Sometimes, conflict can be a good thing.

Posted: July 16, 2010 in Leadership, Me and God, Me and people

I hate –yes, strong language, when some Christians get into a JonBonjovistic role: that is “You give love a bad name”.  I am referring to situations in which mistakes of Christians give an excuse to outsiders to bash Christianity, The Bible and The church. Not for the mere sake of ‘Christian pride’ but because justly or unjustly, these situations can deviate people from seeking and finding God’s love, peace, blessing and above all, salvation. After all, God promised everlasting life not, perfect followers. It’s been said, that” the problem of the church is the people” and “if you find the perfect church –please, don’t joint it, you would ruin it”.

However –or right along with it, I often feel the need to explain certain issues in an attempt to explain to outsiders (and perhaps some insiders), that sometimes, it’s not about ‘hypocritical Christians not following God’ but ’human individually unique people striving to follow God’

I personally experienced this over a year ago. For a variety of reasons, Angela and I came to the conclusion that it was about time to move on and go to another local church. Besides the heavy, painful and dreadful fact of leaving friends –good friends, we had been doing ministry with for years, one difficult thing for me was to try to explain to my non-Christian friends and family (and again, some Christians) how this all came about without giving a bad image of Christianity. But, perhaps, full honesty is a better way, isn’t it?

A conflict report from The Bible.

The Bible does it!. We read in Acts 15:36-41 a very honest and human report of a situation that could have been ‘covered’ for the sake of appearances, but, instead it was reported, as it happened –and we can learn from it.

Long story short, Paul was about to embark into his second missionary trip to visit the churches they had planted a few years ago. He invited Barnabas to come with him. Barnabas wanted to bring John Mark with them. Paul didn’t want John Mark with them because he (JM) had left them ‘hanging’ on the previous trip… the argument grew and they ‘departed from each other’. So, Barnabas ended up going one way with John Mark; and Paul went the other way with Silas.

We don’t have any more details. My assumption is that they made peace and ‘agreed to disagree’. What we do know is that God used this ‘situation’ to split two good men into two separate teams and used them greatly each on their own way. This ‘difference of opinions’ on how to handle a human resources conflict, resulted in, not one, but two great evangelistic teams. As we read the rest of the book of Acts and The New Testament we see how successful both were.

We, in The Church (global) are all God’s family and united by His spirit. At the same time, we all have different personalities, styles, opinions and preferences –sometimes none is better than the other, just different. And sometimes God uses these unique personal differences –and the conflict they cause, to lead us into the next place He has planned for us.

Sometimes, conflict can be a good thing.

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Comments
  1. Jerry B says:

    I agree on this whole-heartedly. When I first started coming to Calvary it opened my eyes to the word of God and I started to doubt how I was raised in the church and then thought poorly about certain denominations. Then I went to another LARGE church and you had pointed out about something negative I had said about that church.

    Then it hit me. I was being just like those Christians who think their way is the only way. Like Paul and Barnabas, they disagreed on something. Neither was right or wrong, but just didn’t agree.

    Now I realize that as long as a church is Christ based and believe in the Bible, then that is fine with me. I might personally not agree with the politics of a certain church or denomination, but that doesn’t make that church any more right or wrong. In addition I learned that it wasn’t the church that I went to as a teenager’s fault for my belief issues, but simply MINE and all MINE. There are some amazing very strong Christians that I admire that came from the same group I did, it was my fault not the teachers.

    I thank you for bringing this to my attention.

  2. Angela says:

    Although John Mark was the reason for the conflict between Paul and Barney, I think it is very interesting that at the end of his life, Paul wanted John Mark with him. Paul says to Timothy, “Only Luke is with me. Get [John] Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:11)

  3. Great Jerry; it’s a cool journey we’re all in.
    Angela, you are one smart girl! do you have any plans for tonight? —(—<{@

  4. Jerry B says:

    I just listened to Mark Balmer from CCMelbourne and he actually talked on this topic. I thought the timing was perfect. He said that as long as a church believes in the Gospel, Believes that the only way to Heaven is through Jesus, then that church is alright in God’s eyes. If the church preaches the unGospel, then run away.

    Praise God!

  5. […] have likewise enjoyed considering serious issues in Christian life like judging, conflict , devotional life, and ”coincidences” from the […]

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