3 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. 4 For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about[b] long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
Spoiling for a Fight
We are urged to fight. It seems like many of us do not like conflict. we would prefer to hope that everything would pass over without any nasty words or other cruelty passing between us. However, whether it is perceived as cruel or not, the truth must be spoken. Sometimes the truth has to be unleashed because holding back the tongue will have far worse consequences. We should live at peace with everyone, as far as it rests on us, but sometimes peace can not be preserved without losing too much. In many churches people arrive who want to hear pleasant things from the pulpit. I mean that there are some people who can not abide the truth if it demands change or uncomfortable thoughts. They will go around the church seeking comfort and seeking to promote what is called Post-Christian Moralistic Therapeutic deism by Christian Smith and others. People want to melt Christianity into a balm that provides comforting words in life and meaningless platitudes at a graveside. We need to fight this desire for relief with a desire to change. It will mean fighting for control of the church for those whose focus is fun, selfishness, or even permissiveness. God’s people are set apart and our difference is one of walking on an adventure not one of sitting in an armchair grading the worship leader as one grades a contestant on American idol.
Help us to know when to contend for things that are being swept under the carpet by our culture. I think of same-sex marriage. Is this a battle that we need to fight? I think of the way that we do not take care of the poor. Do we need to be stirred?
- How are Peter and Jude similar?
- What did Jude want to write about?
- Why did Jude change his mind?
- What issues bring conflict in the church these days?
- How might you be challenged to become a ‘contender’?