Hello Altered Stories Family.
I want to take a few moments to talk about a subject that is personal to me, because I have seen the division within the body of Christ that can come out of it.
Have you ever been part of a church split? Have you ever watched as the family you have grown close to let division creep in, and now they are at each other’s throats? Sometimes, it can get so bad that this cancer turns leadership against their sheep, and so the church is destroyed from within.
I have seen this, been the victim of being twisted against one’s leadership, and now, right at this moment I am watching a church fall. While I will not go into the exact details, I will say that no matter who you are, this sort of situation is extremely heart breaking.
Yet Yeshua Jesus spoke to this in the Gospels. He said “if you go to the altar, and there you realize that you have something against your brother, you are to leave your gift at the altar and make things right.”
He also said in Matthew 28: that if you are in a conflict with another brother or sister, you are to go to them one on one, and deal with the issue. If they will not listen, then you are to bring another with you, and deal with the offense against you. If they will not listen you are to take it to the leadership. If that doesn’t solve it, then you are to take it before the church.
Please note a few things here. Yeshua Jesus gave direction on what you are to do, he didn’t say go and gossip about what happened to you, he said you are to go directly to them and deal with it. This also holds true with the leadership of your church. If you take an offense to your leadership, and you haven’t tried to handle it with the person who offended you, then this if not handled correctly is the root of division.
What if it is the leadership that is causing the problem? That is a harder issue to handle, but I believe the same format holds true, you approach them one on one at first, and take it up in scale if they will not hear you.
Mike and I had to do this with our Pastor because he sinned against us by talking behind our back. This talk caused a lot of issues even going so far as to bring the state into the matter. The Pastor in question did not check out a situation that was reported to him, but took the word of someone else, and ran with it.
The point to the whole matter is this, If you have sinned, don’t let it fester, go and deal with it before it gets worse. If someone has sinned against you, again don’t let it fester, until bitter roots of division sink in, and harm the church body. Be quick to forgive, slow to anger, and discerning when you hear something out of turn.
If someone comes to talk to you about someone else, ask if they have talked to that person about it. If they have not, then explain that you don’t want to hear any more, that they should go and speak to the person. This alone will stop most gossip and division, and perhaps less church splits won’t happen that way. God honors unity over division.
I hope you find what I’ve shared helpful.