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...

Family/Marriage/Children

 Articles on Family/Marriage/Children   Resurrection: Accepting the Consequences of God’s Greatest Act of Peacemaking Family/Marriage/Children Why Christians Divorce Walking in Peace amid Holiday Strife The Myths of Divorce The High Cost of Conflict Among Christians The God We Can Trust The Effects of Divorce on America The Dangers of “Good” Advocacy The Cross and Criticism « Older Entries DVD Group Study Find Help Upcoming Events...

The High Cost of Conflict Among Christians

The High Cost of Conflict Among Christiansby Ken Sande, Founder of Peacemaker MinistriesYou may know from first-hand experience that conflict among Christians is costly. But just how costly is it? I admit that it is difficult to quantify the spiritual cost of conflict—how do you measure the pain, suffering, and diminished witness caused by Christians who fight one another? Yet as I’ve looked at several studies in the United States, I think that it is possible (and reasonable) to estimate the more tangible costs of conflict. I believe you will find it both eye-opening and sobering. Summary Born again Christians in the U.S. file 4 to 8 million lawsuits every year, often against other Christians, costing 20 to 40 billion dollars. There are approximately 19,000 major, scarring church conflicts in the U.S. each year (an average of 50 per day). 32% of born again Christians who have been married have gone through a divorce, virtually the same percentage as our general population. 1,500 pastors leave their assignments every month in the U.S. because of conflict, burnout, or moral failure, costing the church at least $684 million each year. Lawsuits Among Christians 20 million civil lawsuits are filed in state courts each year.1 No attorney I have talked to thought that Christians were noticeably less likely to file a lawsuit than a non-Christian. 41% of American adults are “born again” (have made a personal commitment to Jesus and believe they will get into heaven because they trust in him).3 Estimated number of civil lawsuits filed by “born again” Christians: 4-8 million20 million x .41 = 8 million (even if Christians...

The Effects of Divorce on America

The Effects of Divorce on America The Effects of Divorce on AmericaThe Effects of Divorce on AmericaThis article is adapted from a June 5, 2000 article published by the Heritage Foundation.by Patrick F. Fagan and Robert Rector American society may have erased the stigma that once accompanied divorce, but it can no longer ignore its massive effects. As social scientists track successive generations of American children whose parents have ended their marriages, the data are leading even some of the once-staunchest supporters of divorce to conclude that divorce is hurting American society and devastating the lives of children. Its effects are obvious in family life, educational attainment, job stability, income potential, physical and emotional health, drug use, and crime. Each year, over 1 million American children suffer the divorce of their parents (see Chart 1). Moreover, half of all children born to married parents this year will experience the divorce of their parents before they reach their 18th birthday. This fact alone should give policymakers and those whose careers focus on children reason to pause. But the social science research also is showing that the effects of divorce continue into adulthood and affect the next generation of children as well. If the effects are indeed demonstrable, grave, and long-lasting, then something must be done to protect children and the nation from these consequences. Reversing the effects of divorce will entail nothing less than a cultural shift in attitude, if not a cultural revolution, because society still embraces divorce in its laws and popular culture, sending out myriad messages that “It’s okay.” It is not. Mounting evidence in the annals...