Christians suing Christians? Examining James MacDonald's reasoning

Originally published at: Christians suing Christians? Examining James MacDonald's reasoning - Warhorn Media

So is it sinful to sue, or not? Let’s take a look at the question, in general and in this particular case.

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The question of how to handle people that claim to be believers but refuse to even meet with you is quite thorny.

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I’d really love to see a book that went over real and hypothetical situations case by case

As would I. The closest I’ve seen from the last 100 years is Rushdoony’s Institutes of Biblical Law.

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Much more than ecclesiastical case law, what’s needed is any smallest commitment to accountability in denominations. This was the most discouraging thing about the PCA. There was a Book of Church Order and its rules of discipline developed over centuries and fine-tuned each year at General Assembly, but money and fame ruled. What really mattered was how large the man’s church was, whether he’d been a moderator of his presbytery or GA, whether he’d gone to the proper seminary, whether he’d written books, who his daddy is or was, and so on. Rome has well-developed canon law fine-tuned for centuries and, like the PCA, what goes on resembles a junior high playground. Which is to say cliques rule. What is really needed is an end to worldwide (Rome) and national (OPC and PCA) pretensions among officers and churches, instead following the governing principle of subsidiarity in church government as in civil government. Love



An Englishman was talking with his tailor as he was being measured. “It must be an awkward trade for you on occasion,” he said. “You spend all this time making first-rate suits, and then what do you do if your customer fails to pay the bill? Do you sue them?”
“Oh no, sir. I would never go to law against a gentleman. He has no doubt mislaid the bill, so I send it again.”
“But what if he still doesn’t pay?”
“I then conclude he is not a gentleman, and I sue him.”

That’s a joke, but there’s something to it. A simple test of whether someone is a Christian is whether they act like a Christian. It’s a crude test, but it’s more reliable than whether they say they are a Christian.


Eric this was a great article. I appreciate the careful reasoning all the work that went into it.

We’ve all done likewise. Instead of dealing with our own sin we send heat-seeking missiles to destroy those who dare point them out.


At one point the Complaint alleges wrongdoing on the part of some of the defendants for “equating the discordant opinion of three former Elders with the viewpoints of Elders numbering more than ten times that…”

We don’t want to eliminate the lone prophet sent from God though. You think of Micaiah, he was outnumbered 400 to 1, but he was the faithful one. And the prophets have almost always been the minority voice. Not that the minority voice is automatically right, but we always need to preserve the place of that minority voice, because time and again God has spoken through him.

(This is an application for the majority; for the minority there would be a different message.)