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What Causes Fussin’ and Fightin’?

Text: James 4:1-10

I’m sure most of you have heard of the Hatfields and McCoys, two famous (or infamous) feuding families from the hills of Pikesville, Kentucky. Now, what you might not know is this famous family feud lasted for a decade—and it started over a pig!

I’m not sure what aspect of the pig they disagreed about, but I do know both of these families were serious about their pork. The feud began with words and blows and eventually the battle line was drawn between the two families.

Eventually, the feud went to court over timber rights and the tension escalated between the clans until bullets began flying in 1888. Before it was all over, at least 12 people were dead.

Sometimes, when you think this fussin’ and fightin’ is over, you find out it’s not—it’s never over!

In January of this year there was a news story, which reported the descendants of the Hatfields and McCoys are at it again—and this time, it’s over “tourism”. You see, the McCoy family wants to run paid tours of the “feud sites”. And to do this, they need public access to a graveyard where 3 of their bullet-ridden ancestors are buried.

The problem is, in order to get to this particular cemetery, tourists would have to walk or drive over Hatfield land—and this is something the Hatfields don’t want!

I don’t think this feud will come to shooting; but, both sides are sure to exchange costly legal volleys in the courts of Pikeville, KY.

Now, when we hear about incidents like this, we kinda say “Boy, that’s silly to fight like that…especially in this day and age!” You know what? I don’t believe that many people will shoot you over a pork loin….but, we might engage in some verbal battles. It almost seems natural to fight first and ask questions later. We can watch little kids as they grow up and see that fact.

If we trace the history of mankind through the Bible, we see that fussin’, fightin’, and even killin’ ain’t new! We all know Cain got mad at his brother and killed him in a bitter fit of jealousy.

Then there was Lamech, who bragged about his fussin’, fightin’, and killin’.

Genesis 4:23 & 24

---23 ---“Lamech said to his wives,

‘Adah and Zillah, listen to my voice,

you wives of Lamech,

Give heed to my speech,

For I have killed a man for wounding me;

And a boy for striking me;

---24---If Cain is avenged sevenfold,

Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.”

Then there was the Nation of Israel…and we can read about their history throughout the OT and the NT. If those boys weren’t fussin’, fightin’, and killin’….well, then they weren’t breathing. Even the NT tells us about their quarreling with each other, or else, wanting to fight with the Romans.

They were always wanting to fight the 1st century Christians….especially the apostles preaching the Gospel of their salvation. They tried to kill Paul several times, because they didn’t like what he was saying.

It seems that fussin’, fightin’, and even killin’ has been going for a long, long time. The question comes up—“Isn’t there anything that might stop this?”

Well, the world we live in sure hasn’t stopped. We can read about fussin’, fightin’, and killin’ and see it on television every day! We all know people who would rather fuss and fight than eat.

We might say, “Well surely, with the coming of Christ, the Gospel, and the Lord’s Church, this problem has stopped….especially among Christians.”

But, was the problem solved? The Apostle Paul didn’t think so. Listen to some of the things he wrote to the Christians during the 1st century.

1st Corinthians 3:3

---3---“…for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?”

2nd Corinthians 12:20

---20---“For I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what I wish and may be found by you to be not what you wish; that perhaps there will be strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances…”

Galatians 5:19-20

---19---“Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,

---20---idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions…”

This morning we go back to our series in the little Book of James, and, so far in our study, we’ve learned about what authentic Christianity is all about.

We’ve already studied 3 of the 5 chapters of the book and we’ve discovered how a Christian should deal with the inevitable trials of life and how to handle temptation when it comes….and it will come.

James has told us if we’re “authentic Christians”, we will be changed. Being a Christian will

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