July 21, 1999

Camacho: Christ has
power to resolve conflict

___SAN ANTONIO--Although conflict can tear churches apart, it can be constructive if it is used to help them grow, the president of the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas insisted.
___Rudy Camacho, a lay member of Iglesia Bautista Calvario in Fort Worth, led a discussion seminar on "Resolving Conflict in the Church" during the Celebrating the Hispanic Woman conference.
___The seminar attracted more than 300 participants, Camacho said, noting, "I think this shows conflict is pretty commonplace in our churches."
___"Christ is the head of the church," he stressed. "This is important to remember when we have conflict. Because Jesus is the head of the church, he has the power to resolve the conflict."
___A variety of factors cause church conflicts, he reported. They include lack of communication, differences of opinion on doctrine and other issues, and strong differences regarding styles of worship. Many Hispanic churches also face particular conflict regarding whether to conduct worship services in Spanish, in English or bilingually.
___Many Baptists try to avoid conflict, but that's not the best approach, he said. "You can flee from conflict, and you can ignore it. But you only make it deepen. Try to get a win/win situation."
___The Bible provides a range of steps to take for conflict resolution, he said:
___ "Have a forgiving heart and remove the causes of conflict." (Ephesians 4:31-32)
___ "Go and resolve the conflict. Don't allow it to linger; try to be reconciled." (Matthew 18:15-17)
___ "Don't be judgmental. Be humble. Don't let hate build up." (Matthew 7:1-2)
___ "Pray for one another." (James 5:16)
___ "Express a caring concern for those who disagree with you." (Philippians 2:4).
___ "Be a peacemaker yourself, even though this is very difficult." (Romans 12:18)
___ "Be patiently humble." (Luke 14:11)
___ "Extend forgiveness. Offer forgiveness." (Matthew 6:14-15)
___ "Love one another; this is Jesus' command." (John 13:34)

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