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How to deal with conflict

How to deal with conflict

Matthew 18:15-20

The Offended Brother

15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.

18 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

19 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”


William Barclays commentaries on his newly daily study bible really open up the Gospels for many people. But of this part of Matthew’s book he has serious problems with. The problems deal with is this an authentic saying of Jesus, as there was no church when Jesus was saying this, unless it means the Synagog and this does not feel like the rest of his sayings - it feels like Jewish law, which is what Matthew is what readers Matthew is writing to.

Jesus usually speaks about love and forgiveness, so why is He here talking about rules.

William Barclay (5 December 1907, Wick - 24 January 1978, Glasgow) was a Scottish author, radio and television presenter, Church of Scotland minister, and Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at the University of Glasgow.

Barclay's personal views, expressed in his own A Spiritual Autobiography (1977) and Clive L. Rawlins' William Barclay: prophet of goodwill: the authorized biography (1998) included:

1. scepticism concerning the Trinity: for example "Nowhere does the New Testament identify Jesus with God."

2. belief in universal salvation: in his autobiography he wrote, "I am a convinced universalist. I believe that in the end all men will be gathered into the love of God."

3. pacifism: "war is mass murder”.

When many say the series of Dowton Abbey on TV, many were amazed to see a plastic water bottle in the scene - this was clearly not around at the time of this period drama, but is this an authentic saying?

Perhaps it is easy to say we do not fully understand the meaning of what Jesus was saying.

If someone has a disagreement with you it is surely better if they come and sort it out with you face to face, but if they will not listen perhaps bring a friend but people now-a-days are very reticent to take matters, especially if they are serious to the church committee. Perhaps this is the best way in some circumstances?

In the church we deal with things in love not in law.

Rowan Williams got criticised for speaking out in favour of an aspect of sharia law. But did he really come out in favour of sharia law?

When we have a problem or conflict - we solve this with love.

When problems arise we try to deal with them as Christians first - with love!

This is how we can bring justice to the world.

Let us bring glory to God through our actions

Serving in love.


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