April 6, 2010

Public Rebuke and Naming Names: When Is It Right?

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14 Comments
  1. Dr. Brown,

    When Church discipline is outlined in Scripture, is there a precedent for rebuking a Christian brother in the town square, or are open rebukes only “public” in the context of a Christian audience?

  2. Open rebuke would likely only be in the case of the original issue arising in a public context, otherwise it would be the opposite process of what Jesus informed us to do in Mt. 18. The 1:1 approach to issues and matters of dispute is the primary instruction of our Lord, then, if not heard, going with another to the same person, and only lastly before the whole church (not the public). Moving ahead almost 2000 years from this instruction we have the phenomena of s0-called Christian TV, where, if someone in the Name of Jesus says or does error or sin the setting may call for a similar setting corrective response from a peopled accountability process circumventing the private approach. Even so, outside of the media arena, the 1:1 brethren approach taught by Jesus holds. This is a unique conflict resolution approach taught of He who holds the keys to hades and death, and lived it to the step of the propitiation of the Cross.

  3. Dr. Brown,

    The reason why he was so offended was because he knows you are speaking the truth and he feels convicted. If he knows you as well as you say, he knows that you did not have ill intentions toward him. He made his sin public so he opened himself up for different opinions. You would have been wrong to keep silent. He will think about this, and it’s a good thing, maybe he will be brought to his knees! To speak the truth in love is to be a good friend!

  4. Dr. Brown,

    In in the instant example, he not only announced it on facebook, but by virtue of the way facebook works, he trashed your site with iniquity. I think we discussed this when you first ventured onto facebook- as in the way that people can trash your facebook page with their nasty pictures.

    I’ve seen some interesting problems with facebook and people in the (local) church who delve into sin – and announce it on their pages. Its only going to get worse (Matthew 24:12).

    -Bill
    (another 55 in 55’er)

  5. Isn’t it OK to call a prophet a false prophet if he is presently lying to you and will not hear the truth?

    I expect a prophet who has been walking with signs, miracles, and wonders to have a sword and use it against one who does
    accuse him unjustly, as the scriptures show that a higher power has a sword and is often willing to use it.

    Elihu confronted Job and his friends as they were in a public debate. Non of them had a sword to use against him.

    When we deal with these things we may find ourselves dealing with life and death. We do need to be careful.

  6. Ray, You seem to be saying that the context determines the Bible believing soul’s kind of response by citing a key participant in establishing the central meaning of Job, where God is thereby established as all knowing, and religiously observant man as something altogether else. Elihu’s response to the whole relational and situational fly on the wall’s view on the outworking of Job’s detractors has indeed been identified with a prophet’s mantle, a prophet’s heart, and a prophet’s way (of a prophet of the Named Biblical God of old). The entire overheard inclusive conversational motif of Job then is inclusive of Elihu, as such among a Biblically religious cadre’s preChrist exposure, and with his notable difference from the other participants due to an alleged connection depicted as yielded to the known head of a Biblical faith.
    Yeshua only gave two instructions thereafter regarding our manner of dealing with personality confrontation, conversation, conduct, and conflicts directly to the church (globally in Mt. 16, as to confession, and, locally, among those in known assembly brotherly relationships in Mt. 18). Paul more specifically talks of using the gifts of prophet and prophecy, which logically do involve human communication and confrontation in an entirely different manner than Yeshua. What do you see as contextually different in such settings, and among the personalities, and situations as Yeshua and Paul discuss such as to the matter of this blog’s inquiry and its subject’s pursuit? How important to practicing the Royal Law which James identifies as a vital practice among us is Yeshua’s instruction applying to the subject of this blog, and how important is Paul’s? Where and when are they interchangeable in application, and not so as to the subject herein? Why did you uphold Elihu as being a model responder?
    Is it possible to be a Christian and simply go with the flow of opinioning and airing all differences, as with a radio talk show, or by the wisdom example of Elihu, or did Yeshua have something else entirely in mind in his thinking where issues arise between believers in a local assembly, or, among those of the universal church as to how to go about achieving shalom and unity? Should we always air our differences in the same arena or manner of which we first found such? Is ours a “house divided” in many cases, and, if so, how do Yeshua’s and Paul’s instructions presently apply as to being the children of God and of the Kingdom our world would see healing such a divisive subject? What is it that draws one to this kind of blogasphere, or to other manners of conversational interchange, and where do they need the tempering of Biblical or New Testament instruction and living? Is it possible to be Christians indeed and ignore altogether such instruction’s place and placement among us as we address this subject as though it was merely a subjective, and culturally relative one?

