Over the past three weeks I've been working behind the scenes in dealing with a conflict within the church where I'm now serving as the Lead Pastor. It's been exhausting, challenging, and difficult but ultimately has served to bring our leaders and congregation together in unity in a way previously unknown in our Church's history.
Unfortunately many Pastors and Churches shy away from confronting conflict and sin directly. Somehow we get trapped into believing that the Christian thing to do is overlook sin, sweep it under the rug and pray that it goes away. When congregational conflict goes underground it undermines the Gospel.
The Gospel reminds us that our sins, no matter how dark, deep or destructive can be brought out in the light of day and confessed to our heavenly Father.
Hiding hurts, confession brings healing.
Confrontation is necessary as you fight for holiness, for your brother or sister in Christ and for your Church. When we refuse to confront it really is a sign that we love our comfort and the illusion of peace more than the Gospel.
The following from Paul Tripp underscores this:
I’m convinced that the big crisis for the church of Jesus Christ is not that we are easily dissatisfied but that we are all too easily satisfied. We have a regular and perverse ability to make things work that are not and should not be working. We learn to adjust to things that we should alter. We learn to be okay with things we should be confronting. We learn how to avoid things we should be facing. We would rather be comfortable than to hold people accountable. We swindle ourselves into thinking that things are better than they are, and in so doing we compromise the calling and standards of the God we say we love and serve. Like sick people who are afraid of the doctor, we collect evidence that points to our health when really, in our heart of hearts, we know we are sick. So we settle for a human second best, when God, in grace, offers us so much more.
Paul David Tripp (2012-10-15). Dangerous Calling (p. 59). Good News Publishers. Kindle Edition.