Are Lawsuits Amongst Believers In Vogue?
After reading about Mr Lim Seng Hoo and his lawsuit against the pastors of Calvary (Pandan) Bible Presbyterian Church in Singapore, it is distressing to peruse yet another article concerning the well-known Ligonier’s Ministries, and their defamation suit against a Mr Frank Vance. By the way, it’s Brandon (from Simply Christian) who alerted me to this issue.
Quoting from the post in Ministry Watchman:
“I find it incredible that the Reformation Study Bible, which R.C. Sproul is the General Editor for, clearly condemns the practice of Christians suing Christians, because of the disgrace that it brings upon the church, and how it ruins the church’s testimony for the Lord Jesus.
In the commentary for 1 Corinthians 6:7 the Reformation Study Bible says:
“Nevertheless, if the Corinthians understood the serious implications of all the improprieties in their church, and if they appreciated the qualities that should characterize believers (cf. 12:4-7), they would much sooner bear injustice than bring disgrace upon the Christian community by publicly exposing their misdeeds in the civil courts.’”
Frank Vance, the defendant, writes:
“RC Sproul’s good pastor friend John MacArthur certainly seems to understand why Christians shouldn’t sue Christians. In his Study Bible John MacAurthur says:
6:1 Dare. Suing another believer in a secular law court is a daring act of disobedience because of its implications related to all sin — the displeasure of God: a matter against another….
6:4 …the basic meaning is clear; when Christians have earthly quarrels and disputes among themselves, it is inconceivable that they would turn to those least qualified (unbelievers) to resolve the matter.
6:5,6 Shame. Such conduct as suing a fellow believer is not only a sinful shame, but a complete failure to act obediently and righteously. Christians who take fellow Christians to court suffer moral defeat and spiritual loss even before the case is heard, and they become subject to divine chastening.
6:7 why…not…accept wrong? …Christians have no right to insist on legal recourse in a public court. It is far better to trust God’s sovereign purpose in trouble and lose financially, than to be disobedient and suffer spiritually.
One of the reasons that we as Christians shouldn’t “dare to go to law before the unrighteous” is because it’s a lot like disrobing in front of strangers, or as others have put it, “it’s like airing our dirty laundry for the whole world to see.’”
This is all so shameful for the Church of Christ. I do wonder who is having the last laugh.