What does the bible say about conflict?  How should Christians engage in necessary conflict?  These people think the allegedly wronged professors have gone about it the non-Christian way.  Gary Richardson says that they tried to mediate before filing suit; but ORU did not respond.



  1. Elizabeth Conley says:

    Outstanding question. It deserves a cogent answer.

    I have posted 3 highly relevant Bible verses below, listed as A, B, & C. If you are prepared for even heavier reading, consider D. For the explanation, read E.
    A. If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. .’If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. Matthew 18:15-17
    B. Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear. I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality” (1 Timothy 5:19-21
    C. The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. Titus 1:5-9
    D. See 1&2 Samuel


    Pay particular attention to the story of Saul’s rise to leadership, his subsequent fall from grace, David’s anointing by Samuel, Saul’s madness and persecution of David, David’s continued respect for Saul’s humanity, person and office and David’s continued regard for Saul’s person after Saul’s demise.
    E. The Bible calls for a high degree of honesty and integrity in relationships. If two Christians are in conflict, gossip and backbiting are not appropriate. The wronged party must go to the other in private to discuss the matter graciously. (See A). If things aren’t resolved one on one, the wronged party must bring along another Christian or two to help convince the miscreant. Again, there’s no place for gossip, backbiting or public drama.
    Now, what if resolution does not occur? Well, you can bring it to the church. This is where things get extremely difficult. (See B). If the problem is with a person designated as “Elder”, a high burden of proof is required. If you’re lucky, the church is composed of mature believers. They assign the role of elder only to an appropriate number of well qualified people. (See C)
    Unfortunately, you probably wouldn’t need to “go to the church” over the behavior of a qualified elder. So if your problem is so bad that you’ve gotten to this point, you have a serious problem. In my opinion, you’d be wise to leave. Many churches that have rigid hierarchy are strewn with highly improbable “elders”. Be afraid, very, very afraid. Such a church will abuse anyone who dares to challenge the behavior of an “elder”. They are not mature Christians themselves, and under the persistent facade of niceness that they have substituted for goodness lies every foul dysfunctionalism known to humanity. They are prone to every form of legalism you can imagine, and once you’ve fallen out of favor they will crucify you. Run!!!
    Now you may ask, why not stand and fight? Well, consider D. It’s a long tale, I know. Still, it’s instructive to observe how David treated Saul, and how David’s leadership was honed in the years he waited for God’s purpose to play out in his own life and Saul’s. This is the U.S. It is a free country. People who belong to crazy chicken- coop churches have a right to their dysfuntionalism. Just as your parents indulgently allowed you to be a toddler, a preschooler, a child, an adolescent, a teen and a young adult…Yep, that’s a lot of patience!!! You need to recognize that other people are entitled to grow at their own pace too. If they need to be fooled, abused and dictated too, then let them be. It is perfectly possible to be saved and lead a good Christian life in that environment. For some people, the rigid authoritarianism may be their only defense against addiction or madness. Leave them be!

    There is arrogance in rescuing behaviors, and pride is a sin!

    In Christ,

    E. Conley

  2. Elizabeth Conley says:

    PS~ The above post is in no way intended to condemn the three professors prosecuting Richard Roberts and Co.

    There are aggravating circumstances involved in that case. The professors have understandable feelings of responsibility towards their students. There is also a pattern of criminal malfeasance at ORU that would have fallen under the RICO act in past decades.

    These are brave people. I pray they don’t get crushed.

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