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Breaking Silence

  1. Breaking Silence A guide for Church Leaders on dealing with issues
  2. Silence is Inaction – A call to be Charitable • Deu 22:4  You shall not see your brother's donkey or his ox fallen down by the way and ignore them. You shall help him to lift them up again.
  3. The Stray Donkey – How much more humans! • Exo 23:4  "If you meet your enemy's ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him. • Exo 23:5  If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him. – Ponder: When you ignore this command and choose a path of silence then are you justified?
  4. Silence Birth ofTraitors
  5. The Silent Watchman is a traitor • Eze 33:6  But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman's hand.
  6. Silence Perverts Justice • Lev 5:1  "If anyone sins in that he hears a public adjuration to testify, and though he is a witness, whether he has seen or come to know the matter, yet does not speak, he shall bear his iniquity; Yet does not spea k
  7. There is a time to act – “if you keep silent”
  8. Silence : Blinded by Self Justification
  9. Silence Holding a grudge in Silence is No Good Speak Frankly in the spirit of Christ
  10. Don’t cork it! Deal with it • "You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. (Leviticus 19:17 ESV) –Mat 18:15  "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
  11. Witnessing v/s Gossip • Pro 16:28 Gossip is no good! It causes hard feelings and comes between friends. • Pro 11:9 Dishonest people use gossip to destroy their neighbors; good people are protected by their own good sense v/s • And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother; Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you. (Deuteronomy 19:18-19 KJV)
  12. The voice of two Witnesses Remaining Silent Perverts Justice
  13. A process – Two witnesses required • Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. (1 Timothy 5:19 ESV) But, when witnesses or judges remain silent they condone evil
  14. Silence shattered - a Great Responsibility •The hand of the witnesses shall be first against him toput him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. (Deuteronomy 17:2-7 ESV) But, when witnesses or judges remain silent they condone evil because of their fears Witnessing has consequences. Can put your life in peril in high profile cases.
  15. The Fear Factor All of us Fear for our reputation and life
  16. Fear leads to Silence • Joh 9:21  But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself." • Joh 9:22  (His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.)
  17. Fear silences us • Joh 12:42  Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; • Joh 12:43  for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.
  18. Intimidated to Silence • Deu 1:17 You shall not be partial in judgment. You shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not be intimidated by anyone, for the judgment is God's. People typically follow a majority & History has shown that justice will favor the powerful
  19. Silence shattered - Pressure of Many • Exo 23:2  You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice,
  20. Silence shattered - Pressure of Many • Mark 15:15   So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. When Justice is perverted the innocent suffer
  21. Pressure and Selfishness leads to poor judgment • Acts 24:27 But after two years Porcius Festus came into Felix' room: and Felix, willing to shew the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound.
  22. Don’t give in under pressure • Trust in the LORD • Love the LORD with all your heart and soul and strength • Aaron succumbed to pressure but was accountable – Exo 32:21  And Moses said to Aaron, "What did this people do to you that you have brought such a great sin upon them?" – Exo 32:22  And Aaron said, "Let not the anger of my lord burn hot. You know the people, that they are set on evil.
  23. Do you want to be counted with cowards? • Revelation 21:8   But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death."
  24. Fear a Reality - Examples • The report of ten spies made the people afraid. – Num 14:36  And the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned and made all the congregation grumble against him by bringing up a bad report about the land— – Num 14:37  the men who brought up a bad report of the land—died by plague before the LORD. • 1Sa 15:24  Saul said to Samuel, ”… because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.
  25. Fear is addictive & Misleads others • Deu 20:8  And the officers shall speak further to the people, and say, 'Is there any man who is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go back to his house, lest he make the heart of his fellows melt like his own.’ • Numbers 32:9   (ESV)  For when they went up to the Valley of Eshcol and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the people of Israel from going into the
  26. Fear is real but there is a call and strategy to overcome • 1Sa 16:2  And Samuel said, "How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me." And the LORD said, "Take a heifer with you and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’ • Do not mess with God and mislead other either –Jeremiah 1:17  But you, dress yourself for work; arise, and say to them everything that I command you. Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them.
