Is it ever okay to sue a brother?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by templeguy, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. templeguy

    templeguy
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    Can anyone tell me if the Bible is clear on suing other Christians? I'm doing research on this issue and believe that it is wrong but I do want to see all sides of this.

    Thanks
     
  2. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    1Cr 6:1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?

    1Cr 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

    1Cr 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

    1Cr 6:4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.

    1Cr 6:5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?

    1Cr 6:6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.

    1Cr 6:7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather [suffer yourselves to] be defrauded?

    1Cr 6:8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that [your] brethren.
     
  3. Circuitrider

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    As the previous post indicates from Scripture, Paul seemed to have the idea that it was better to be defrauded then to "go to law" against your brother in the church. The only problem I see is when the brother is not in the church and then there is no common "court" to deal with the matter. On that the Scripture is silent so you will have to make your own judgment.
     
  4. Deacon

    Deacon
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    An excellent group for Christian conflict resolution is:

    PEACEMAKER MINISTRIES

    Peacemaker Pledge

    Glorify God — Instead of focusing on our own desires or dwelling on what others may do, we will rejoice in the Lord and bring him praise by depending on his forgiveness, wisdom, power, and love, as we seek to faithfully obey his commands and maintain a loving, merciful, and forgiving attitude.3

    Get the Log out of Your Own Eye — Instead of blaming others for a conflict or resisting correction, we will trust in God's mercy and take responsibility for our own contribution to conflicts—confessing our sins to those we have wronged, asking God to help us change any attitudes and habits that lead to conflict, and seeking to repair any harm we have caused.4

    Gently Restore — Instead of pretending that conflict doesn't exist or talking about others behind their backs, we will overlook minor offenses or we will talk personally and graciously with those whose offenses seem too serious to overlook, seeking to restore them rather than condemn them. When a conflict with a Christian brother or sister cannot be resolved in private, we will ask others in the body of Christ to help us settle the matter in a biblical manner.5

    Go and be reconciled — Instead of accepting premature compromise or allowing relationships to wither, we will actively pursue genuine peace and reconciliation—forgiving others as God, for Christ's sake, has forgiven us, and seeking just and mutually beneficial solutions to our differences.6

    Rob
     
  5. Deacon

    Deacon
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    A lawsuit against another brother is certainly not a good witness however the Bible does not completely prohibit it.

    The disciplinary standard of Matthew 18 may allow lawsuits if proper methods of resolution were first applied.

    “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector." Matthew 18:15 NAS
    [bolding added]

    Rob
     
  6. Ben W

    Ben W
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    No it is not o.k to sue a Christian Brother or Sister. Let the eldership of the respective churches deal with the matter.
     
  7. Watchman

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    As Sue in the first reply pointed out, this is not a good idea. But it may depend on the offence. What I mean is, would a TRUE Christian brother or sister commit a very serious offence against you? Would a Christian brother or sister steal from you or abuse your child? I think such people would be FALSE brethren and criminals should be treated as criminals
     
  8. blackbird

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    Long time ago--I had two church members who were always threatening to "sue" each other

    "I'm gonna sue her!!"

    "I'm gonna counter-sue him!"

    It was to the point were it was actually funny to listen to each of them(seperately of course) ramble on and on on the reasons why!!
     
  9. Johnv

    Johnv
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    A Christian should not sue another Christian, unless all other reasonable avenues of remedy have been exhausted.

    There is no biblical ban on suing altogether.
     
  10. Brother Ian

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    I knew a man who wanted to sue his brother. His brother was a missionary and a professing Christian (whom I know very well). When I approached him about it and referenced the Scriptures, he said it was okay because he didn't believe his brother was a Christian so it way okay to sue him. The funny (not ha ha) think is this man was a pastor. :confused:

    People continue to do that they want to do regardless of the Scriptures and will do whatever they think is necessary to justify their actions.
     
  11. gb93433

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    Sounds great until you approach real life. If you own a business the very life of the business will depend on people paying you for their purchases. In construction there are people all the time in business who must pay their suppliers for the matrials used on a job. There are times when a contractor may need to receive the payment from an owmer to pay the supplier. The contractor may have no choice but to sue the Chrsitian who refuses to pay or cannot pay. If the supplier demands the money he will sue the owner of the property to get his payment. The contractor will have no choice but to be a part of that suit unless he pays the supplier. Several years ago when I was pastoring a couple came to me who were having their house built by a member of the same church. The man overextended himself and could not pay the supplier. So the supplier came after the home owner. They asked me about what they could do to get their money. I told them to send him a registered letter and settle the problem. Finally the contractor responded to their letter and he confessed that he had over extended himself. Fortunately the home owner had enough money to pay the supplier. The contractor had been paid his far share which included the money owed the supplier. But he did not pay the supplier.

