There are some perverted folk who enjoy strife and controversy. Some actually revel in a good fight or even in warfare. I am sure that most people prefer peaceful relations with their family, neighbors, friends, and brethren. This should surely be the aim of the Christian (Rom. 12:18). Our Christ is the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6) and His Word is the Gospel of Peace (Eph. 6:15). The Lord pronounced a blessing on peacemakers (Mat. 5:9). Heaven is appealing because it will be perfect peace (1 Pet. 1:3–9).
It is possible to be so consumed with pursuing peace that one ignores other important balancing pursuits. While we are to be peaceable generally, some important exceptions exist, nonetheless. Yes, some things are more important than peace. Is it a God-approved peace that comes at the price of one’s honesty or moral purity? Are we to so seek peace that we will compromise God’s Word?
A climate has been abroad in the church of the Lord for some time that seeks peace at any price. It is seen in those who seem to believe that the sin of all sins would be to offend someone. They will not teach what Christ said on marriage, divorce, and remarriage lest some living in adulterous marriages become offended. Others will not teach what God says about drinking, immodest apparel, sexual promiscuity, dancing, cursing, materialism, and other sinful and worldly behavior lest they run someone off. Many a pulpit no longer rings forth with the Gospel that fed and nourished the saints to maturity a few generations ago. Many a preacher has bowed to the pressure to deliver 10-minute pep talks, full of current events and humorous stories that will make all those in the pews feel good about themselves and everyone else. Keep the peace is the principal aim in many a church, never mind if the people are starving to death spiritually or if God’s infallible Word is compromised.
Some in the church obstinately refuse to hear about problems or issues that might involve controversy. If we don’t know about them, they don’t exist, seems to be their thinking. Consequently, they accept almost everything and object to almost nothing, regardless of its weirdness, to preserve the peace. Those who are “set to defend the Gospel” (as was Paul, Phi. 1:16) grow just as weary of strife as anyone, especially when it involves our brethren. However, as soldiers of Christ, we are spiritual traitors to either run from the fight or wave the flag of truce at the expense of Truth; even the Prince of Peace “came not to bring peace only, but also a sword and division” (Mat. 10:34; Luke 12:51). We forfeit our eternal peace if peace is our only concern in this life. Those who seek perpetual peace now are seeking peace too soon!