From the book, What People Ask About The Church, by Dale A. Robbins
The reality is, every church experiences a measure of conflict in
some way or another. Churches are made up of people, and anywhere people are involved in
anything, there's the potential for disagreement and conflict. Sadly, some congregations
have experienced great setbacks or splits due to such unresolved discord, while other
churches have learned how to head off or resolve such issues.
Church conflict frequently has to do with "power
struggles" within the congregation. That is, a contention for influence or control.
Sometimes this struggle for control comes from a self-serving lust for power and
prominence. At other times, perhaps well-intended persons strive to gain influence to
assert their own set of ideas and opinions. In any case, power struggles are unethical and
cause irreparable harm to the body of Christ. God's Word tells us to pray for, respect and
cooperate with those authorized spiritual leaders of our church (Heb. 13:17, 1 Thes.
5:12-13). Insurrection is nowhere sanctioned in scripture.
Sometimes church conflict is caused by angry, troubled people who
redirect their personal unhappiness toward the church or its leaders. Those who have
discontent in their marriage, their jobs or any number of problems, may lash out against
other people they may be especially quick to find fault with the church, or make
mountains out of molehills. In addition, statistics say that one out of every five persons
in the average church struggles with emotional/mental problems. These persons do not see
reality the same way as others do. Their view of life is distorted and twisted.
Exaggerations and misunderstandings are a common occurrence which can stir up turmoil and
strife in the body.
One thing is dreadfully clear, those who become the source of
problems of this kind will only bring trouble upon themselves. "A worthless person, a
wicked man, walks with a perverse mouth; he winks with his eyes, he shuffles his feet, he
points with his fingers; perversity is in his heart, he devises evil continually, he sows
discord. Therefore his calamity shall come suddenly; suddenly he shall be broken without
remedy" (Prov. 6:12-15).
According to Apostle Paul, the general root for strife and division
is spiritual immaturity and carnality. "...for you are still carnal. For where there
are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere
men?" (1 Cor. 3:3). The cure for this is to repent for the sin of strife, and seek to
grow and mature in the Lord.
This article is copyrighted © by Dale A. Robbins, 1995, and is a publication of Victorious Publications, Grass Valley, CA 95949. Unless otherwise stated, all scripture references were taken from The New King James Bible, © Thomas Nelson Inc., 1982.You may download for personal use as long as you retain credit to the author. Obtain permission before reproducing copies for any reason, by filling out our simple permission form. For media reproduction rights, or to obtain published quantities of this title, .
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