There is no doubt that conflict can be found, even where both parties are wrong. A good example is that of the Middle East, pitting the Jews on one hand and the Palestinians on the other. That kind of conflict can be likened to an army, turning its artillery against its own forces, assuming to fight against enemy forces.
Such conditions denote what is classified as confusion. It has got nothing to do with conflict between evilness and goodness. Many wars, in the world, have got nothing to do with goodness and evil, but more to do with confusion. Surprisingly, conflict cannot be found where both parties are right.
The only sad thing is that such confusions are associated with religion. But, conflicts emanating from confusion can be reduced, when appreciating that common sense assumes that only goodness and evil cannot be mixed.
As long as people know what goodness entails, when also knowing what evilness represents, all problems of the world can be eliminated. While too simple, to be taken seriously, this maxim is as factual as differentiating between light and darkness.
Just as the negative and positive electric charges cannot be combined, good and evil are also forces that cannot be combined. Conflicts in human relations result from confusion, only resolved by bringing order.
It is, therefore, necessary to always identify flows, misrepresenting goodness, as opposed to evil forces. While conflicts are commonly found to be caused by opposing interests, this does not take away the fact that the only forces that represent conflicts are good and evil.
At the beginning of the human race, two brothers, Cain and Abel, were the first to engage in falsified conflict, which is the basis of existing troubles engulfing the human race. Both brothers sought to please God.
The accolades, flowing from God, after both brothers had given their respective offerings, were at stake. Cain was overwhelmed by the spirit of jealousy, leading to the murder of his brother.
The conflict was not between the two brothers, Cain and Abel, but between the motives, representing good and evil. The motive behind Cain’s giving had been wrong, as it represented what is classified as evil.
Cain was not necessarily an evil man. The only problem is that Cain gave his offering, intending to receive the accolades that, unfortunately for him, had to be awarded to his brother, Abel. See [Only in Christ is order recognized].
But, supposing Abel had also given his offering with the similar attitude? Chances are that God would have still not recognized Abel’s offering, as well as He did. God is not a respecter of persons (Romans 2:11).
The careful analysis of that narrative shows that Abel could not have even entertained that thinking. The fact that Abel gave, selecting the fat portions of the sheep, shows an attitude that focused on pleasing God than self. That attitude was right, as compared to that of his brother, Cain.
Such an attitude indicates that, if God had selected to award the accolades to Cain, Abel would have not been offended. He would have probably remained with the comfort that he gave his best to God.
His attitude would be that of pleasing God than self, or any other person; thereby desiring to improve his offerings next time. The attitude of Cain intended to please self, than pleasing God, hence, he took the decision to murder his brother.
The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” (Genesis 4:6-7) (ESV).
God’s question searches the intention, in Cain’s heart. Apparently, the cause of anger was failure to get what Cain wanted. God is the one supposed to be angry, as not having got what He wanted from Cain. If the rejected gift had been intended to benefit God, why would Cain be angry, instead of God?
When God advised Cain to consider doing well, it shows that God did not regard Cain as an evil person. But sought to help Cain to understand how to deal with evilness, in order for him to avoid being consumed by evilness.
God viewed Cain as having been a good person, though with a problem of inability to deal with the sin, crouching at his door. Cain needed to deal with his attitude, providing false data; that Cain’s giving was for God’s benefit, when, actually, intended for Cain’s own benefit.
Anything that is evil is associated with falsehood, so that it promises the opposite of the reality. Cain wanted accolades from God, as that was his actual motive for giving an offering, anyway.
I suppose his murderous behavior promised eventual receipt of such accolades, after Abel’s death? But that could not have been possible, as revealing that an angry person cannot think rationally. Where there is sin, there is no ability to accurately rationalize.
The most important information to take note of is that the origin of sin is in desiring something for own benefit. In the case of Cain the benefit was to gain accolades ahead of his brother Abel. This is regardless of there being the aspect of giving involved on Cain’s part.
Without falsehood, the person receiving a gift is the one expected to benefit, at the expense of the one giving. But, instead of benefiting from Cain’s offering, God revealed that the true intent, in Cain’s giving was for Cain’s benefit, instead.
In outside appearance, Cain’s offering was intended for God. I suppose, even today, some people reading that story, accuse God for exercised favoritism? How could God have favored Abel’s offering, without also taking note of Cain’s offering?
The sin of Cain exists today, just as it existed then. That sin is associated with pride, leading to falsehood. It is generally found among religious people, more than it is found among those considered as blatant sinners.
