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Ephesians 5:21: Submitting To One Another

Ephesians 5:21
21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

One of the most disgraceful things that happen in a church are fights amongst its members.  Perhaps you have been a part of a church fight.  Maybe you left a church because of fighting in the church.  The reason that fights happen in a church is because they do not know how to follow the Apostle Paul's admonition to "submit to one another out of reverence for Christ."

Thom Rainer, CEO of Lifeway, compiled a list of 25 silly church fights that actually happened.  Here they are in no particular order:

1.  Argument over the appropriate length of the worship pastor’s beard.
2.  Fight over whether or not to build a children’s playground or to use the land for a cemetery.
3.  A deacon accusing another deacon of sending an anonymous letter, and deciding to settle the matter in the parking lot.
4.  A church dispute of whether or not to install restroom stall dividers in the women’s restroom.
5.  A church argument and vote to decide if a clock in the worship center should be removed.
6.  A 45-minute heated argument over the type of filing cabinet to purchase: black or brown; 2, 3, or 4 drawers.
7.  A fight over which picture of Jesus to put in the foyer.
8.  A petition to have all church staff clean shaven.
9.  A dispute over whether the worship leader should have his shoes on during the service.
10.  A big church argument over the discovery that the church budget was off $0.10. Someone finally gave a dime to settle the issue.
11.  A dispute in the church because the Lord’s Supper had cran/grape juice instead of grape juice.
12.  Business meeting arguments about whether the church should purchase a weed eater or not. It took two business meetings to resolve.
13.  Arguments over what type of green beans the church should serve.
14.  Two different churches reported fights over the type of coffee. In one of the churches, they moved from Folgers to a stronger Starbucks brand. In the other church, they simply moved to a stronger blend. Members left the church in the latter example.
15.  Major conflict when the youth borrowed a crockpot that had not been used for years.
16.  An argument on whether the church should allow deviled eggs at the church meal.
17.  An argument over who has the authority to buy postage stamps for the church.
18.  A disagreement over using the term “potluck” instead of “pot blessing”.
19.  A church member was chastised because she brought vanilla syrup to the coffee server. It looked too much like liquor. 
20.  An argument in church over who has access to the copy machine.
21.  Some church members left the church because one church member hid the vacuum cleaner from them. It resulted in a major fight and split.
22.  An argument over whether to have gluten-free communion bread or not.
23.  A dispute over whether the church should allow people to wear black t-shirts, since black is the color of the devil.
24.  A fight over whether or not to sing “Happy Birthday” each week.
25.  An argument over whether the fake, dusty plants should be removed from the podium.

How we treat one another speaks volumes about how much respect we have for the Savior. Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40) We are told to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. To accomplish this we must humble ourselves.  We have to put aside our desire to have our own way, to push our own agenda, to trample on others. Out of my love for Jesus, how can I work with my brother.

What ridiculous dispute are you engaged in? Are you involved in a ridiculous dispute with a brother or sister in Christ?  Scripture compels you to submit out of reverence for Christ.  In what way do you need to change so that submission can happen?