F O U N D A T I O N S 48 community whose real or imagined weaknesses cause a negative reaction in us. A frank word spoken and received in love and humility serves only to deepen friendship and renew trust. If our concern turns out to be unjustified, so much the better. If two people are unable to come to peace on their own, it is necessary to take the additional steps that Jesus sets forth in Matthew 18: first to draw in one or two others to help; and then, as a last resort, to lay the situation before the church to be resolved by its authority. According to Christ’s teaching, anyone who refuses at that point to listen even to the assembled church should leave and go his or her own way. Likewise, if there is division in the church community or abuse of authority by its leadership, the matter will if necessary be brought before the worldwide body of members for final resolution, in the prayer that the Spirit may lead to clarity, repentance, and renewed love. All conflicts within the church community can and must be settled in this way. In accordance with Scripture, they may never be taken to any adjudicator outside the church community, certainly not to a court of law.* * A criminal act by anyone living on a Bruderhof is not an internal church matter and will be subject to legitimate state authority. Matt 18:17–18 Rom 16:17–20; 1 Cor 1:10–13 1 Tim 5:19–20 Matt 5:25–26; 1 Cor 6:1–8