"Against An Elder Receive Not An Accusation"

I Timothy 5:19


     Wicked men, moved with envy, jealousy, and malice, by the instigation of satan, are always anxious to slander the servants of God. They would not use a sword to spill a man's blood, because society would not approve and the penalty of the law is too great. But they use their tongues, the sword of spite, to slay a man's character and reputation. This form of murder almost all men enjoy and actively pursue, but God does not. Such violence is not to be tolerated among God's people.

     NO ACCUSATION IS TO BE RECEIVED, IN PRIVATE CONVERSATION OR IN THE CHURCH, AGAINST ANY PASTOR WHO PREACHES THE GOSPEL OF GOD'S FREE AND SOVEREIGN GRACE IN CHRIST, UNLESS THE ACCUSATION CAN BE PROVED BY INDISPUTABLE FACTS, WITH CREDIBLE EYEWITNESSES. Civilized men and women even allow common criminals justice in courts of law. Surely, in the church of God, the least measure of mercy demands that we give one another every benefit of doubt. And the cause of Christ, the welfare of the church, and the honor of the gospel will not allow those who are born of God to receive unsubstantiated rumors and accusations against those few men who preach the gospel of Christ. Far too much is at stake. If the accusations should be true, in the eyes of our enemies, the gospel we preach and the God we worship is blasphemed. If the accusations are false, as they usually are, a stigma is cast upon the pastor's name, the church he serves, and the gospel he preaches.

     No man has ever been used of God in the service of Christ's kingdom without incurring the wrath of some. The Jews called our Lord a glutton and winebibber. The Judaizers called Paul an antinomian. And I have had a good many accusations hurled at me over the years. When I hear of a man, whom I know to be a faithful gospel preacher, being slandered and accused of evil deeds, I always come to his defense, for his sake, for the church's sake, for the gospel's sake, for Christ's sake; and you should too. If we are proven wrong, there is no shame to bear in being defenders of other men's reputation. We have only done what God, the love of Christ, and personal experience demand that we do. God will set all things in their true light in his time.


Don Fortner