There are a variety of conflict strategies that are unhelpful, defined as dysfunctional. They seek not to resolve issues, but to win, sometimes at any cost. This is where conflict gets ugly and ends up resolving nothing, hence the label of dysfunctional. Such tactics often ensure a repeat (endlessly?) of the same scenario anytime issues arise.
One conflict strategy is simply to ignore, deny, or avoid the issue. This is what we may do when conflict looms to disrupt our comfort, our peace, or our preferred ideas.
This is how God's people responded when they were confronted by God's word via Jeremiah. The thorough nature of the corruption - greed and exploitation - reached from the highest to the lowest, and included all the priests and prophets in the land ... well, except Jeremiah. They were great at denying the sinful corruption, declaring "Peace, peace" (Shalom, shalom), when there was no peace, no justice.
They refused to return the faithful paths that they had been shown long (or experienced) in generations past. They refused to hearken to the trumpeted alarms of the watchmen. With Babylonian army threatening, God had to admit the relationship was too broken to continue, leaving them to the fate of their eventual conqueror.
Jesus' disciples may have been like us, enchanted with the gospel words of love, forgiveness, grace, compassion, and peace. He corrects this. And he continues to detail the depth of conflict that they can expect to encounter. Find out what Jesus said by downloading the sermon text below.
(Sorry, no video this week. I got a "new" video camera but neglected to check the strength of the batteries and it quit after 5 minutes. We'll get it right next Sunday.)