Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
1 Corinthians 6:1-6
If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people? 2 Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! 4 Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, do you ask for a ruling from those whose way of life is scorned in the church? 5 I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? 6 But instead, one brother takes another to court—and this in front of unbelievers! (taken from here: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%206&version=NIV
My brother has run into a situation where he may have to sue a fellow believer who he is close to in order to get some money back. Without that money he could find himself in a very bad situation. That aside...
How do the Orthodox interpret this passage? It seems that under the Protestant faith, there is no real way to go before any authority within the church. In such a case where there is a civil dispute between two Christians, would this be handled by the priests or possibly the Bishops, or do both stay out of it?
Essentially, how does the Orthodox Church interpret and enact this passage?
That is a good question. I'm not sure about structurally or institutionally, but colloquially I understand that we should interpret this passage to explain that we should seek mediation by Church membership, but it the clergy, or perhaps some Elders experienced in similar matters, or at the least relying upon the mediation of our mutual friends or family from within the Church, as opposed to open litigation in the courts as a first step. By the way, I think this is extremely relevant considering how many Orthodox Parishes litigate against each other and even take each other to courts, so this is not just for member to member issues, but even parish to parish, and of course also jurisdiction to jurisdiction. After all, Christian arguments in Jerusalem at many times has been mediated not by Synods but the Sultans..