Monday, December 17, 2012

Your Church Conflict from a Wesleyan perspective

Three paragraphs in three doctrinal sermons from which I draw inferences and then synthesize--

Sermon 21, ¶ I.1, Inference --The Sermon on the Mount lists both the stages of Christian maturation and the principle characteristics of Christians, which means that mature Christians will continue to experience the earlier gifts (i.e., poor in spirit, mournful, meek).

Sermon 23, ¶ II.3, Inference-- Church conflicts can be a means of grace for those at the peacemaker stage.

Sermon 24, ¶ I.1, Inference-- The Christian maturation process requires community.

Synthesis-- Differences of opinion between church members are inevitable.  A church with members at the peacemaker stage of faith can draw upon the spiritual gifts of such members to settle inner-church conflicts.  Instead of avoiding conflict, church members should use it as an opportunity to put into practice the Sermon on the Mount virtues, which will (by God’s grace) help them to reach the higher stages of faith.  The possibility of reaching this state of maturation increases when individuals remain committed to a Christian community instead of abandoning it because of disagreements.

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