Another Error Exposed

Mainstream Christianity will not relate to this post but it is good for exhortation. We can each benefit. You’ve probably never heard this before but there is a group of believers who frequently use the phrase, “If you are not part of the problem or the solution, it should not be discussed and you should not participate in listening.” In my opinion, this is a most damaging teaching to the churches and individuals who follow it.

The justification given for this is that it is a “bad report” and is gossip. Now I don’t want to judge the heart of any member, leader, or Pastor who teaches this but I can tell you from my own experience it breeds a lofty and unrealistic reputation of an individual, a church group, or a particular ministry group. Since problems are never discussed the reputation is one of cream-of-the-crop. It creates the idea that there are no problems and everyone is some type of super saint. It is a clever way of never exposing our real problems. It creates an image that is not honest and provides a way for leadership to control others and public image.

Since a problem is never exposed, often the opinion from outsiders is that of holiness, perfection, high standards, and the appearance that all is well. This teaching is so dangerous, that I actually heard one family say, “We cannot be a part of your church because y’all are just too good.” What?! Are you kidding me?

I pray anyone who may promote this teaching will prayerfully reflect on what I am teaching in this post and not react. I’m asking you to be a critical thinker. To escape the snare of being told what to think and start learning how to think.

What does the Bible teach?

I’d like to begin by pointing out the fact that God Himself has contradicted the idea that if you aren’t part of the problem or the solution, you shouldn’t discuss it. That’s bizarre. As the body of Christ your problem is my problem. Suppose on my way to bed one night, I stump my little toe on the door jamb. As my toe is throbbing in pain, can you imagine the mouth saying, “Sorry little fella, you’re on your own.” No! The brain instructs the leg to elevate the foot. Then he inspires the hand and fingers to massage the toe. He calls on the mouth and voice to offer some moans of sympathy. The body goes to work.

Consider the fact that Holy Scripture exposes in detail problems in local churches for all of us to read and for all of us to learn from. It is spread over the entire body of Christ. Why did God do this? What business is it for the Churches of Ephesus to know what is going on at Corinth? What benefit is there for Philippi to know the issues at Thessalonica? It is two-fold.

First, God wants to always expose the problem so it can be dealt with. So we can repent. So we can start doing what is right. The other reason to expose problems is so that others will fear and not be ensnared by the adversary’s plot to destroy the body of Christ. “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear” (1 Timothy 5:20). It is a great motivator. It is exhortation, edification, and encouragement to do right.

I am not suggesting that we meddle in peoples lives and expose every minute sin. But I am saying that when a particular sin affects many believers, it should be lovingly dealt with. It should be exposed. The sad part is that those in the body of Christ who expose the problem are accused of being the problem. How twisted. This is another clever and crafty ploy of leadership. The person who exposes the problem becomes the guilty party. They are accused of being gossips. They are accused of causing division. They are accused of sowing discord. They are accused of not submitting to authorities. These are all damaging lies.

As one of my friends recently reminded me, we talk about problems in our own families. We expose them. We deal with them. We talk about them in order to bring about reconciliation with God and one another.

Some may think, “How does this affect the lost?” It will show them that we are imperfect. That we’re not “holier-than-thou” and that we have the same struggles and conflicts in our own lives. But hopefully, the way we respond to each other is so Christ- like that they notice the difference and see we love one another and how we encourage one another to be more like Christ. Hopefully they will observe how Christians deal with problems among themselves.

 Finally, it’s really a pride issue. Exposing a problem lets everyone know you’re not perfect and that you attend an imperfect church. I’ve got news for you, you are and do.

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