2003-10-26 - Passages on Conflict among Christians
We all will face it at one time or another - conflict with our fellow Christians.
Sometimes it's just a difference of opinion or preference (whether to sing
"praise music," what to wear to church, what color to paint the walls). At
other times, someone is clearly right and someone else wrong. Regardless,
God's word has some guidelines for us. Here is some of what the Bible has
to say. As always, this will not be an exhaustive list.
Matthew 5:22-24 (NASB) But I say to you that everyone
who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever
says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme
court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the
fiery hell. Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and
there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering
there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then
come and present your offering.
Matthew 18:15-18 (NLT) If another believer sins against
you, go privately and point out the fault. If the other person listens and
confesses it, you have won that person back. But if you are unsuccessful,
take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you
say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. If that person still refuses
to listen, take your case to the church. If the church decides you are right,
but the other person won't accept it, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt
Matthew 18:21-22 (NASB) Then Peter came and said to Him,
"Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to
seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times,
but up to seventy times seven."
1 Corinthians 6:4-7 (NASB) So if you have law courts dealing
with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account
in the church? I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among
you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren, but brother
goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers? Actually, then, it
is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why
not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?
1 Corinthians 1:10 (NASB) Now I exhort you, brethren,
by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be
no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and
in the same judgment.