Conflict in the Church

Douglas VanBronkhorst

READ : Acts 15:1-19, 36-41

In this chapter Luke recalls two controversies in the church. The first was over the status of Gentile converts. Should they be accepted as equals with Jewish Christians on the basis of their faith in Christ, or was it necessary for them to also adopt Jewish religious customs? The second controversy was personal. Paul and Barnabas argued over whether to retain John Mark on their missionary team or not.

Why does Like put these conflicts in print? I am grateful for this honest history. It tells me these Christians were like me and the members of my church. They did not always “get it” spiritually and they didn’t always get along personally. Our goal must be to resolve our conflicts in such a way so that good comes from them as it happened in this chapter: The pure gospel of salvation by grace through faith was upheld. Two missionary teams were created in place of one. Jesus was honored and the church’s witness strengthened. If you are experiencing conflict with another believer or within your church, don’t despair. Work and pray for a godly resolution.


Lord, help me be a peacemaker. If conflict comes, help me resolve it for the good of your kingdom.