Preparing For Christian Arbitration

  The following information is provided to assist you as you prepare for an Arbitration administered through Peacemaker Ministries. This is not intended to provide legal advice or counsel, nor replace the counsel given by your attorney. The assistance of independent legal counsel is especially helpful when dealing with significant legal rights or when state or federal statues are involved. As stated in the Rules of Procedure for Christian Concilation (Rule 13) “Conciliation can affect substantial legal rights and responsibilities and parties should consult with an attorney regarding specific legal issues and responsibilities.”What is Arbitration? Arbitration, as administered through Peacemaker Ministries, is a formal process during which parties in conflict present their evidence to an Arbitrator. The Arbitrator receives the evidence, applies applicable Biblical law and guidelines, and state, federal, and local law, and renders a legally binding decision. The Arbitrator is neutral, like a civil court judge, and will consider each parties’ argument and evidence, and provide the parties with a written decision which resolves the material or substantive issues identified in the Statement of Issues under the Arbitration Agreement. The most significant difference between Christian conciliation and civil, or secular, conciliation is that of the application of law. As stated in Rule 4 of the Guidelines for Christian Conciliation, “Conciliators shall take into consideration any state, federal, or local laws that the parties bring to their attention, but Holy Scripture (The Bible) shall be the supreme authority governing every aspect of the conciliation process.” Who is the Arbitrator? The Arbitrator is a person selected by the parties or nominated by Peacemaker Ministries to serve as a judge...

Peacemeal – June 4, 2008…The Fear Diet

Peacemeal – June 4, 2008…The Fear Diet   The Fear Diet   There is no fear in love…  perfect love drives out fear… I John 4:18Denial.  One way to escape from a conflict is to pretend that it does not exist.  Or, if we cannot deny that the problem exists, we simply refuse to do what should be done to resolve a conflict properly.  These responses bring only temporary relief and usually make matters worse (see Gen. 16:1-6; I Sam. 2:22-25).Flight.  Another way to escape from a conflict is to run away.  This may include leaving the house, ending a friendship, quitting a job, filing for divorce, or changing churches.  In most cases, running away only postpones a proper solution to a problem (see Gen. 16:6-8), so flight is usually a harmful way to deal with conflict… Taken from  The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 23 Food for Thought Have you ever thought about fear as an indulgence that we as Christians can’t afford? We often think of rich desserts and fine cars as indulgences, and they certainly can be. But fear is an indulgence, too–one that Christians engage in at least as much (if not far more) than Krispy Kreme donuts or Jaguar sports cars. We indulge in fear each time we deny a conflict that exists with a friend–even though we know there is a cancer-like silence between us that Satan is probably filling with his lies.  We indulge in fear when we tell others or ourselves, “I’ve had enough.  I’m done with this.”  While...

Sample Detailed Response (Case 4)

(Review Scenario) Note: This response is much more detailed than a person would write when he or she is just beginning to study biblical peacemaking. Don’t be discouraged if your answer is much shorter than this one. Instead, thank God that there is so much practical guidance in his Word for you to learn and apply in the weeks ahead. Have you ever had people look to you for help in resolving a conflict such as the one between Chris and Terry? Sometimes it seems there is nothing we can do. Each person’s position sounds reasonable! And we are afraid of appearing to favor one position over the other—and ending up offending at least one of them. Fortunately, God’s Word provides wise and relevant guidance to help bring a mutually satisfying resolution to the conflict. Peacemaker Ministries has organized this rich biblical wisdom into training and resources that equip people to guide others in reaching agreement, a process that is often called mediation. A wonderful starting place for every Christian is our booklet, Guiding People through Conflict. This practical, “nuts-and-bolts” resource is designed to provide relevant tools in response to opportunities like the one presented by Chris and Terry. Where do you start? A good framework for your preparation is to build around what are called the “Three P’s” of satisfaction. The first “P” is to make sure that both Chris and Terry are satisfied with the process, or have process satisfaction. Have each of them had a chance to fully explain his or her side of the story? Have they had a chance to respond to each other?...

Sample Detailed Response (Case 3)

(Review Scenario) Note: This response is much more detailed than a person would write when he or she is just beginning to study biblical peacemaking. Don’t be discouraged if your answer is much shorter than this one. Instead, thank God that there is so much practical guidance in his Word for you to learn and apply in the weeks ahead. Dear ________, Thank you for taking the time to describe your circumstance in such detail. You have obviously been thinking about this seriously, and from your letter I can tell that you understand that your response will have profound and lasting consequences. It is humbling to have you trust me enough to share your struggle and ask for my counsel. My prayer is that God will continue to lead you as he has promised, and that he will give me wisdom as I reply. I have found that the best way to think biblically when I am challenged by conflict is to deliberately apply the Peacemaker Ministries framework — the 4 G’s — that we have been learning in our small group study. By doing this, you are more likely to ask yourself the right questions and take steps that will lead toward reconciliation. Glorify God Can you commit to me that you will daily pray that God will give you a desire to “shine a light on Him” during every step in this process? Whenever we’re in a conflict our response either draws attention to our circumstances and ourselves or draws attention toward the living God. You will start off on a solid footing by moving forward in...

Sample Detailed Response (Case 2)

(Review Scenario) Note: This response is much more detailed than a person would write when he or she is just beginning to study biblical peacemaking. Don’t be discouraged if your answer is much shorter than this one. Instead, thank God that there is so much practical guidance in his Word for you to learn and apply in the weeks ahead. Dear ________, I am honored that you would seek my advice with such an important family matter. If you had asked me about this a few months ago, I would probably have urged you to follow your instincts and avoid Susan for a few weeks! But I have recently been studying how to respond to conflict using God’s principles, so I want to suggest a different response. I’ve enclosed a Peacemaker Brochure for you. It is a great summary of the basic principles of biblical peacemaking that I have been learning and practicing. You can find more information about this at Peacemaker Ministries’ website (www.Peacemaker.net), starting with the Slippery Slope and Foundational Principles pages. In the brochure is a diagram called the “Slippery Slope of Conflict.” Do you see the left side of the diagram? Your desire to stay clear of Susan could put you in the “escape zone,” which will only delay resolving your differences. Worse yet, Susan might confront you when you’re not ready for it, which could move you both into the “attack zone” — sharp or defensive words will only make things worse. If even one person in a conflict responds to a conflict in the “peacemaking zone,” a lot of grief can be avoided. I...