The church is a place where people go to find solace and to worship. It is a place where people go to find wise counsel it times of a need, a few words of encouragement when things go wrong. But what if in those times when wise counsel is sought for a misdeed or encouragement sought for a family issue the person instead of finding comfort is instead taken out by friendly fire.
There are those time when, the church, instead of being a place of God's love can be place his followers retribution. This is not to say all churches deal in matters of sin with pointing fingers and wagging tongues, but there are those churches who have lost many a follower due to issues which the church failed to handle in a biblical or timely manner.
Friendly fire in the church can come in many forms such as, gossip, indifference or hypocrisy.
"The youth pastor sought out my son because I disagreed with him about how his evangelical program should be run."
"I went to the elders over a problem with my daughter and the youth pastor and they did nothing."
"Every time I get together with others in bible study all they do is talk about what is wrong with others in the church.."
No matter what form 'friendly fire' takes it leads to derisiveness between church members and a loss of the feeling of community. Eventually, if not taken care of, "friendly fire' can lead to church members walking out the doors and onto a new church where they feel more welcome.
In Matthew 15:8 Jesus had this to say to the Pharisees and scribes and believers down through the ages, "This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;"
The church body should not be a place where friendly fire instead the church needs to be a place of unity.
Jesus said in John 13:35, "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
Peter has this to say about church unity in 1 Peter 3:8, "Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind"
Paul knew the importance of all believers being united as one in Philippians 2:1-3, "So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves."
Th show love to others outside the church their must be unity among the believers in the church. Friendly fire, such as gossip among believers must stop, indifference must be put aside for love and hypocrisy must give way to true faithfulness.