Recently Tim Challies wrote a two-part blog series about the ninth commandment (“Thou shalt not bear false witness”), what can be seen here and here. Part one of my response was posted yesterday. Today I’m continuing to respond to the questions he asks that he says are prompted by the ninth commandment.
Hear no evil, see no evil
Do you avoid reading bad news about people and situations that have no bearing on your life, your church, or your ministry?
Again, how do we know it has no bearing on our life, church, and ministry unless we read it and ponder it? Especially when we’re talking about the very leaders and gurus of the entire conservative evangelical movement? Would you really say this has no bearing on the lives of the people within those churches? What if the bad news is that a respected man’s counseling methods, practiced by thousands, is actually doing great harm? That’s bad news. But shouldn’t Christians learn about it so they won’t harm people in this way?
Do you protect your own reputation, and even defend it when necessary, so you remain above reproach in the eyes of others?
My own reputation has gone through the wringer a few times since I’ve started speaking and acting in regard to abuse in fundamental and conservative evangelical circles. But when a man or woman’s reputation suffers at the hands of those who want to destroy it for one reason or another, the solution is for the character of the individual to prove out. First Peter 2:12 says,
Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
The only way Christians should want anyone’s reputation to remain “above reproach” is if that person’s character is above reproach. The reputation should be a representation of who the person really is. This really shouldn’t be that hard.
This blog contains many links, some giving further information about the abuses I refer to, and some giving commentary. The Here’s the Joy blog posts I link to in this article are these:
Go here to download your free Guide, How to Enjoy the Bible Again (when you’re ready) After Spiritual Abuse (without feeling guilty or getting triggered out of your mind). You’ll receive access to both print and audio versions of the Guide (audio read by me). I’m praying it will be helpful.