Take it to the Lord! Don't sue your church brother
Hello, mi neighbour! If I were to preach a sermon to Jamaican Christians today, I would caption it: Wickedness among Christians. My disclaimer: Christianity does not subscribe to wickedness - there are thousands of honest, true, just, pure, kind and lovely, blood-washed Christians in the church. Amen, church?
Justifiably or unjustifiably so, it's about time we washed our dirty linen in public. People who desire to accept Christ and 'join a church' must understand that the Church is not Heaven or a bed of roses, though seen as the best institution on earth.
Undetectable to the undiscerning, in the Church there are many wolves in sheep's clothing. That's also where "wheat and tares" thrive together "until the day of harvest". Wheat and tares are among pastors, elders, deacons, bishops, choristers, prayer warriors, praise and worship leaders, and church members. Can I get a witness?
But hear this. Once upon a time, the love among church members was so strong that no one lacked anything. So can you imagine an affluent brother or sister selling an apartment so that unemployed single mothers could buy uniforms for children, pay rent and eat food? Food for thought indeed!
There are far too many high-end motor vehicles in the parking lot on a Sabbath/Sunday morning (owned by church members), while some 'walk-foot' members of these same churches cannot find bus fare for church and must satisfy with a few crackers and 'shug an wata' for Sabbath lunch and Sunday dinner. How unneighbourly!
CONSULTING THE BIBLE
And I can bet you any money - but I don't gamble - but just watch and see if some of these church members not getting ready to sue me for these comments. Many Christians don't even bother with the Bible when it comes to some legal matters.
Some have never read these words: When one of you has a dispute with another believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to other believers! Don't you realise that someday we believers will judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can't you decide even these little things among yourselves?
I am saying this to shame you. Isn't there anyone in all the church who is wise enough to decide these issues? But instead, one believer sues another.
Matthew 18:15-17 provides the biblical pattern for settling conflicts within the church - go directly and privately to the brother or sister to discuss the problem. If he or she will not listen, take one or two witnesses. If he or she still refuses to listen, take the matter to the church leadership.
If he or she still refuses to listen to the church, expel the offender from the fellowship of the church. If these are followed and the problem is still not resolved, in some cases going to court might be the right thing to do, even against a brother. But this must be a very last resort after much prayer and godly counsel.
Suh, a beg yuh, nuh sue mi. Tek me to the 'parson' and use the courthouse money to help someone from the list below. Peace and love, neighbour.
THANKS FOR HELPING
1. Ms Rowe, St Andrew, for offering a walker to a neighbour, St Catherine.
2. Lindell, St Catherine, for offering a sewing machine to Ms White, St Ann.
3. Sandra, St Catherine, for donation of clothing for male and female.
4. Joan, for donation of clothing and shoes for females.
5. Ms McLean, St Ann, for donation of clothing.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR HELPING
- Neighbour, single mother, asking for start-up capital to start a micro business: bleach, soap and phonecards - trying to send children to school.
- Neighbour, no food to eat - asking for neighbour's help.
- Donna, asking neighbours for a stove for baking.
- Ms White, St Ann, had a little grocery shop but fell upon tough times, asking for help to restock.
- Neighbour, going through a rough patch and is asking neighbours for a stove and a mattress.
- To help, please call
334-8165, 884-3866, 299-3412 or deposit to acct # 351 044 276. NCB (Bank routing #: JNCBJMKX) or send donations to Hello Neighbour, C/o 53 Half-Way Tree Road, Kingston 10. Email: