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Excerpt from "The Nature and Embodiment of Church Conflict":


This is not just about conflict management or how to deal with conflict. It's about the reality of church conflict and the biblical and practical insights into church conflict and into the underlying reasons. Here's a very short excerpt:


Emperor Constantine’s Sleight-of-Hand Move: Replacing Fellowship with Worship

The new form of meeting introduced by Rome replaced fellowship and koinonia with the pagan concept of group worship. The focus switched from participating one with another and with Jesus to listening to the clergy and the choir. Although the Roman Catholic Church has argued that church buildings existed before the time of Constantine, archaeologists have effectively shown that claim to be suspect if not false.

This shift strangled koinonia. Ralph W. Neighbour, Jr. pointed out in his writings about cell churches that the Roman configuration of the church prevented the ability of most of the gifts of the Holy Spirit being exercised. Exercising spiritual gifts are part of koinonia. In the original house church setting all of the gifts could be exercised. In a worship setting, with everyone listening quietly, facing forward, and being led in worship and group singing, only a few of the gifts are used, and that in a constrained way.

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