- Church conflict or friction can arise from any number of sources. It may be the result of conflicting theological, philosophical or ideological points of view between two persons or several.. Breaking it down, however, we can probably categorize the differences into the three following areas:
- DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES
- DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES:
- DIFFERENT PURPOSES:]
- The ultimate answer to both the prevention and cure of friction and conflict among believers is found in the leadership of the church maintaining a consistent example of Philippians 2:3
- Do nothing from selfish or empty conceit, but with HUMILITY of MIND let EACH of you regard or esteem one another as more important than himself; DO NOT merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others."
However, two other sources of friction in the fellowship which have solely negative or fractional intent and are not due to honest differences.
- A BELIEVER OUT OF STEP WITH GOD ON A LONG-TERM BASIS AND THUS REBELLIOUS, BITTER AND VINDICTIVE IN HIS HEART.
- There are a number of reasonable concludes for his factional attitude: e.g. reaction to physical illness, stress; loss; sorrow; long-term, unresolved anger; unconfessed sin; drugs; alcohol; bitterness; lack of ambivalence; etc.
- The answer here is to confront the sin problem until it is confessed and dealt with. Deal with the cause rather than the symptom. (Gothard) - seek to find the emotional wound or hurt out of which the rebellion, bitterness and vindictiveness flow, don’t just seek to confront these isolated from their causes
- TARE - TROUBLE:
Christ tells us in Matthew 13:24-30 that wherever there is a true body of believers, Satan ("the enemy") will plant false believers. These false or pseudo ) counterfeit believers (some might know they are tares and some might not) will work in harmony with Satan’s goal which is to produce greater and greater friction for the purpose of FRACTURE.
- 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
- Romans 16:17-=18
3 CAN FRICTION IN THE CHURCH EVER BE TOTALLY AVOIDED ? No ! !
4 WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST COMMON POSTURES PASTORS/ELDERS TEND TO TAKE IN REGARD TO FRICTION IN THE CHURCH ?
One of the primary keys to coping with friction ( resistance, disagreements
dissension, etc. in a church is the pastor/teacher, who is usually at least part of the problem, and can be a large part of the solution.
Every pastor/teacher at one time or another (and usually on a continuing basis)
is going to have to cope with frictional situations by opting for one of the following three roles postures in regard to the heat being generated by the friction. (At least in my years of experience as a pastor/teacher)
- This posture seeks to defend self and/or others at all costs - it is the to "make sure you come out clean whatever the cost." kind of posture (even at the expense of having to possibly twist the truth, or deal in half-truths, or to shifting the blame to one degree or another, or pleading ignorance, or neglecting to investigate, or.....) You get the point here!
- This position is like withholding lubrication from the surfaces which are rubbing together - it simply maintains or increases friction to one degree or another
- This posture primarily tries to find fault rather than to resolve the issue. It seeks to place the blame on someone else by direct or indirect implication. It is a "Let’s pin the blame on someone" attitude - it is vengeance rather than resolution
- Like sand being poured into the machinery of human relationships, this position increases the friction, therefore increasing the long-term damaging effects of any abrasiveness between fellow believers.
ACCOMMODATE POSTURE: (to conciliate - to make compatible.)
- This is the only wise option because it is the one in which the unity of though and feeling between those involved is the goal. ("when we are slandered we try to appease... I Corin 4:1`3a)
- In this posture the goal is to pour the oil of the Spirit between the abrasive contacts. (Gal. 5:22, 23) therefore seeking to reduce or even eliminate the friction that has produced the anger and the alienation.
"For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity." Proverbs 2:6,7
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant