One of the greatest objections to this blog is that I am not following the Bible’s prescription for confrontation as layed out in Matthew 18:5. “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone…”
To address this important issue, I’d like to quote an extended passage from the book Twisted Scriptures .
A strong principle used by the controlling leadership is that you must go straight to, and only to, the leader when you have a criticism.
The passage in Matthew 18 has been misapplied. It actually pertains to serious problems between two individuals that will involve the whole church if the person persists in doing wrong. The Bible specifices two different types of confrontations:
– Sin against a person, seek personal redress
– Sin against the congregation, seek congregational redress
Paul brings out this second, and much neglected, side of redress when he writes to Timothy, “Never entertain an accusation against an elder, unless there are two or three witnesses to accuse him. Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all.”
Here we find a different standard being applied to leaders. They are protected from personal vendettas by requiring the testimony of several, but the redress is PUBLIC. Ironically, in abusive groups, it is the followers who are subjected to public rebuke for personal sins, rather than the leaders for sins against their flock.
It is important to ask yourself, how do two or three witnesses hear an accusation against an elder or any leader unless it is first discussed among members? Logically, you have to have permission to talk with members in order to find out if there are witnesses. In abusive environments, you are not to discuss problems about leadership with others, but go directly in private to the leader alone. We are told, however, that we shouldn’t accuse an elder unless there are two or three witnesses. How can leaders make this requirement conform with their demand for private discussion? Obviously, we have to discuss the leader’s conduct with others to find two or three confirmed testimonies in order to ascertain the truth.
We see another example of public confrontation of leadership in Galatians 2:14-15.
“When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the Gospel, I said to Peter IN FRONT OF THEM ALL, “You are a Jew yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?”
Basically, Peter was cowtowing to a group that insisted Gentiles adopt Jewish customs like circumcision to be considered real Christians. When Paul saw this, did he go to Peter in private? No! It was damaging to the Gospel so he confronted Peter in front of everyone. Not only that, but he actually wrote about it in his letter to the church in Galatia.
So, as we see from these two Scriptures (and there are others) that there is more than one way to exercise proper Biblical confrontation. When it is a matter between individuals, it is to be done privately. But when it is a matter of teaching or public hypocrisy, it is to be done publicly.
Everything I have stated on this blog has been a critique of Teen Mania’s actual public teachings OR a critique of the environment created there, which has been backed up by multiple witnesses per the requirements in I Timothy 5:19.
Tomorrow, I’d like to address the second most popular objection to this blog: slander.