Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Heads or Tails?

Once the listening ends, then we speak (in Love) seeking to restore. We put our case using Scripture (something that so many orthodox seem to see as weakness as many don't use it), reason, tradition and love. Having made our case we listen again to the response and so on until we come to a point where an impasse is reached or it is obvious that pearls are being cast.

Then, sending (or leaving) them with a blessing, admonition, rebuke but never a curse we part company. If they are in our fellowship and they will not listen and witnesses followed by the leadership and then the whole church have been Biblically brought into the situation they are asked polite;ly to modify their position and if not fellowship 'koinonia' is broken.

this is not a light step to take for as I understand it koinonia is effectively being family and to 'divorce' a member of a fellowship and cast them out is an extreme and final option to be taken.

Sometimes we can speak and listen and whilst both parties do listen and hear the other side it it obvious that the situation has become inert. Then we need to bring in others who might have greater knowledge, wisdom or perspective in our endeavour to seek a position of peace.

A few years ago when pastoring, I had two men who disagreed over a pretty piddling issue. Neither would budge and neither was really listening to the other. Eventually I was called in and seeing that this was not a faith issue but a disagreement with a bit of Bible added for the upper moral ground I recalled a passage from Proverbs 18:18 (the next verse after the 'other man's story) which says something like:

" Casting lots can bring an end to arguments and settle disputes between powerful and aggressive men!"

I showed them the passage and asked whether they could settle the issue having discussed it between themselves and then with me. They both said a resounding 'No'. So I asked one whether he wanted heads or tails, he chose and I tossed. "Every lot cast is decided by God," I said as the coin spun - they left accepting the position of one as the place they would live in and I got to have a quiet evening.

Sometimes life is merely a toss up it seems - where wisdom fails chance provides

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