Christians sit in the comfort of pleasing one another, assuming that God is also pleased. But just as Cain could not fool God, those Christians cannot fool God. When publicly displaying their righteousness before men, those Christians assume that God is delighted, but the opposite is true.
The sin of Cain caused him to become a wanderer. The consequences of Christians’ hypocrisy may not be known. But scriptures are clear in that; at Christ’s second-coming, there will be gnashing of teeth.
The book of Psalms reveals this term for the first time: “He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever; his horn is exalted in honor. The wicked man sees it and is angry; he gnashes his teeth and melts away; the desire of the wicked will perish!” (Psalms 112:9-10) (ESV).
The poor, being mentioned in this passage are those people appearing as not putting value in self. Probably, those surrounding them also see no value in such people? Though poor, such people know that value is only found in God, who grants the poor people with honor.
A person giving in secret does not appeal for honor and therefore cannot be regarded with honor. The only fitting tribute for such a person is being associated with the poor people. But that person takes seriously, Jesus’ warning:
“ Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 6:1).
Shall we now focus on the wicked person in Psalms 112:10? Obviously, ordinary people view that person with high esteem, as practicing his righteousness before man. This is what causes him to gnash his teeth, at Jesus’ coming (Matthew 7:21-23).
Obviously, others are generous in showering the wicked person with accolades that make him feel highly respected in the community. Nothing appears wicked, in that behavior. This is just as nothing would have appeared wicked in Cain’s offering, until God exposed it, at the right time.
This is why Jesus kept insisting that it was the inner person that needed cleansing. Our wickedness does not come from what is manifested in public. Public honor makes us feel good, leaving us wrongly assuming that God is also impressed.
That which leads a person to falsehood is what God labels as sin, or wickedness. The person caught up with gnashing of teeth may not realize the sin consuming him. That sin emanates from the wrong attitude in giving, as if to benefit other people when, actually, intending to benefit self.
When God advised Cain to control the sin that was crouching at Cain’s door, He implied that it was possible to deal with the sinful attitude. This can only be facilitated by identifying falsehood, as compared with truthfulness.
There is nothing wrong with receiving what one wants in this life. We are all given free choices to make. But what is sinful is hypocrisy. In the case of Cain, he pretended to love God, when actually loving himself more than God. Cain’s sin was therefore ensconced in falsehood.
On the contrary, his brother Abel’s intention was to please God, thereby giving of his best to God. To him, even if the accolades had not come, he would not have been offended, but, possibly seeking to improve his gifts next time.
This is just as the widow that was commended by Jesus could not have expected lavish honor, as she may have compared her miserly offering to that of those, noticeably, giving in abundance:
“Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, ‘Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on’”(Luke 21:1-3) (ESV).
Obviously, the poor widow could not have sought to impress anyone with her two small copper coins. But the only significance is that Jesus utilized her example as an opportunity for illustrating the right attitude.
The widow gave everything she had. In other words, her giving could not have been intended for own benefit. There could not have been anticipation of benefit when giving everything she had. She obviously was aware that her gift could not match that of the lavish givers.
To ordinary people, it could not be possible to see wrongness among those lavish givers. Instead, ordinary people may have, actually, been impressed, praising the generous givers for facilitating accomplishment of the objectives of that fund-raising.
The poor widow’s story is quoted often, in Christian circles, but hardly understood, as observed by what is known to prevail. Accommodating poor widows is only used as window-dressing, for Church institutions, desiring public approval. Unfortunately, God cannot be impressed, like ordinary people.
Church institutions are more worried about public approval and profile, designed to attract more members to join their fellowship. To such Church institutions, what is regarded as truthful data is that widows, and other poor people, cannot be equated to generous givers.
One of the objectives of this website is to expose falsehood in Christianity, hoping to salvage true worshipers, desiring to take Jesus seriously. There is no intention of impressing anyone, but desiring that someone becomes a true Christ’s follower.
What any reader decides to do with the truthful information is up to them and their God. But my sincere prayer is that, instead of ignoring truthful expositions, readers should do something about them. This implies moving away from self-centredness, towards altruism. See [Personal salvation vs. God’s Kingdom].
Jesus said only the truth will set God’s people free (John 8:32). The only challenge with most people, today, is that falsehood is too comfortable to surrender. But God’s Kingdom requires sacrifices (Luke 14:25-33).
Genuine conflict is between good and evil. Only the truth helps a person to disentangle confusion, in order to see the difference. Largely, the conflicts among believers, today, represent confusion, more than exposing good and evil.
Honesty remains as the only principle that frees genuine Christians to deal with sins that have overwhelmed people, since the time of Adam.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99