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Conscientious Objector

Back in 1966 a very well known boxer by the name of Cassius Clay was drafted into military service.  It was also at that exact time that he converted to the Muslim Faith.  With that religion change came a name change, thus Mohammed Ali.  He also became a Conscientious Objector, saying he had nothing against the Viet Cong and would not fight against them.  While other American Men and Women risked their lives and gave their lives in the Vietnam War, Ali declined.  He was sentenced to five years in jail and pardoned after three.  Ali went on with his earlier career in boxing and made millions.  He rejected the stand of our country in Vietnam and refused to fight for his country and the rest is history.  

In  1 Peter 2:1-8, Peter brings out a very important point for all who claim the name of Jesus.  He characterized us a “living stones” that have tasted the kindness of the Lord.  

That kindness is best characterized by the Salvation made possible for us through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  When we repented and believed in Christ and gave Him our lives we took on the same “living” sacrifice that was exampled by Christ.  That immediately brought on a change in our lives that put aside things like malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander. (verse1)  It also brought in a new desire.  A desire for the things of God and new life were part of that new desire.   Also, our growth was guaranteed  if we would seek after the Lord’s wisdom found in the Word of God.   The diet we had before Christ was going to be replaced with a new, more healthy diet, that included the pure milk of the Word.  A natural reaction to this new diet is a life that wants to honor God with sacrificial service.  That is service that is prompted out of love and gratitude for the love Jesus has given us through our salvation.  In other words, we are now on His team, which makes us all on the same team.  As He goes, so we go.  As He calls, so we listen.  As He shows, so we see.  We are connected to this Precious, Living Stone who is Jesus Christ.  When we are connected to Christ our life has true value and that value is increased because of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  What we could have done before Christ can be great, but what we can do with Christ is awesome!!  When we receive Him and let this connection get stronger and stronger Peter shares that we will not be disappointed. 

I remember getting ready to go on a roller coaster when we lived in California.  The waiting time on the line was 55 minutes.  We were close to the exit and someone came out who had just ridden the coaster and I yelled to them, “How was it?”  The guy said, “it was great and you won’t be disappointed.”  That encouraged me to believe that the wait in line was worth it, so we waited it out.  By the way, it WAS worth it.   Glad I stayed in line.

We want to know that what we give our time and talent to will not be a waste and Peter shares in verses 4-6 that it is definitely worth the wait.   There is another group of people mentioned here though.  In verse 7 and 8 he talks about this group, “this precious stone is for those who believe, but for those who disbelieve becomes a stone to cause them to stumble and the end result is doom!  This is all laid out clearly for each of us to see, you are either with Him, which means you are like Him.  Or, you are not with Him, which means you are not like Him.  I guess it comes back to your conscience.  I have gotten to serve with some great people through the years, and I have also served with some “knot heads.”  They are people that are obstinate and hateful. You say, “the room is blue, they call it red.”  You say, “Let’s go.”  They say, “who are you to tell me what to do?”  The meaning of obstinate is “stubbornly unwilling to change one’s opinion or course of action despite attempts to persuade one to do so.”  In other words, Conscientious Objectors.”  They don’t mind talking about the war or living in the freedom, but when it comes to fighting, they say no.  When everyone else says, “charge” they say “why charge?”  In reality this kind of person is not attached to the “living stone” or they would resemble a “living stone” instead of a dead rock. The last thing Peter says about this kind of person is they are appointed for doom.  It’s inevitable and it’s sad, because they have the option on draft day to go fight.  It’s their decision to change who they are so they can get what they want and that is just their way.

Don’t be one of those people, and for sure don’t hang around with those people because they will rub off on you and ruin your direction.  The church has all the neigh sayers it needs who are consciously objecting to the call of Jesus.  Be a living stone that answers His call every time.  Join hands with other believers and let the life of Christ in you be your passion for living your life.  Who can object consciously to that?  You’d be surprised!!!  I’m just saying…

The Pilgrimage continues…..

David Warren

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