A Commitment to Maintaining Peace and Unity Within the Leadership and Membership of Community Presbyterian Church
As a healing community of forgiven sinners, we love one another toward spiritual, personal and relational wholeness. One way we seek to accomplish this is by our commitment to maintaining a “culture of peace” within CPC that reflects God’s peace and the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives. We believe the Scriptures call us to live in peace and to practice peacemaking as followers of Christ. We also rely upon the Holy Spirit to guide us as we seek to reconcile broken relationships. In this way we seek to glorify God with our thoughts, feelings and actions and to preserve our witness for Jesus Christ.
To further the peace and unity of our church and maintain a “culture of peace”, we expect that the leadership and members of CPC commit to the following biblical principles of behavior:
- If we have a problem with someone, or if we think someone may have something against us, we will talk with that individual. We will not talk about them with others. We will refrain from all gossip and talking behind the back of the person with whom we have a problem. (Matthew 5:23-24; Matthew 18:15; Proverbs 16:28).
- We will overlook minor offenses. If an offense is too serious to overlook, or if we think someone may have something against us, we will go promptly to that person to seek reconciliation. (Ephesians 4:32; Proverbs 19:11)
- When someone comes to correct us, we will ask God to help us see ourselves as others may see us. We will acknowledge our part in the dispute or conflict and resist being prideful and defensive.(Matthew 7:3-5; Ephesians 4:2-3; I John 1:8-9; Proverbs 15:32)
- When others come seeking forgiveness and reconciliation, we will graciously enter into that process and ask God to give us the grace to forgive them as he has forgiven us. (Romans 12:10; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13-14; James 3:17-18; I Peter 3:8-9)
- When we have attempted and failed to resolve a conflict privately, we will use the conflict resolution and healing resources offered by CPC. We will listen to their counsel and submit ourselves to the discipline of the church. (Matthew 18:16-17)
To further the peace and unity of our church and maintain a “biblical culture of peace” we also expect that the leadership of CPC (pastoral staff, elders, deacons and ministry heads) adhere to the following biblical principles:
- The goal of church discipline is to build up the Body of Christ, to restore, not to punish its members. (EPC Book of Order, D1-5; I Corinthians 12:12-26)
- Leadership is responsible for proactively addressing conflict when it becomes an issue at CPC. (Galatians 6:1; Philippians 2:1,2)
- When individuals resist reconciliation, as defined by an agreed upon plan, leadership will employ progressive discipline up to and including asking people to step down from leadership. (Galatians 5:19-23; Titus 3:1-2; Romans 13:1)