Resurrection: Accepting the Consequences of God’s Greatest Act of Peacemaking

Resurrection: Accepting the Consequences of God’s Greatest Act of Peacemaking By David Edling, Senior Ministry Consultant (retired) for Peacemaker Ministries If you are familiar with Peacemaker Ministries’ materials, you know that “accept the consequences” is one of the Seven A’s of Confession. When we confess our sin completely, we show that our confession is sincere by taking responsibility for the harm we have caused. In other words, we willingly “accept the consequences.” Similarly, when we confess Christ as our Lord and Savior, we show that our profession of faith is sincere by accepting the consequences. But what does that really mean? As Easter approaches, I have been thinking about how accepting God’s gift of eternal life in Christ also means accepting the “consequence” that it was my sin that made Christ’s death on the cross necessary. Realizing this was, for me, the first step in recognizing my need for a Savior who could completely and effectively take responsibility for my sin and its harmful effects. The sacrifice for my sin could not be borne by me, but only by the One who knew no sin. Therefore, only Jesus Christ, the spotless Lamb, could be offered as an acceptable sacrifice, reconciling me with God the Father (see Revelation 5). This is the gospel—the good news that the consequences of my sins are paid for and forgiven in Christ, because he alone is worthy. All who have stopped trusting in their own worthless sacrifice and have placed their trust in Christ for eternal life know this to be true. But how often do we stop to think about the other consequence, the present consequence of...

Perry Church Of The Nazarene

A Snapshot of a Church on the Journey Perry Church of the Nazarene in Perry, MI Jon Demerly, a lay leader for Perry Church of the Nazarene, answers a few questions about his church’s experience on its journey toward a culture of peace. What got your church started with peacemaking? Our church experienced a conflict amongst the leadership that did not go well. This situation was combined with a vague feeling that unresolved conflicts of the past were still lingering. Out of all this, I was personally struck with a sense that God must have a better way. As one of the church leaders, I felt inadequate to deal with these situations on my own, and so I figured that there must be others out there that have been down this road already. I literally did a Google search on “church conflict” and was amazed by what I found. I was initially struck by the sheer amount of information out there, confirming for me that we were not alone in having conflict. After checking several websites, I came to the Peacemaker Ministries website, and it was very clear to me that God did have a better way. Here was a place that definitely had a right heart about how to approach conflict. I spent a fair amount of time going through the material on the website. With a new sense of hope, I shared this information with our senior pastor, Tim Harmon, who also embraced it. This was the beginning of the process for us. What steps has your church taken to implement peacemaking? Do you have a peacemaking...

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...