How Accusations Can Lead to Sanctification…
It always makes me sad when people hear a sermon and judgementally say something like, “That was good, I sure hope so and so was paying attention to this…” or “So and So could really learn something from this sermon…” And while it is not as appalling, it even happens on my blog, “So and so should read this so they stop whatever sin it is they are committing…” or “YOU should read your own stuff, (and some accusation of sin on my part).”
Yes, I often get people who want to accuse me of something. Unfortunately, most of the accusers on social media or the blog commit three big mistakes when they accuse:
First, they are either vague about the sin or completely off base.
Second they post the accusation publicly.
Third, they remain anonymous.
Which, according to Jesus in Matthew 18, is not how loving church discipline works.
The times that I have most benefited from being called out are when the person does not hide behind a fake avatar, is very specific about the sin I am committing or have committed, and comes to me privately in love. That is, when they follow the order in which JESUS set out. It is then that I can really take the accusation seriously, because I know that this person is acting out of love, even if my initial reaction is defensive. This way, discipline is done with concern for the sinner’s soul, with an attitude of building up, and out of a desire to glorify God. The other way an accusation is done is out of bitterness, hatred, and a desire to tear down or cause suffering. But, having said that, with any accusation of sin, comes the call to examine oneself in light of scripture. And we should not lightly brush it off, but instead turn to God in prayer.
This is one aspect of blogging I never saw coming. Aside from the negative accusations of the sneering spiritual dwarf, I have had a number of pastors call me out on doctrinal error, or incorrect interpretation of scripture. I have had a number of seminary students call me out for my choice of beer, and my position on other things. I have had older Christians ask me to reel it in in a notch or two. On more than a couple occasions I have been brought down a peg for coming across as an arrogant jerk. My wife often accuses me of having poor grammar and punctuation.
For some strange reason God has used this blog as a catalyst to get people to accuse me of sin, which in turn has led to a lot of introspection, prayer and meditation on the Word. If you want to grow in holiness, if you want holes poked in your arrogance and pride, if you want to be held accountable according to Scripture…I can think of no better way than being a public Christian. There is no hiding. You will be scrutinized. So start a Christian blog, or a vlog, or a facebook page or a podcast.
I mean really. Who knew blogging could lead to sanctification?
To those more mature than I (which is most of you I think), who have come to me privately via email, over the phone, or over a coffee … Thank you. God is using you.
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them. ~ Matthew 18:15-20