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 Dangers of “Good” Advocacy

The Dangers of “Good” Advocacy  This article originally appeared in the Spring 1990 issue of the Christian Legal Society’s Quarterly publication.by Ken Sande, Founder of Peacemaker Ministries When can doing a good job actually hurt your client? A call to conscientious representation and reconciliation.A few months ago, I was asked to arbitrate a sizable contract dispute. Although the facts and the law were clearly in the defendant’s favor, the plaintiff’s attorney did a masterful job advocating his client’s position. A few hours’ testimony stretched into three long days, and for a while even I was beginning to wonder whether the plaintiff had been treated unfairly. By the time both sides rested their cases, however, it was clear to me that the plaintiff had breached the contract and that the defendant’s subsequent actions were justified, both legally and morally. I knew that my decision would probably destroy the plaintiff’s last hope of salvaging his business, and I felt badly when I denied his claim. What disturbed me even more, however, was the realization that this young man had been deluded by his own attorney. No, the attorney did nothing that should be reported to a commission on practice. In fact, his performance was superb by worldly standards. From a biblical view, however, it left much to be desired. A Decade of Blindfold Advocacy The trouble with this attorney, from my perspective, was that he was too effective when it came to advocating his client’s case. Hour after hour, he drew attention to every fact that appeared to justify his client’s conduct or condemn the defendant’s actions. At the same time,...

Tell It to the Church

Tell It to the Church  The Biblical Basis for Leader-Led Disciplineby David V. Edling, Senior Ministry Consultant, Peacemaker Ministries Jesus said, “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church…” (Mt.18:17). Throughout history, telling the church that a brother or sister in Christ has become hardened in sin and refuses to repent has proven a difficult task. Today, in our culture of acceptance, obeying Christ and utilizing the authority of the church to deter and turn our friends from a path of sin to a path of repentance continues to be both difficult and rare. The challenge presented by Matthew 18:17 has become almost intolerable to those who have defined the church as a loose association of those “experiencing Jesus” together by enjoying the warmth of fellowship, rich contemporary music, and entertaining speakers.  Adding the element of personal accountability for sin to such a “fun” community ruins the appeal. This is especially true in those churches that historically have practiced Congregational polity where “tell it to the church” has been interpreted as “tell it to the congregation.” Telling the congregation just isn’t something feasible in a “fun” church that is on the move! Furthermore, telling the often-sensitive matters of discipline to a congregation composed of spiritual babies (see 1 Corinthians 3:1-2) as well as mature saints is an open invitation for polarization and church conflict. (Those who do not understand the biblical reasons and necessity for discipline frequently interpret such practices as “judgmental” and “intolerant”.) Polity practices are not the only barriers to the faithful practice of Matthew 18:17. Fear of man, even for biblical church...

Taking Up the Challenge

Taking Up the ChallengeThis article orginally appeared in the Fall 1999 issue of The Journal of Biblical Counseling, (Vol. 18, No. 1) and is reprinted by permission.by Dr. Alfred J. Poirier, former Chairman of the Board of Directors for Peacemaker MinistriesIn 1997, the Journal of Psychology and Christianity published a friendly and lengthy debate (almost sixty pages) between two schools of Christian counselors. David Powlison and Ed Welch represented the Biblical Counseling school (BC), while James Hurley and James Berry were spokesmen for the Christian-Integrationist (CI) position.1 A major criticism which Hurley and Berry leveled against BC is its failure to utilize general revelation, specifically in the form of psychological empirical research, for developing their counseling theories. Hurley and Berry urged BC to “work towards producing organizing theories of counseling which engage general revelation, either by proving through research what can and should be rejected or showing how knowledge is to be used before God.” If this is done, then BC “will become a credible alternative to organized, researched-based psychologies rather than a patchwork of interesting pieces.”2 As a pastor who counsels, I am greatly interested in this debate. I, too, desire more than a patchwork of counseling ideas to help me counsel those afflicted by suffering and entrapped by sin. I, too, know that in the realm of common grace God has given believer and unbeliever alike insight into other people’s problems of living. My wife, without seminary or psychological training, is frequently able to size up a situation or person accurately. Jane Austen, Shakespeare, Robert Thomas, and Arthur Miller are just some of those people who have in...

Putting Professionals in their Place

Putting Professionals in their PlaceThis article originally appeared in the November 1993 issue of Covenanter Witness.by Ken Sande, Founder of Peacemaker Ministries Resolving Everyday Conflict Small group Bible study that’s perfect for use in the church or workplace. Ideal for Sunday school classes, membership classes, mission teams, or neighborhood Bible studies—any group that wants to learn, discuss, and apply the principles of biblical peacemaking together. Church Price: $199.00 more info Americans are infatuated with professionals. Every year we seem to turn more and more of our lives over to people who are perceived to be experts because they have obtained special education, certification, or recognition in their fields.Obviously, professionals are a blessing in many ways. They have taken the time to study and master principles of science, medicine, law, finances, and other fields that the rest of us do not have the time or inclination to fathom. Whether they care for our bodies, businesses, homes, or cars, the professionals’ expertise often allows them to discern problems and implement solutions more quickly and effectively than could the average layman. Our dependence on professionals has created some significant problems, however. The more we depend on others to manage certain aspects of our lives, the easier it is for us to delegate to them responsibilities that we could and should handle on our own. This is particularly true when it comes to conflict resolution. This point was vividly illustrated in a video I watched that promotes “peer mediation” training in public schools. Recognizing the serious problems our schools are having with violent conflict, the organization that produced this tape has developed a...