Unity And Resolution Of Church Conflict  

Abstract Category: Other Categories
Course / Degree: ThD
Institution / University: Trinity Graduate School of Apologetics and Theology, India
Published in: 2010

Thesis Abstract / Summary:

“For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and I partly believe it.” 1 Cor 11:18 KJV

Biblical principles for resolving conflict are not as easy to discern and practice as it may seem.  Add a dose of modern technology (email, websites, media, etc.) and false teaching, and you have a mix guaranteed to frustrate, anger, and grieve the best of us.  Clergy has access to resources designed for holding factious congregants accountable and keeping leaders in charge.  However, for various reasons, there are precious few resources written to assist laity who find themselves involved in church conflict.  This text examines the theology of unity and how various forms of church government serve to maintain unity.  It also provides the layperson with insight into dealing with secret church governments that border on cult status.  Sovereignty and man’s sinful nature are major themes in understanding church conflict.  Leaving a church is not easy or enjoyable, but is sometimes necessary when efforts at resolution have failed.  But to recognize when you as an individual or as a family have reached that point is difficult to discern.  Finally, there are similarities between church government and civil government.  Biblical eschatology indicates a coming one-world church/civil government.  Someday, Christ will return and reign over both. 

This thesis includes personal stories of interaction with leadership authorities.  Wouldn’t anyone desire to resolve conflict without aggression, hostility, grief, or frustration?  Many times, the system of authority promotes these things – unknown to any of the parties involved.  The authorities are acting out of delegated or assumed authority.  The concerned party or parties begin by asking questions.  Answers would reveal too much so the authorities are either silent or punish the people asking the questions – thus escalating the original problem.  This author focuses on the structure of authority.  A similar D.Min work discovered providentially prior to this thesis was Dr Orlowski’s efforts to restore the broken lives of conflict (churchexiters.com).  Networking is essential in navigating both the structure of authority and maintaining peace in the process.  An international discussion forum has grown out of this interchange over the years as more and more victims of spiritual abuse surface around the globe.

Ideally, people should understand the structure of authority (family, church, civil, and business) prior to engaging it.  But a combination of naïveté and disbelief often lead to unresolved conflict.  Man’s sinful nature corrupts authority (absolute power corrupts absolutely).  The combination is explosive.  Dialog is conducted from three positions – logic, emotion, and power.  Emotion trumps logic.  Power trumps both.  Recognizing the positions in operation facilitate one’s conclusions to pursue, appeal, or flee.  Everyone votes with the pen, the purse, or the feet.  Networking provides a massive base of support and encouragement as evidenced by peaceful protests around the world in recent years.  Unfortunately, networking comes at a price.  Even if protestors are not executed, they are often punished even for asking questions.  Departure is often painful due to well established relationships.  So the victims persist until they are emotionally destroyed.  What if authorities declared a constitution unbiblical and acted as if they were gods?

Thesis Keywords/Search Tags:
unity, conflict, resolution, spiritual, abuse, church, government, accountability, authority, corruption, power, logic, emotion, punishment, vote, episopal, presbyterian, congregational, monarchy

This Thesis Abstract may be cited as follows:
Mark Burton, Unity and Resolution of Church Conflict, 2010

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Submission Details: Thesis Abstract submitted by Mark Burton from United States on 01-Feb-2012 21:06.
Abstract has been viewed 1921 times (since 7 Mar 2010).

Mark Burton Contact Details: Email: mark@nmsciencefoundation.org Phone: 505 294-7609

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