Disputes between Christians need to be resolved within the church

Christians are supposed to live in harmony and unity with each other. All true believers love the brethren, any so called Christians who hate their brothers and sisters in Christ are liars who are on their way to hell (I John 5:20). Therefore, whenever believers have a financial dispute with each other, it is important that other Christians intervene to make sure that justice is carried out.

For instance, if one brother accidentally incurs property damage to another, the church should help the brothers reach agreement over how much needs to be paid in order to rectify the situation. Normally, the brother who did the damage should probably pay for every legitimate expense arising from the damage. But if he is poor, the church might insist that the other brother give him some grace and foot some of the bill for him, or perhaps the church itself will raise the money for them. The important thing is that the two brothers need to have their disagreement resolved in the church, not in secular court. I am not saying that the court system or the insurance companies should be ignored; for whatever course is followed must be legal and must have the sanction of law. But it is important that the two brothers are not argueing or in disagreement in court in front of the secular authorities. They need to be at peace with each other before they go to court, so that the court proceedings are simply a mere formality. It is a bad testimony for the church when two angry Christians can’t decide their disagreements themselves, and rely on unsaved secular authorities to tell them who is right and who is wrong.

If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people? Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? (I Corinthians 6:1-2 NIV)

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