Christians are subject to the civil system set up by our government because God made the government; but God allows the people to govern themselves. As such, Christians are required to respect the law whether they agree with it or not. Rom. 13:1-7
However, while our government has established our judicial system to resolve disputes, the Bible teaches that Christians should avoid suing other Christians. 1 Cor. 6: 1-6
Christians are not perfect, and just like everyone else we have interpersonal and business relationships in which conflict can arise. Churches (collections of believers) also experience conflict.
In all of their affairs, including resolving disputes, the central theme for Christians is to humbly obey the word of God. This is best accomplished when we love one another. ―Love your neighbor as yourself.
Christians understand that no one is without sin; it is how we go about resolving our sin that is important.
Thus, God understands that Christians will have disagreements with one another. He wants us to resolve them with love and to use methods that are Christ-centered and which reflect Jesus’ admonition to love one another as we love ourselves. Matt. 18:15–17
Whether dealing with other Christians or with non-Christians, the Bible instructs Christ‘s followers to never take their own revenge but instead trust God and overcome evil with good. Rom. 12:17-21
BIBLICAL BEGINNINGS TO CONFLICT RESOLUTION
The Old Testament
To help His people to resolve their disputes, God told Moses ― “Choose wise and discerning and experienced men from your tribes, and appoint them as your heads.” Deut.1: 13-18
Therefore, Moses chose able men from all of the tribes of Israel and appointed them heads over the people, leaders of thousands and of hundreds, of fifties and of tens. Moses then told these judges to hear cases between their fellow countrymen or the aliens who were with them. Not only were these judges called to be impartial when deciding a dispute, they were also called to teach the people God‘s laws. Ex.18:13-27
God told His people not to go to court because of the uncertainties of litigation and because they may lose their case and may be put to shame. Proverbs 25:8-10
The New Testament
After the New Covenant was established, the theme of problem resolution outside of the courtroom continued to expand. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." Matt. 5:9
He instructed His disciples to be at peace with all men, if possible, so far as it was dependent on them. Rom. 12:18
He told Christians to settle their conflicts quickly, rather than having to go to court where the outcome may be very bad! Matt. 5:23-26
The apostle Paul strongly discouraged lawsuits between believers and he admonished Christians to settle their disputes with the help of wise believers, rather than by unbelievers in the court. He taught that going to court against another Christian is shameful and is a defeat even before the case is heard. 1 Cor. 6:1-8
Christian Mediation provides wise and impartial counsel to assist believers with resolving their problems outside of the courts.
Christian Mediation provides wise and impartial counsel to assist believers with resolving their problems outside of the courts. We are guided by Biblical principles and grounded in the belief that Christians are called to avoid litigation.
To learn how alternative dispute resolution can help resolve your personal, business, or church-related matter, call Christian Mediation at (602) 340-8400 to schedule your free, no-risk consultation. You can also contact us online if you have any questions or would like additional information about the services we provide.
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?