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Known - Galatians Ch. 2 (3 of 7)
CONFLICT. It's a word that we don't often discuss in the church, let alone learn how to deal with it. It makes us uncomfortable to bring it up because it is uncomfortable to deal with conflict. It rarely makes people 'feel good' in the midst of it. Some personalities invite conflict, others avoid it passionately, others are passive-aggressive, and everywhere in between.
The early church, just like the church of today, had its issues to deal with. There was plenty of conflict recorded in the Bible for us to learn from, and Galatians includes one of these difficult moments. If you read between the lines and compare these words to other writings, we can begin to get a clearer picture of just how deep some of the con-flicts were - and that they helped shape what the church is today. While I want to talk more generally about conflict in general than just 'Christian conflict', we need to have as our framework the Word of God. So as I read through this passage from Galatians, we will look at several other areas in the Word to give a clearer picture.
Paul, in Galatians 2, begins with a recounting his growth as a leader. He was concerned at this time with his message being accepted as truth. He wasn't asking for approval of himself, but only of his message. You can sense in his argument some underlying issues that will be brought to light soon enough.
1 Then after 14 years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. 2 I went up because of a revelation and presented to them the gospel I preach among the Gentiles-but privately to those recognized [as leaders]-so that I might not be running, or have run, in vain. 3 But not even Titus who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. 4 [This issue arose] because of false brothers smuggled in, who came in secretly to spy on our freedom that ...
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