WHEN MEN WOULD RATHER STRIVE THAN COMPROMISE

The bird of peace altered with a not allowed sign. (from here)

Why do we fight among ourselves? Here is a passage from the Bible that explains the problem.

James 4:1-6 New King James Version (NKJV)

Pride Promotes Strife

Where do [a]wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and [b]war. [c]Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. [d]Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:

“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”

Some years back I read The Fourth Turning by William Strauss and Neil Howe. In their book Strauss and Howe observed that about every 80 years we suffer an unraveling followed by a crisis. Wikipedia, In Strauss–Howe generational theory, provides a fairly good explanation of their observations.

Unfortunately, we seem to be on schedule. Apparently, history repeats itself because not enough people study the past well enough to understand the consequences of repeating the same stupid mistakes. So it is that since the beginning of the Great Recession we have been in the midst of more and bigger crises. What is next? Well, so far we have just been inviting in hordes of illegal immigrants, fighting economic stagnation, and trying to avoid stumbling in the “War on Terror”, but it may get worse. In 1939, eighty years ago, previous generations began the epic conflict we call World War II. Are we about to see a conflict of similar magnitude?

What causes men and women to do battle with each other? The Bible says pride. We make demands for what we want, and we make up our minds to settle for nothing else, no matter what it costs others. Here are some examples from recent headlines.

Illegal or Unregulated Immigration

The Peoples of the European Union are battling over immigration. Some have chosen to defend their cultural heritage. Others want to swamp their nations with foreigners. Here are two articles. One is the text of a speech of a man demanding the right to protect the inheritance of the Hungarian people. The second offers opinions from those who differ.

The People of the United States are also battling over immigration, illegal versus legal. The first editorial calls controlling illegal immigration a moral issue. The second complains that a border wall would not stop all illegal immigrants.

Dams 

In recent years our conflicts have centered around oil. Because fresh water is becoming more and more precious, that could change. What complicates matters is that some countries are indifferent to the concerns of their downstream neighbors.

Here are several articles about a huge dam being built on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia.

Egypt is not the only country confronted with this sort of problem.

Russia

Since Vladimir Putin took power, Russia has become increasingly aggressive. That includes making territorial claims on Ukraine, the North Pole, supporting the tyrant in Venezuela, and building advanced weapons systems.

China

China has become increasingly aggressive too. China most obvious effort has been to arm itself, even building artificial islands in the ocean and turning those islands into military fortresses. In a more subtle effort, but perhaps more relevant in long-term, China has sought unfair trade advantages. China has used every effort to seek unfair trade advantages, including the theft of commercial as well as military technology.

Conclusion

Is there anything special about the news articles I references? No.

  • Using illegal immigrants as pawns, our two major political parties fighting for power. Our two major political parties are always fighting each other. Today we are just seeing more politicians fight for their own gain because more of us voters are voting for the sake of our own pocketbooks. The rich want cheap labor. The rest of us want our government to spend other people’s money on us.
  • Nations have always been somewhat indifferent to the fate of their neighbors. Unfortunately, our technology is forcing us to be more considerate. If something we do is going to cause people to suddenly lose most of their water supply, we need to rethink, but pride says otherwise.
  • Since the first men fought each other, men have used violence to rape, pillage and enslave each other. In that respect Russia and China are behaving quite normally.

So what will the next few years bring? Odds are we see a major conflict of some sort. Why? Why is peace so difficult? Unbridled pride. It takes two to keep the peace, but it only takes one to make war. Keeping the peace requires us to set aside our pride and to consider the needs of our neighbors. The natural man thinks that foolish.

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