Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fighting Among Ourselves - More Stupid Things Christians Do #6

-6 Fighting Among Ourselves - A few years ago, there was a division within a local church; it made the headlines. One group of founders had purchased the land that the church was now built on. A second group of believers had donated money for the church building.

The pastors from both groups had originally agreed to work together for the good of the region. A few years into the endeavor the pastors had a disagreement over theology and the church split. That's nothing new - however, the respective founding groups ended up in court to decide who should get the building and land valued at about about $1 million dollars.

The battle went on for over a year, and each court proceeding was made public in the left-leaning, anti-religion newspaper. There were scathing editorials by staffers as well as malicious comments from the church folks on the web articles. What was going on in the church was even worse.

The Bible is very specific on how we should resolve conflicts in the church. The simple fact that the Word of God is so detailed on the issue should give us insight into how important it is!

Please keep in mind, that conflict is not strife, nor is it division, however; those can easily be the root. In Ephesians 4, Paul says this: "Be angry, but do not sin." Sin is always a problem where the result is often hardness of heart and stiff-necked religious people.

So what are some of things that cause conflict in a church?

- Greed
- Lust for power
- Need for recognition
- Love of money
- Pride
- Arrogance
- Inability to submit to authority
- Improper use of authority
- Dishonesty

Teaching people to truly love, and have genuine passion for Jesus, can overcome many of these shortcomings.

How should Christians resolve conflict?

- Go to the one that you have an offense with regardless of who may have caused it. Matthew 5:23-24.
- If this person will not listen, then bring along one or two brothers or sisters in the Lord. Matthew 18:15-16
- Bring it before the church. Matthew 18:17
- Then they should be asked to leave the church. Matthew 18:17b

The problem usually starts when an offended believer circumvents the process by going to someone else instead of the offending party.

There are lots of verses on how a Christian should act, but somehow we overlook all of that because we feel entitled to our anger.

Church, it is time to love - 1 Corinthians 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.

3 comments:

Tonjia said...

Love can be taught. I know this because I learned it.

Teaching love would indeed change the church and the world itself.

Currently, the church honors love with its lips, but their hearts are from it. They wouldn't recognize it in a line up, because false teachers have taught hatred and vengeance and called it love, and they cannot tell the difference.

photogr said...

I would have to think the road to hell is lined with so called religious people such as the causes you listed.

Charlie's Church of Christ said...

you make an amazing point - there are such specific instructions because, well, its of utmost importance. I never heard of that story, so much could be said about it.

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