Matthew 18:15-17, Jesus said, “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or tax collector.
Matthew 18:18-20, “I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come
together in my name, there am I with them.”
I Corinthians 6:1–7
“If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church! I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? But instead, one brother goes to law against another – and this in front of unbelievers! The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?”
The Bible gives instructions to Christians in order to resolve sin & conflict with other Christians in healthy, God-honoring ways. Jesus taught in Matthew 18 that the “offended” or sinned against party is to initiate the process of reconciliation with their brother or sister in Christ. The resolution is always to be sought in the least public of ways beginning with a one on one conversation. If resolution cannot occur one on one, then the offended party is to take one or two others with them and have another conversation. If resolution has still not occurred, Jesus instructed his followers to “tell it to the church.” At Whitewater, this phrase is interpreted as telling it to the elders. Therefore, as needed (see process below), the elders will get involved in resolution and reconciliation of relationships between Christians who are members of Whitewater Crossing.
The Resolution & Restoration Process at Whitewater Crossing Christian Church
A Restoration Committee will be appointed by and report to the elders with the authority and responsibility to intercede in serious conflict situations between members of the congregation of Whitewater Crossing Christian Church. The committee’s function will be to serve as an arbitrator of serious disputes between those members and its purpose will be to bring resolution to those conflicts.
The Restoration Committee will be made up of three members who are either active or former Elders; two of the three must be current Elders. The Chairman of the Elders will appoint one member of the Committee to serve as the Coordinator who will insure that case loads will be evenly distributed and that closure records will be securely stored.
When a complaint is made by one member against another, every effort should be made for the two parties to resolve the point of contention themselves in accordance with that which is stated in Matthew chapter 18. Only after this has been tried and failed, and the issue is serious to the extent that it would reflect poorly on the church, should the Restoration Committee be called upon to attempt resolution. In cases where a third party brings the matter to the attention of an Elder, the Restoration Committee may be asked to investigate if the issue is serious, as related above.
When the Restoration Committee intercedes in a conflict, it is with the understanding that both parties in conflict are in agreement to participate in this process. Further, both parties must agree to abide by the decisions of the Restoration Committee.
The members of the Restoration Committee, in dealing with a particular case will meet separately with each of the parties in conflict for interviews. A team of at least two members of the Restoration Committee will participate in all interviews. Those involved in the conflict will be reminded that they are in an arbitration process and the decision of the arbitrators cannot/will not be bargained up or down. The start of each interview will begin with prayer. Only after each party has been interviewed separately, will the Restoration Committee team meet with both parties together. After meeting with both parties, the members of the Restoration Committee hearing the case will advise the parties that they will consider the arguments heard and will contact them regarding their decision(s). After due consideration and discussion between themselves, the Committee will reach a decision and advise the parties in conflict, in person.
Should one of the parties in conflict not agree to participate in the process or to abide by the decision(s) of the Restoration Committee, the individual will be advised that the matter will be brought to the attention of the Eldership for resolution. For those who agreed to submit the problem to the process and to abide by the decision(s) and then reneged in carrying out that which he/she had committed to doing, the Restoration Committee will advise that individual that the matter will be submitted to the Eldership with a recommendation that the hand of fellowship be withdrawn from them. The Elders will then determine the course of action.
Records of the case will be maintained only for the purpose of review should the matter arise again. The records will be maintained in a secure file and will not be available for review other than by the Restoration Committee, the Chairman of the Elders, and the Senior Minister. After the matter has been resolved, discussion of the status of the case or its resolution will be limited to members of the Restoration Committee and the Eldership.
Approved by elders