The Church is Broken

My church here in Middle Tennessee began this weekend an ugly split. (Actually, I'm learning it began almost two years ago, but the congregation has just learned of and engaged in the conflict this week.)

I attended the service in which our elders, supported by former elders and the entire ministerial staff (minus one), read a statement announcing they had removed our senior pastor from office. The representative reading the statement did so with visibly trembling hands, choking back tears. There was not a dry eye on the stage.
Anyone who thinks these men and women came to this decision lightly, enthusiastically, or with lust for power is either incompetent or heartless himself.

I also attended a rally of sorts held by our pastor and his wife at a nearby park, where he offered to tell his side of the story. They feel betrayed, humiliated, and blindsided.
There were more tears here, much shock and concern.
And lots of anger. Lots.

Please pray for our church if you think about it. There is an opportunity here for a parting that is God-honoring, but unfortunately I am not optimistic about that. There is a lot of hurt and a lot of personal zeal involved. One side has vowed to "fight tooth and nail," and I know both sides are standing firm in their convictions.
And thus may we crucify His Body all over again? I don't know.

I do know, though, that in the same way damaged bones must sometimes be rebroken to be set, that sometimes breaking something is the first step to fixing it.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
-- Hebrews 12.11

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
-- Romans 14.19