Jesus never taught militarism or war, despite a statement attributed to him in Matthew 10:34 about coming to bring a sword into the world. However, truth will by its nature lead to division among people. It may cause bitter thoughts and even hatred to arise towards those of differing views. Brother may come to dislike brother, yet this was not the object of Jesus’ coming to earth and teaching. Rather it is the result of the unavoidable conflict between truth and error. Truth cannot compromise even for the sake of peace, and error will not submit or acknowledge its untruth as long as it can get anyone to believe in and advocate it.
Because of the gift of free will given to humans, truth itself, even with the power and knowledge of God behind it, will not compel anyone to accept it against their will. And being fallible and having limited mental faculties, a person may not surrender erroneous convictions until truth comes to them in such a way as to persuade them of its reality. As humans greatly differ in the operation of their minds and reasoning faculties, a great division will exist among them regarding truth and error. Hence disputes, hatred, and even wars will continue to arise among people in maintaining their respective beliefs and opinions.
Absolute truth stands by itself and is subject to no variations or modifications. Therefore human minds must ultimately submit to and embrace it as truth will never accommodate itself to human beliefs. Absolute truth is fixed and unchangeable, while beliefs as relative truth are always changeable until founded on Absolute truth. In the end, truth will be established in the hearts and minds of humans, so that harmony and peace shall reign in all God’s universe.
Error does not exist in the world because God created it or permits it to exist, but solely because man has an unrestricted will, which controls and influences his thoughts and acts, and which in turn is influenced by the desires and appetites of the person.
It has been said that if God did not permit evil and carnal desires to exist in the world, there would be no reason or possibility for humans to exercise their will in destructive ways. But this is merely saying that if a person did not have the power of free will, he would commit no sin and indulge in no error. However, in their creation, humans were given not only the privilege and power, under certain conditions, to become entirely free from sin (which is the violation of God’s established laws), but also the privilege and power to violate these laws. So as they will, so shall they be — and in all cases, reap the consequences of their actions.
Reference: Book of Truths, edited by Joseph Babinsky
Photo: Eva Peck