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Conflict: What Creates Conflict In The Local Church?
By : John Gilmore (Executive Director of Mission and Ministry, Vic/Tas)
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The theme of this article is by its very nature both objective (no examples given) and subjective (I am aware of real situations that illustrate my points). This topic of conflict is taken up very cautiously. Let's begin in the New Testament. Any reading of the New Testament that reflects on the circumstances of the churches that receive the Letters or Gospels leads us to conclude that conflict was one of the realities they faced. In Acts 6, a dispute breaks out about the care for the widows of the Hellenists. There were tensions between Paul and Peter. The church at Corinth was a church marked by conflict. The Galatian situation was clearly one of turmoil and difficulty. The pastoral letters address a series of conflicts in the early church. There are various appeals to the recipients to love each other. What is significant in the New Testament that as conflict is resolved the early church was called again to its purpose. Conflict was addressed so that the Church could get on with its mission.

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