is the devil and repent of our selfishness, pride, vanity, jealousy, lust and greed.
We must not look to man to solve our problems. We must not look to government to solve our problems.
Politicians will never be our savior. Our problems are not rooted in government or its laws… our problems are spiritual. Our rulers have been deceived by their own lusts into believing that their evil deeds are right and good for the world.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? – Jeremiah 17:9
The governments of this world promise peace. But they have only brought us more wars and have now led humanity to the brink of annihilation.
“Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.” – Romans 3:15-17
The way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths. They have turned them into crooked roads; no one who walks in them will know peace. – Isaiah 59:8