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CONFLICT:When Relationships Don't Work
                Interview with Bill Fields
It has been reported and come to our attention (May 2002) that Campus Crusade For Christ has now acted biblically in a Clergy Sexual Abuse case
see report at:

PeaceMakers asked CCCI for their witness by asking to speak with Mr. Crawford Loritts-I was refered to Mr. James White in the Communications Dept. and here's their looks like not everyone's got the word yet...May 6, 2002, 9:59 am CDT

Hello Bill,

At this time it would be inappropriate for me to respond to the  details concerning this situation. I am a personal friend of both Pastor Cross and Crawford Loritts. In order to recieve the appropriate answer concerning this situation it would be best for you to contact Pastor Cross or Mr. Loritts personally. I am sure their administrative assistants can give you the appropriate information regarding this situation.

Walking With The King,
James White
Campus Crusade For Christ Communications Dept.

from: Wayne and Gerri Stowman (

May 6, 2002 11:43 am CDT

 Apparently CCCI has suspended Haman Cross, Jr. as a speaker for their organization.

That information is contained in Lynn Vincent's subsequent article on this issue.
mirrored on our site at:

We also received a phone call from a CCCI representative saying that Haman Cross Jr. will NEVER again be speaking for CCCI. So it appears that the organization HAS done some follow up in this area. 

Now the orginal interview...[Those of us responsible for publishing this article in no way wish to imply that we always practice the principles you'll read here. We are publishing this in the hope that you can address these issues in your life as we continue to address them in ours. Campus Crusade]
 CONFLICT. THE WORD HITS HOME WITH EVERYONE. NOBODY HAS lived free from it. Conflict with roommates, spouses, employers. With our family, our children, our world. Hurting, broken relationships. Anger. Loneliness. ~ It is so natural, it seems, to be at conflict. "I remember as a very young boy having my brother try to take my toy fire engine from me," a speaker once said. "I resisted and hit him over the head with it. Nobody had to teach me to do that."

Bill Fields knows about conflict. For eight years [PMI note:since 1984] he has headed an organization called PeaceMakers International. PeaceMakers strives to teach people in conflict to be reconciled with each other. Simply stated, to reconcile is to make things friendly again. To make things right. ~ Along with earning degrees in psychology and interpersonal communication, Bill knows conflict from firsthand experience. That is what inspired him to begin PeaceMakers, whose principles on conflict reconciliation are not very new. In fact, they are very old

Why do people seek out PeaceMakers?

Bill: When people call us they have come to the end of their skills in trying to make something change that's killing them.

What do most people want out of relationships?

Bill: I think deep within us is a desire to be loved and to be worthy of giving love. An infant crying out in need, desiring to be cared for, soon learns which reactions get care and which reactions get abandonment. I believe that people are created to desire fellowship—the need to be with other people. Even the most extreme introvert desires at least one relationship with someone who can understand him and share deep feelings.

If that is true, then why don't we get along with each other?

Bill: In the biblical view it basically comes down to this: People are egocentric. We want to create others in our own image and our image of God. When there appear to be equally valuable competing interests, the question becomes, "Who will have the maturity to give rather than demand and take?"

But that's not easy.

Bill: No, it's hard. It's very hard. Reconciliation is the hardest job I've ever encountered.

Give us a good definition of "relationship."

Bill: I think relationship in our society often means proximity and agreement. If two people are close and do a lot of the same things, they feel they have a relationship. My understanding of relationship is really another word called intimacy: the complete freedom to be honest and the maturity to receive the other person in his honesty.

That sounds scary.

Bill: That's extremely scary and very rare. But it is possible.

I would imagine then that there are many substitutes for intimacy.

Bill: Yes. Sex would be a significant one. It can be an attempt to achieve intimacy, thus becoming a tool. And all tools end in dissatisfaction and pain. Certainly in America we have learned how to ignore pain because it distracts us from being successful. But even though we bury it, it is still there.

You talked about a biblical view of conflict. Does the Bible really talk about contemporary relationships and conflicts?