    What would your appoach have been if you as a lot owner had hired a Christian contractor and he did not pay the supplier but you were unable to pay the supplier yourself when you had alrady paid the contractor? People who do not have a lot of extra money could not afford to pay twice.

    Years ago I worked for a large materials supplier and almost every month were churches which did not pay their bill. A friend of mine owned some Christian bookstores and he told me the worse people to pay were often pastors.
     
  12. Johnv

    Johnv
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    On the flip side of the OP, is it okay to allow a brother get away with a transgression against you, just because he's a brother? It seems an abuse of scripture to give Christian transgressors a pass on being responsible for their debts just because they're Christians.

    On the contrary, I think Christians should be more diligent about being true to their word, especially in regards to debts and contracts.
     
  13. bapmom

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    absolutely agree, Johnv.

    We were in a situation a few years ago where my husband had an accident at a Christian campground. This accident left him essentially maimed (though in a minor way) for the rest of his life. He will never completely heal, and he will always have pain and some loss of movement.

    Admittedly it was not the campground's actual actions that caused the accident. It was their insurance company that told them to make a change to one of their facilities. THIS change caused the problem.

    We got a lawyer's advice because we were dealing with an insurance company. We let them know we did not want to sue the campground, really because we wanted the insurance company to take responsibility. Well, they said since the camp was a charity? they had no obligation to do anything for us. So then why did the camp have insurance?

    Any way, Ive felt ever since that the camp could have gone to bat for us and made their insurance company pay for the medical bills.

    As it was, since my husband was on OUR church's payroll at the time, and he was there doing his job, it was the church's worker's compensation that had to wind up paying most of the bills. We were really trying to get them to pay back the worker's comp.

    I still have to deal wtih this in my own heart sometimes, especially since we still go to that camp for various functions.
     
  14. TexasSky

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    Can you be more specific?

    If a person is a member of a church, licensed to drive a vehicle like a van, has a good driving record, and they hit ice and skid out of countrol. Don't sue.

    If a person is a member of a church, claims to be licensed to drive a van, hides a terrible driving record, and causes the death of several people because they knowingly took risks they should not have taken like speeding on ice - its a different issue. You want this person off the street.

    If a member of the congregation is a doctor who did the best he could and someone who went to him for treatment lost a leg or arm because of hospital negligence, but not because of anything the doctor did. Don't sue.

    If a memember of a congregation is a careless doctor whose negligence resulted in an unnecessary death or life altering suffering that could have been avoided, and you feel that there is no other way to protect other people from the doctor. Sue.
     
  15. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    I wish they would come up with a different word for taking a brother to court.

    Yours Truly,
    Sue [​IMG]
     
  16. blackbird

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    I know!!! Lets sue sue!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  17. gb93433

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    The company was right. Most likely the insurance was in case they get sued. Many insurance comapnies only step in when the insured gets sued but not any other time. Most likely you would have had to sue the campground to get the money. That is just the way the world operates at times. You were not an employee of the campground so you do not fall under their workers comp. There have been those who will claim a trip and fall and then try to collect something. So they want the person to sue to make a claim.
     
  18. bapmom

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    I see.

    Its been a hard issue to get over, just because I felt like the camp really didnt care all that much.

    But its probably mostly my own perception.
     
  19. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    Blackbird: You can't sue me I'm already Sue! [​IMG]

    bapmom: I feel for you and your situation. :(
     
  20. TexasSky

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    Baptist Mom,

    My heart goes out to you and your husband.

    I really agree with John that this should not be a blanket okay to let people professing to be Christians get by with things.

    An in-law's cousin was 19 when she developed major pain in her side. Her mother took her to the doctor. Doctor said she was not sick, sent her home. She developed fever and vomiting and even more severe pain. The mother took her back to the doctor. The doctor called her a hypochondriac and sent her home. The daughter began to hallucinate. The mother took her to the ER, they discovered a ruptured appendix and paratinitus (sp??) all over. To save her life they had to do a total hysterectomy. So she will never have children. In the hospital, the day after the surgery, the same doctor who sent her home saying there was nothing wrong with her said, "Why didn't you come in earlier so this didn't have to happen?"

    Their church said do not sue.

    I said, "Sue and get that man out of practice."
     

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