A stirring article. Having just recently been through a discipline case involving slander, this really resonates with me.
Does the Lord really mean that it is not only OK but a positive good to get angry with those who destroy other’s reputations by backbiting? Surely not. We must be patient, forgiving, kind, charitable, while our neighbor’s reputations go up in flames–or so the message is in many churches. How long has it been since anyone in your church was disciplined by the elders for this unspeakable crime against God, the very sin of the devil himself against the church?
The problem with these kinds of sins, the sins of the tongue, first, is that they’re difficult to prove. The other problem is that if you face them, then you have very public and painful conflict. But if you don’t face them, then people in the church who are being victimized just quietly become disillusioned and drift away. So churches often choose not to face them at all, since the consequences of facing them are so much more visible and obviously painful than the quiet and subtle consequences of not facing them. But God rewards obedience. We should never be afraid to have a fight when we need to.