Christians and Lawsuits

Does Paul specifically command that lawsuits is to be avoided for Christians in 1 Cor 6?

Probably not.

  1. the context is that of TWO belligerent Christian struggling over power--they are commanded basically to 're-think' the whole deal...the church would have reset their attitudes if given the chance.

  2. In a case of a Self-centered vs. Christ-centered 'contest', I can see two issues for the Christ-centered one to consider:

    The other standard conflict-resolution approach needs to be mentioned here.

    If the cases of a dispute, the believers are supposed to go before the church. If one party WONT, they are to be treated as an outsider (and lawsuits are fine in those settings--under stewardship). If both parties go, but one consistently won't listen to reason, they are to be CONSIDERED AS OUTSIDER and then lawsuits are okay. (See Matt 18:15-17)

Lastly, three other considerations:

  1. two Christians can always access the law over issues of clarity and obligations. If the issue is simply who has the responsibility for something, two believers can, in faith and love for one other, 'invoke' the court system to adjudicate that. And the non-hostility of that action might be a REAL TESTIMONY to the world--the opposite effect of I Cor 6.

  2. NOTHING, including lawsuits, can be done out of greed, self-centeredness, revenge or anything else outside the pale of Christian maturity and the guidelines in Proverbs on court action.

  3. The "thou shalt not bear false witness" commandment PRESUPPOSES that there will be lawsuits among the people of God.

(legal theory is FAR BEYOND my personal experience, but the above is my theological understanding of how to approach it)

Hope this helps...glenn
just wanted to add two more points...

In stewardship cases...

  1. Jesus tells the disciples to PROTECT themselves--Matt. 10:22f

    All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

    in other words, it is ONE thing to stand up under persecution; it is ANOTHER THING to allow someone to take your witness away totally...

  2. Paul invoked the court system himself in Acts 25:11

    "If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die. But if the charges brought against me by these Jews are not true, no one has the right to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!"

    this is the case of a wrongful 'charges' which Paul did NOT bow to...he fought it to keep his witness alive...

Just wanted to give you two examples of stewardship actions...glenn

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