Sometimes there may be circumstances where a conflict needs the involvement of third parties who are Christian to decide on material issues that are in dispute.
The circumstances may be extremely tense (where the relationship has not been able to be reconciled), or it may simply be a case that the parties who have a different view over a matter would like one or more third parties who are Christian to adjudicate a matter for them.
In either case, there remain material decisions that need to be made – eg. custody of children, liability for damage to property, responsibility for financial loss, compensation for particular conduct etc.
The motivation in each case is the same – the parties’ desire not to bring the gospel of Jesus into disrepute by bringing a dispute before a secular court to decide – see 1 Corinthians 6: 1-8*. Instead, the parties seek to honour God by allowing the decision to be made by godly Christian people who are engaged to do this specific job.
The adjudicators may be from the parties’ church, or may be from outside it, or may be a mixture of both – sometimes even including people who have specialitst expertise in the subject matter of the dispute.
Whilst not uncommon in certain other countries (eg. the USA and New Zealand), this vital ministry is something that is fairly new to Australia. PeaceWise encourages Christians who have material issues that they cannot resolve to use a biblical process of adjudication to have the matter decided, rather than take the matter to court.
PeaceWise hopes to see this approach to dealing with the resolution of material issues where the parties themselves have not been able to agree as something that more and more Christians avail themselves of in order to honour the Bible’s calling to seek wherever possible to avoid bringing matters before secular courts.
Please contact us if you would like to discuss the possibility of PeaceWise arranging an adjudication of a dispute in which you are involved.
*For a much more detailed consideration of the practical outworkings of 1 Corinthians 6: 1-8, see Appendix D of The Peacemaker by Ken Sande – 3rd edition, Baker Books, 2004.