  7. Dr. Brown

    I Timothy 5: 20, states (Amplified Version) “As for those who are guilty and persist in sin, rebuke and admonish them in the presence of all, so that the rest may be warned and stand in wholesome awe and fear”. Since he chose to bring this sin out openly and share with others and possibly influence others to have no “wholesome awe and fear” due to his own deeds, the scriptures seem to back up your actions; in fact…that was a gesture of love on your behalf. You were not trying to pass judgment or condemnation on him, but you were admonishing him to do what is right. Dr.Brown, unfortunately, even in the church, people do not want to obey the scriptures, but want to do what they want to do in spite of the scriptures. I find myself at odds at times with bro. & sis. today in church and am so amazed at the number of Cristian, so called, in the churches who have been re-married, multiple times; we can admonish, but it is in God’s hands (Hebrews 13:4).

  8. Jabez, That’s a lot of questions. You seem to be highly educated man. I am just a carpenter. I have trouble following.

    I believe Elihu to be the writer of the book of Job. A prophet’s mantle seemed to be upon him, being moved by the hand of God.

    I suppose that’s how we know if we are doing right in any situation, if we know God and how he moves us by his spirit.

    I suppose we also need to know his ways. To us today that means we need to learn from his word. We need to learn from Jesus.

    I believe it’s important to do as Jesus said, to rebuke a brother if he sins against us, (Luke 17:3) and also go to him first alone.(Matthew 18:14-17)

    As justification by faith (Job 35:14,15) was always a part of God’s way, Elihu was about the work of that justification of God by the moving of the spirit of God. (Job 33:23-32)

    This is the responsibility of those that are spiritual. (Galatians 6)

    I believe this ministry of reconciliation is the work of the ministry
    that too often has been left undone, being something people don’t want to get involved in, or have not been instructed, trained, or equipped to do. Maybe their church hasn’t encouraged it.

    I believe the church needs delivering judges, workers in the ministry of reconciliation, those that will hear a matter, go with another, pray, make sure that a thing was done and that it was indeed a wrong that is the cause of a present distreess, not willing to hear evil for the sake of evil, know how to open their Bibles and find something good on every page, say what it is, (for
    we need to be able to find water in dry places) thank God for it,
    make the plea “Please have mercy.”, when it is appropriate, walk
    circumspectly, in kindness, gentleness, meekneess, patience, without partiality, doing for one the same ministry as for the other, etc.

    If all the church was doing this work, would christians really have as much of a divorce rate as the rest of the world (as I have heard that is has)?

    Shouldn’t it naturally follow, that people would be lining up outside of church buildings because there is a place where the oppressed are truly ministerd to, where deliverance from oppression really happens, where reconciliation is usually the norm, but if it doesn’t happen, at least there is a place where righteousness lives, justice is done, wrongs are righted, burdens are removed, wounds are dressed, people are healed, and the captives go free?

    This means people will need to forgive, and repent of their sins as they become known to them, and there may be a lot of them
    showing up. It would also mean that something spiritual is happening, wrongs are being righted, that God is raising up an army, (Job 29:25) and that his kingdom is being seen as coming.

    I think it should mean that we should be hearing testimony such as for example:

    “….I had a problem, something I could not work out with a brother. I began to see him as an enemy. I considered that there was nothing but the devil working through him toward me, though I could see that others thought of him as a wonderful person. I went to him but he didn’t hear me.

    So I went to a brother as Jesus said, and I began to see him work. The Lord began to show us things. He began to open doors. The crooked things began to be made straight. We saw him level mountains, and fill in that which was made low. We saw him supply where we didn’t have the means. We saw fruit come in where there was desolation. We saw healing where there was
    something like a spiritual infection. We saw physical healing too..etc”

  9. Ray, Excellent responses, me thinks. I was a carpenter for 12 years, mostly in the high country of Colorado, and could not scratch the itch of an inquisitive heart by remaining so.

    Your answers are well thought through, and quite different than earlier theological assertions made on some past dates. These were posted prior to Dr. Brown’s remarks on Biblical interpretation, which you may have read and considered? Your faith is apparent, and your commitment.

    One thing that has echoed in my soul for years is what John said when contrasting Moshe and Yeshua, as to what each was full of. I believe, in seeking Yeshua, grace tempers truth, and truth, grace. The balance is everything in coming to love as he loved.

  10. Was the cross plumb toward heaven? Was the Way of the early followers of Yeshua distinctive to the point of great contrast–even with the whole religious system set up in Jerusalem? What was Jesus driving toward when compelled to go to Jerusalem that passion week we can only consider by written word?

    Why did Yeshua weep over Jerusalem? Does He still?

    Why would He weep over fellowships which do not follow his reconciliation instruction (prior cited)? What was He trying to establish for His church and in and of it?

  11. Is this the element of inner fire so wrought by the price of going His Way? The element long absent from the publicized American religious trends? The element of receipt of correction from an equal among the flock of Christ, and establishment of the heart toward the pursuit of reconciliation. Was not His Ministry so desposed and essentially described?

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