Lynn , Penfield NY 05/27/14
Anger and God
Thanks you for this very thorough look at what scripture has to offer when we face conflict. Another layer of this is anger addressed at God. I like to refer to Psalm 22 “My God, My God Why have you forsaken me..” which starts out with intense anguish and anger directed at God. Verse after verse cries out to God, but by the end of the psalm, the words turn from anger to praise. This psalm shows us that God can handle our anger and transform it into something very valuable. www.Congogram.com
Cei , Memphis TN 03/17/14
This article was very helpful. Thanks for the incite on resolving conflict in the church, with the scriptures. People are leaving the churches in droves due to conflict. Unfortunately many Pastors/Leaders manage in a dictatorial leadership style. This style is not conducive to creating synergy among congregants. Scripture gives us balance in the church; w/o it, we are at the whims of the Leaders, whether they be spiritually/politically right or wrong in their decision making. Thanks for this article
Darlene Adams-Langley, Greenville NC firstname.lastname@example.org 01/25/13
Article on Conflict in the Congregation
I am a student working on my Master degree at Apex School of Theology. I am enrolled in a class call Crisis and Conflict Management. After reading your article on Congregational Conflict Resolution and the use of Scriptures has really painted a clear picture on different ways of handling conflict in the church. I was able to apply all these tools to my own situation. I was approach and accuse falsely accuse which created hardship between me and the other party involved. My accuser was not called into the office, so it was a matter of hearsay. I was totally upset when I let there. But to God be the Glory I prayed and ask God to help me to not hold any grudges against my accuser. Your article helps me spiritually in dealing with crisis and conflict among the congregation.
Lester , Baltimore MD 01/25/07
AUTHOR'S COMMENTS TO JAMES
Thank you for your reply to this article. I am glad that you read a lot and are astute enough to know that we need to avail ourselves of all resources that can help us resolve conflict. I regularly read the Bible, and in my ministry to churches and church leaders, I have found it essential in providing light and revelation to help people who are at odds with each other. If more people would use the scriptures and apply them to their lives, I believe that much of the unresolved conflicts and splits in the church would be resolved. This article was written to encourage people to use te Bible and to see the valuable resource that it is. I thank yo for your contribution to this on-going dialogue, and best wishes in helping others resolve their differences with each other in your life and your circle of influence.
Do you read much sir?
I have found that in any conflict you must utilize any and all resources available that offers resolution. I do feel that you are quite limited if you refuse to listen to the advice of a world renowned, award winning, & time surpassing book as the Holy Bible. Many have tried to argue against it, but have only failed to disprove it's legitimicy and historical accuracies. That's all.
Lester , Baltimore MD 05/27/04
AUTHOR'S REPLY TO AMY, TACOMA
Thank you for your reply to this Article, and your willingness to take a stand and dialogue on important issues such as this. I also believe dialogue is important to help people understand each other. This article on the use of scriptures is not written to win an argument against non-Christians. It is written to enlighten both Christians and non-Christians on the many uses of scriptures to help people resolve their differences with each other. Some non-Christian denominations and congregations also use the scriptures to help them resolve conflict. It is my hope that the words I shared and the scriptures given in the article will be some help to them.
Amy , Tacoma Wa 05/17/04
Non-Christian Speaks Up
As a non-Christian I must also point out that useing bible verse against a non-Christian to win any kind of argument not only leaves most non-Christians anoyed but also renders anything you have to say as null in void. Most of us are bombarded on a daily basis with Christian propaganda. Everyday we are subjected to Chrisian literature and social controll. Many of us find it either anoying or insulting. The act of throwing around bible verses at is concidered by many to be a kin to tell us that no matter what the impasse is that what we belive doesnt matter and that your throwing your faith in our faces.
While this might be a prudent arguement with in a Christan situation: it is NOT prudent to use this method when dealing with people of a non-Christian faith. Its desresepctfull. We hear every day all about Christiantiy, and if we arnt Christian chances are we dont care to hear about it any more than we have to. You have your belifes, and we have our own, what ever they may be. Try sticking to the more universial arguements such as "how does it make you feel when.." or "This is what I belived that you said:" or my personal favorite "help me to undersand why...."
Use scriptures sparingly, otherwise those of us of other faiths get the impression that your little more than a well trained parrot. Use your scriptures with other Christians: use normal language with us. You will get your point across better that way.
Lester Adams, Baltimore MD Ladam3003@yahoo.com 05/13/04
AUTHOR'S REPLY TO MARGARET, URBANA, OH
Thank you for your comment. As to further Christian conciliation principles backed up by additional Biblical references available, a good starting point would be an article I completed last year entitled, Congregational Conflict: Things To Do If The Phone Call Comes. This was also published by Mediate.com. You will be able to find it at their web site. For additional written resources available, you may contact me by e-mail. In answer to the question about Ken Sande, I met Ken in 1995 when he did a Conflict in the Church Training workshop at a church in the Baltimore area. I also took the conciliator training course offered by Peacemaker Ministries (formerly Institute of Christian Conciliation) in 1995 and 1996. As to books, I am working on four manuscripts. Three are books on using scriptures to resolve conflict. The fourth is a book to train congregational leaders how to deal with opposition. I am not sure when any of these books will be published. My plan is to continue to write, teach and mediate disputes as the doors open to do so.
Margaret , Urbana OH 05/12/04
Found your scriptural references very enlightening. Wonder if you have any further Christian conciliation principles backed up with additional Biblical references. Found myself wanting more when I reached the end of your article!
I am teaching Christian Conciliation in the form of an elective class at my church using Ken Sande materials from Peacemaker Ministries. Are you familiar with his work? Might we expect a book from you anytime soon?