The Correlation Factor – Maturity & Unity

January 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Pastor

In the recent past I met with a Denominational figure. After considering what IUS offers to churches with genuine and serious interest, he shared the following. “Tom, I would really like to take our churches through the Transformation Process IgniteUS provides. However, I cannot do that. I invest almost all of my time serving as a referee in a variety of church squabbles. The level of conflict just continues to escalate and I see no end to that trend.”

What does that tell us about the spiritual condition of those who make up those assemblies? It seems clear that persons who are embroiled in constant rancor and conflict within the church are at the very least in need of corrective discipline and very well may be flat out lost, unredeemed. Conflict is almost always the result of two sin stained people seeking to impose their agenda on others. Neither considers the word of God. Neither is receptive to a careful exegesis of the text of Scripture. Neither has any inclination to be in submission to their Leaders or to Absolute Truth. They are hell bent on getting “their way” regardless of the cost or price that must be paid to do so.

Denominational structures include entire Departments titled “Conflict Resolution“. If my readers examine the content of the approaches applied by these entities, there is little or no application of the Scripture. The Number 1 reason for decline in the church in America is CONTROL. People are all sinners so the presence of conflict is not surprising. What is utterly astonishing is that there is an attempt to find resolution through a process that is not rooted and grounded in the Bible.

When Paul wrote to the Ephesians concerning the various gifted men that God gave to the church, he cited among others Pastor/Teachers (Eph. 4:12). A chief responsibility of these men is building up the Body of Christ. Then in Eph. 4:13 he equates unity – knowledge – maturity. If there is an absence of unity it may very well be that there is a definite lack of knowledge and certainly an absence of maturity.

I suspect that if we were to gather objective data on each person causing trouble in the churches of America we would find a one to one correlation between their lack of knowledge of God’s Word and maturity in the fulness of the Image of Christ.

So, until the LORD returns Pastor, continue to teach and preach the text. Love people with the love of Christ. Encourage, Rebuke, Exhort, Correct and DO NOT permit anyone to despise you, to “think around you” (Titus 2:15). In doing so, God will use you to save some, even from themselves.

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