Due to technical difficulties at BridgeCity Church Mill Creek, we are unable to post the video from May 24th. Our sincerest apologies. Below is a summary of the message.
Acts 15 shows us the first church-wide conflict and how the early church leaders handled that conflict. Scripture tells us that “some men” from Jerusalem travelled to Antioch and began teaching a different gospel; a distorted misunderstanding of the gospel. Paul and Barnabas immediately engage in refuting and debating this false teaching with conviction and passion. It quickly becomes clear that conflict resolution was not likely. Therefore, the church appealed to their authority to help resolve the conflict.
Conflict is neither negative nor is it positive. Conflict is neutral. It is how we handle ourselves within conflict, that is either negative or positive. Conflict, if handled in a God-honoring way, can produce better communication, clarity in direction, and solidarity in mission. Even within seasons of conflict, the primary purpose for the church does not change; love Jesus; preach his gospel to those far from Him, and make disciples; teaching with words and actions and investing in the growing process of those following Jesus. This is the mission of the church. Conflict has the tendency to derail our missional focus.
This was not the case in Acts 15 where we see two responses to church-wide conflict:
Conflict can produce good, God-honoring results if handled in the manner God has described in scripture as shown in Acts 15.