The Weapon of Accusation
In recent days we have seen those who oppose Christian values use a very potent weapon against those who stand for what is right. It is a weapon that has been used since the beginning of time. It is a weapon Satan mastered and taught throughout the ages. It was first used in the garden of Eden against God. It has continued to be used throughout history. The Bible tells us that a sign of the times is the increase of the use of this weapon. What is the weapon you ask? It is a powerful weapon of accusation.
In our political arenas we have watched as the liberals have used accusation over and over again in an attempt to discredit an individual with whom they disagree. In recent days we have seen it used against politicians, Supreme Court nominees, and others who stand for conservative principles. Unfortunately we have also seen it used among preachers and Christians. Many an individual has been damaged permanently by an accusation that has been made against them. Political contests have been determined by accusation which were made. Nominees for positions in the president’s cabinet have been altered because of accusation. Accusation can literally alter the course of history.
In the Garden of Eden Satan began his attack on God by accusing him of not telling the complete truth. Joseph was placed into prison and stripped of his position because of an accusation. Our Saviour was hung on the cross to be crucified because of those who accused Him.
You may have noticed that I did not preface the word accusation with the word false. We often only deal with the subject of false accusation rather than the entire subject of accusation. I contend that accusation does not have to be false to be unjust. There are times when a true accusation is handled in an unjust manner. All accusation must be handled properly whether it be true or whether it be false. I am going to attempt in this article to lay some groundwork on how we deal with accusation.
1. Accusation must never stand alone. Please follow that statement carefully. Accusation must always be accompanied by several things.
It must be accompanied with the proper presentation. The Bible clearly tells us that we are not to bring an accusation against an elder. The presentation of accusation should not be in the public forum. Accusation should be presented in the proper fashion.
It must be given to the proper person. When we accuse someone publicly we are not looking for justice as much as we are looking to influence opinion. A public accusation does not fix a problem. A public accusation creates a problem because it changes public opinion without justice being carried out. We must only accuse to the proper authority or person who is responsible for finding truth behind the accusation.
It must be accompanied by evidence. Evidence alone is not enough. The evidence must be handled properly. Criminals have been judged innocent not because they did not commit the crime but because of the mishandling of evidence. Justice carefully takes into consideration the evidence and how it is gained and presented.
It must be with two or more witnesses. An accusation by one person does not guarantee a person’s guilt. A lone accuser is not enough to judge guilt or innocence. Interesting that Biblically the accuser was put on trial not the accused. The credibility of the accuser was of paramount importance according to God.
Accusation must not stand alone. All of these must accompany accusation to avoid injustice from being done.
2. Accusation should not be assumed as true. There was a day when we all believed that a person was innocent until proven guilty. We are now living in a society where guilt is assumed until innocence is proven. A person’s reputation is destroyed because we assume them to be guilty based upon what seems to be a credible accusation. In some cases we assume it to be true even if the evidence is by an unreliable witness. We seem to like assuming guilt. It is wrong to accept accusation as truth.
3. The accuser should be on trial as much as the accused. This is critical. People who have been accused are often times judged while the person who accuse them is allowed to freely make the accusation without scrutiny. When an accusation is made the first person that should be scrutinized is not the one accused. It should be the one who made the accusation. What was their motive for making this accusation? What was their agenda in making this accusation? Did they make the accusation to the proper person in the proper manner? These are questions we should be asking when someone accuses.
4. Public accusation should never be considered reliable. A person who makes a public accusation almost always has an ulterior motive. It is foolish to believe that someone who would use accusation to destroy a person’s reputation should be trusted. I am not saying that the accusation may or may not be true. I am saying that once it has been made into a public accusation we should reject it because of the reason the person made the accusation. Public accusations should ALWAYS be considered suspect. Do not receive public accusation.
5. We should not allow a person’s reputation to be changed by accusation. Someone who has done much good is accused and suddenly we think bad of them. We don’t know the facts. We don’t know the reason they were accused. We know nothing other than what we have heard. To change our opinion of the one being accused merely because there is an accusation made is foolhardy. It is unwise. Joseph was not guilty, but he was accused and his reputation was damaged. Christ was not guilty, but the mob cried for him to be crucified because of accusation. When someone is accused do not think the worst of them.
6. Do not be the judge or the jury when you hear of an accusation made. In fact, don’t be the private investigator either. May I just simply put it this way? Mind your own business. If it’s not your business to carry out justice then keep your nose out of it. You are doing no one a favor by deciding that you are going to be the one who investigates the person who has been accused. Do not make a judgment unless it is your area of judgment.
7. Defend the accused. This is not popular, but it is the right thing to do. A person who has been accused should be defended until they have been proven guilty. Tragically we are cowards when it comes to this. Someone with whom we have had a friendship with for years is accused and we get as far away from them as we can to protect ourselves. What a cowardly way to behave. Stand by your friends when they are accused. I would rather be wrong in defending an accused friend, than to be right in having attack them before knowing the truth.
8. Apply Philippians 4:8 to all accusation. It commands us, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Most accusation would not stand up to that criteria so therefore we should not even entertain it in our thoughts. One reason to avoid receiving accusation is the danger of allowing your mind to think on the wrong things.
9. Never Never NEVER spread accusation. If you spread accusation you are as guilty as Satan of accusing one of your brethren. Satan is the accuser…not just the false accuser. He is the accuser of the brethren. Sometimes he is telling the truth but his accusations are never in the interest of justice, but in impeding the righteousness of God.
10. Identify yourself with the accused. This is one that I wish every Christian would follow. I would rather be identified with someone who has been accused than someone who is guilty of being an accuser. I run to the side of the accused. I identify myself with the accused. Christ was accused and I identify myself with him. In our lives we are all going to be accused by those who have an ulterior motive. We will wish that someone had run to our side when that happens to us.
Satan is using accusation more today than ever before. It is tragic how many reputations are damaged because of this weapon. May God give us good sense and wisdom to understand the danger of accusation and to handle it with care.