I have been away on a ‘Conflict Transformation’ course with Bridge Builders Ministries. In the opening session, one speaker made the point that the local church is to be a model of reconciliation, because that is core to the Gospel. Instead, we go to one of two unhealthy extremes: either we pretend that conflict doesn’t happen, or we fight badly. It is no good pretending that the New Testament church was all sweetness and light, but they found ways to reconcile their differences, as in Acts 6 and 15, among other places.
So – are our churches models of reconciliation for the world to see? If not, then what needs to change in our culture, our attitudes and our behaviour?