The greatest conflicts in world history are when we change how we think. I consider the U.S. Civil War a battle over changing thoughts about the role of government and the morality of slavery. The World Wars of the early 20th century were a battle on how to think about the future of an industrialized society. Throughout history, we can find similar transition points, leading us down an entirely new path.
I maintain that the battles at transition points are not always about deciding who is going to win. Rather, the result is a foregone conclusion of what had already happened. For example, slavery was quickly becoming marginalized in the early 19th century. The Civil Was couldn’t be readily avoided, but in a sense the outcome was already settled. Regardless of how the Civil War played out, changing economic conditions and changing moral values were leading towards a decline in slavery. The World Wars were similar. Germany and Japan had specific ideas on how an industrialized society would be implemented, but in the end their ideas did not reflect what was already happening in the United States and Russia.
The early church was going through a dramatic change in how they thought about their religion. The question was whether Christianity was part of Judaism or was it a new religion? The answer had already been settled. The Holy Spirit was at work in the Gentiles, and nothing they could do or say would stop that work.
I now consider we make too much of our conflicts. The path to resolution is to see how the Spirit is already working in the hearts of others and meet the Spirit there.