Bill: The principles we use in PeaceMakers do not work without understanding and believing who God is. The power behind these principles does not lie in our own selves, because there we continue to force our selfishness and control.

The idea that we are created in the image of a living God means His Spirit and our spirit desire to be in right relationship with each other. I believe that's the highest form of intimacy available.

Then why don't Christians get along?

Bill: An easy answer is that we are still human and will never be perfect and free from conflict. You will always see conflict in the church because the church is made up of humans. A harder answer is that the church doesn't always practice what it preaches. We can do better. And as we do better, men can see how conflicts should be resolved.

How should they be resolved?

Bill: PeaceMakers outlines seven steps. But the motivation in this process has to be love: You need to deeply desire to make things right with the person you've wronged. Otherwise it becomes a tool for you to come out on top. (For deeper reading: Seven Steps To Complete Forgiveness)

First, you need to state specifically what the offense was. Perhaps it was something said behind another's back.

Second, depending on your value system—I use the Bible— state precisely the values that were violated. Was I being malicious? Was I being impatient? This sometimes takes a little thought. "I lied" isn't enough. The question is, "Why did I lie?" Well, I wanted to look good. OK, that's pride. See?

Yes. This takes some time, then?

Bill: Just getting to What did I do wrong?" may take a couple of hours. You can see that you don't sit down and go through this in five minutes.

The third step is to ask, "When I said this (or did this or failed to do this), how did it make you feel?" Listen to what the other person says. Hear his hurt. Hear his pain. Hear what he thought took place. Feel it.

Fourth, talk about a time when you were hurt in a similar way. Often we don't have precise words but we do have the emotions that went with the experience. Say, "I remember a time when someone did something like this to me. Is this how you're feeling? Help me to feel how you felt when I did this to you."

It would probably be easy to skip that fourth step.

Bill: This step is often lacking, and that omission can be a stumbling block for reconciliation taking place.

Moving along to number five, ask for forgiveness. The Bible talks about having godly sorrow. And in godly sorrow come very intense emotions. There needs to be an anger that the offense was committed and a tremendous desire to make things right. A sense of being stunned that you would do such a thing. Hopefully, the other person will sense a true change of heart and your desire to be at peace with him.

Sixth, repeat in your own words the offended person's response. What this does is establish that you're asking for forgiveness and are doing your part. He may choose to not forgive you. That is his problem and not yours.

After asking for forgiveness there must be patience, because people heal at different speeds. A hoped-for response would be tears and acceptance and forgiveness, and mending and healing of the relationship.

Lastly, ask what you can do differently so you won't hurt him or her again. Once more you're asking the other person to help you learn who you need to be in order for you to not cause offense to him or her again. When you go through all these steps you have reconciliation, and the relationship is unbelievably stronger.

Having to go through this process every time seems exhausting.

Bill: What I have found is that two people, a husband and wife or an employer and employee, if they practice this process, begin to do it almost naturally. They don't have to sit down with a list and count off the steps.

When you practice reconciliation regularly in a relationship, conflicts become significantly reduced in number and intensity. Maturity and sensitivity increase.

Yet not everyone seeks reconciliation. What do most people do instead?

Bill: Most try to present their own way of living as appropriate and the other person's as inappropriate. We may get terribly angry at a messy roommate and say, "Why don't you pick up your room? I have decided that the best way to live is to have a clean room. What's wrong with you?" The roommate may very well be saying, "I am so depressed that I don't have enough energy to clean my room."

Or, the person may be truly lazy. But we normally prejudge them as lazy when a hundred other motives are possible.

Should all this talk about conflict make us depressed?

Bill: Some people do respond by saying, "What hope is there?" Another way to look at it would be to say, "What tremendous opportunity to learn and experience an adventure in understanding the other person." If we saw the other person through God's eyes, these "conflicts" would become very minor, if not totally insignificant. ~

[Those of us responsible for publishing this article in no way wish to imply that we always practice the principles you'll read here. We are publishing this in the hope that you can address these issues in your life as we continue to address them in ours.]