Destructive Church Conflict — The Antithesis to Our Faith

AntithesisDestructive church conflict causes pain … to God.

Of course, it causes pain to the people going through the church conflict too. But the pain of the antithesis to our faith is felt most by God. When his eternal children live in the church as if their faith made little or no difference, His warning, “If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other (Gal. 5:15),” is tragically fulfilled.

What does it look like when we respond to church conflict with an antithesis to our faith?

  • What can now be seen trumps what is unseen.
  • The temporal is of greater concern than the eternal.
  • Self-interest supersedes the interests of others.
  • Loyalty to a person is more highly valued than loyalty to Christ.
  • The present is more important than the future.
  • Angry venting feels more productive than controlling the tongue.
  • The opinion of other people is more important than the opinion of God.
  • Being a victim is more satisfying than being an overcomer.
  • Fear of man is more terrifying than fear of God.
  • Anxiety over possible outcomes takes priority over trusting God.

Consider your current church conflicts. How are you living in antithesis to the very Christian faith you profess to believe?

Church conflict reveals antithesis.
Church conflict fuels antithesis.
Church conflict grieves God.
Church conflict destroys.

But there is one among us who loves the antithesis of faith that destructive church conflict is (Rev. 12:9).

– Dave Edling


About David V. Edling

Dave Edling is an experienced Christian conciliator who has worked with many conflicted churches. During his decade of service on the senior staff of Peacemaker Ministries, he participated in over 200 mediation and arbitration cases and worked with nearly twenty thousand Christians engaged in conflicts affecting churches of almost every denomination. Dave holds several graduate degrees in addition to his Bachelor of Science degree from Oregon State University. They are: Master of Arts in Human Behavior, United States International University (now Alliant International University); Juris Doctor, California Western School of Law; Master of Arts in Religion, Westminster Seminary California; and Master of Arts in Biblical Conflict Resolution, Birmingham Theological Seminary. Dave has served as a trustee on the Board of Directors for Covenant College and Westminster Seminary California and has taught in the Doctor of Ministry programs for Reformed Theological Seminary, Mid-Western Baptist Theological Seminary, and Westminster Theological Seminary. In addition, Dave has been a lecturer in practical theology for several other Christian colleges and seminaries.
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