The Real Cause of Our Civil Conflict

April 1, 2014

When we think of the internal struggles and civil conflicts that we typically face within our relationships and church communities, many of us may be tempted to look for a specific problem, person, or issue to blame for the perceived conflict. While that may be the case some of the time, the cause of our civil wars could actually be stemming from the very solution or promise that we have been given from our Lord. History will show us that the Lord is completely fine with the temporary conflicts and wars that arise from His promises of peace, unity, and oneness.

A Lesson From History

Many historians will tell you that the U.S. civil war of the nineteenth century, and the following civil rights movement of the twentieth century actually began with the promises put on paper by the American revolutionaries of the eighteenth century. The idea that all human beings were created with equal value and certain unalienable rights given to them by their creator, unable to be taken from them by any government, highlighted the horrors of the slave trade that existed in daily life. Even as late as the 1960’s, the inconsistencies of what was written in the American founding documents with the reality of racial segregation and prejudice that still existed in daily life, prompted the civil rights conflict that many of us are now the beneficiaries of.

When civil rights activists like Martin Luther King Jr first began talking about a society of people who could function together without the racial segregation and prejudices that had been a normal part of life for thousands of years of human history, many agreed with him in theory, although they thought it was an unrealistic dream in this world. Many argued that because of fallen human nature, the races would never be able to co-exist fully. Thankfully, not all people believed this.

It is my personal belief that Martin Luther King Jr saw something profound. He had a vision of sorts. I am convinced that what he saw was from another realm or kingdom entirely, regardless of whether or not he fully grasped what he saw. What he saw governed him. I’m convinced that the vision he saw of a community existing without the walls of segregation and division was actually a vision of life within the person of Jesus Christ. It is a picture of the in-breaking kingdom of God, not a picture of a country or nation humans can build. It is a picture of the kingdom (community) that Christ is actively building!

In the same way, the promises that Jesus made concerning His in-breaking kingdom will cause radical conflict with the mindsets and systems of thought that currently exist in the old kingdom infected with the curse.

In the old kingdom, working to survive and eat was the chief aim and focus of humanity.

In the old kingdom, fear and obedience to an external law was the compass that guided human interactions with one another.

In the old kingdom, the ability of male and female to know and relate to one another was severely limited and damaged.

In the old kingdom, blood related family was the highest and most intimate form of community.

In the old kingdom, relationships were restricted to mutual interests, similar socioeconomic statuses, or shallow strategic partnerships.

For most of my life, even as a believer in Christ, I lived by the laws of the old kingdom. But then I read something…

Something about a NEW kingdom…

In the NEW kingdom, I read that I no longer had to be preoccupied with acquisition of resources for survival. I could now live for a higher reality altogether!

In the NEW kingdom, I read that the foundation of this new reality is no longer rooted in a fear based commitment to external laws, but indwelling love (Christ).

In the NEW kingdom, I read that we could now love and relate to one another in the exact same way that Jesus did because of indwelling love (Christ).

In the NEW kingdom, I read that the fleshly divisions that once kept male and female, other races, and people from differing socioeconomic classes from significantly knowing one another are no longer in existence. Those walls, rooted in the curse, were finally destroyed!

In the NEW kingdom, I read that the highest and most intimate form of family is now rooted in something greater than a common set of human parents. Our NEW mothers and fathers, and brothers and sisters would be rooted in an eternal person (Christ). As a result, our family would expand greatly.

In the NEW kingdom, I read that true relationships would originate with our heavenly Father, not simply a common hobby, strategic partnership, or similar socioeconomic background.

Although what I read gave me great hope, daily life can sometimes have a way of raining on our parades, so to speak. If I had a dime for every time I’ve been accused of being too idealistic, I’d have a whole dollar. The NEW kingdom is opposed by everything old. I’d be lying if I said all that opposition hasn’t discouraged me. It has. I’ve been beaten by the watchmen of the city on more than one occasion. But then something glorious happened.

I received a vision.

All I can say is that I have seen over the mountain, so to speak. I know this NEW kingdom is real. I have tasted it, and am tasting it deeply. What I have seen and tasted has encouraged me. The NEW kingdom is real. The NEW kingdom is possible. The NEW kingdom is already in our midst.

I’d like to leave you with the words that Martin Luther King Jr spoke on April 3rd, 1968. This was his last speech. The following day, he was shot to death. In light of this, his words speak volumes.

Brothers and sisters, don’t be discouraged. We’re going to get there because we already have.


Jamal Jivanjee

Jamal Jivanjee

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9 responses to The Real Cause of Our Civil Conflict

  1. Yet again, brother, you put words to that which lies within my heart. Thank you.

    • Jamal Jivanjee April 3, 2014 at 1:05 pm

      Jennifer, thanks for letting me know that this post encouraged you. I have a feeling that there is a lot in your heart:) It’s an honor to add words to what is already there!

  2. Kenneth Dawson April 1, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Christ spoke as one having authority..and not as the religious people..wherein lay that authority? Just that in all things he could say..I Know! It is not what I have read,what I have been told,what I have studied..that is with power…but this I know..I have seen!

  3. Better is always better, and when The Lord brings, or reveals His ‘new’ the old is just that, like yesterday’s news…old. New expresses Life, His Life. May we embrace His new wine and in this always in new wine skins.

  4. It is the same with ALL people ! These unalienable rights are given by God for all and James talks about why that is not a reality among us in chapter 4( why we quarrel and argue). Should we throw up our hands and wait for life after death? We are told we can have LIFE now ! and why would we pray” on earth as it is in heaven” if Jesus did not want to demonstrate Himself here.
    Many say that I am pushing for Nirvana and I have gotten a whole lot more than a dollars worth of dimes and I will continue to do that because I have had a just a glimpse of HIS vision.
    SO young or old Dream your dreams and catch His Vision and DON”T get discouraged. 😀

  5. I’m fully convinced, and deeply sincere, that we are not only invited to His table, we can eat from His table here and now. The Kingdom of The Son He Loves is ours for the taking…His voice is clear and true…”come to me”.

    “Now it will come about that In the last days The mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it.

    And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths.”

    For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And He will judge between the nations, And will render decisions for many peoples; And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war.…”
    Isa. 2:3

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