  27. Fear is real – It did not stop Stephen testifying against the Jews who will stand up? • Act 7:57  But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. • Act 7:58  Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. • Act 7:59  And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." • Act 7:60  And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
  28. Silence Examples of Father  son failures
  29. The sin of Eli – No ‘action’ Taken • 1Sa 2:29  Why then do you scorn my sacrifices and my offerings that I commanded for my dwelling, and honor your sons above me by fattening yourselves on the choicest parts of every offering of my people Israel?' • 1Sa 3:13  And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them.
  30. King David as a father • 1 Kings 1:6   His father had never at any time displeased him by asking, "Why have you done thus and so?" He was also a very handsome man, and he was born next after Absalom. “Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death.” - Proverbs 19:18
  31. Breaking Silence Examples of Success
  32. Phinehas – Don’t just stand and watch • Num 25:7  When Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose and left the congregation and took a spear in his hand • Num 25:8  and went after the man of Israel into the chamber and pierced both of them, the man of Israel and the woman through her belly. Thus the plague on the people of Israel was stopped. • Num 25:9  Nevertheless, those who died by the plague were twenty-four thousand.
  33. It was impossible for men of God to keep silent • Ezr 10:10  And Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, "You have broken faith and married foreign women, and so increased the guilt of Israel. • Ezr 10:11  Now then make confession to the LORD, the God of your fathers and do his will. Separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign wives."
  34. Do not seek Popularity – Yes you will be unpopular • Jeremiah 26:7-9 When Jeremiah finished speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak to all the people, the priests and the prophets and all the people seized him, saying, "You must die! "Why have you prophesied in the name of the LORD saying, 'This house will be like Shiloh and this city will be desolate, without inhabitant '?" And all the people gathered about Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.… Better is open rebuke than hidden love - Proverbs 27:5
  35. There are Dire consequences when you stand up • 2Ch 24:20  Then the Spirit of God clothed Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, and he stood above the people, and said to them, "Thus says God, 'Why do you break the commandments of the LORD, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, he has forsaken you.'" • 2Ch 24:21  But they conspired against him, and by command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the LORD. { Matthew 21:35   And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. }
  36. Your head on a platter – Ready? • All he said to Herod was: "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife.” – Mar 6:18  John
  37. Silent Leaders Wisdom # 45: Silence is safe to be at peace with all men
  38. A silent leader is himself deceived and leads the sheep astray • “Ignore it and it will go away” strategy – “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them” (Ephesians 5:11). • “We should show love and not judge” – But Love itself “does not rejoice in unrighteousness” (1 Corinthians 13:5–6).  How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah. (Psalms 82:2)
  39. Don’t Hide - Confront in the spirit of Christ • Confront and fear not – Galatians 6:1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. – 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15 If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother. – Luke 17:3 Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, – 1Ti 5:20  As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence
  40. Don’t Hide - Confront in the spirit of Christ • Don’t be two faced –Galatians 2:11-14 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party.
  41. Silence – The Tortoise strategy
  42. Called to Judge Members in leadership roles should Judge cases that does not require Criminal prosecution by the law of the land
  43. Do not be incompetent • 1Co 6:1  When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? • 1Co 6:2  Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases?
  44. Judges - A Principle setup by Moses • Deu 16:18  "You shall appoint judges and officers in all your towns that the LORD your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. • Under the New covenant – Tit 1:5  This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you – Act 14:23  And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
  45. Mercy & Justice Woman Caught in Adultery – A Case study
  46. Woman caught in adultery v/s Herodias
  47. Woman caught in adultery v/s Herodias • The woman brought to Jesus was a weak woman – They could have stoned her without bringing her to Jesus – They wanted to test Jesus. They had a guinea pig. – But, • Were these men capable of dragging Herodias to Jesus? • John – John testified against Herodias and his head was cut off! – John was alone. John lived and died for the TRUTH. • To ponder upon – Was John who offered a baptism of forgiveness and repentance himself unforgiving? – Why did he not retract his statement? – Was it worth for man like John to waste his live over Herodias?
  48. Is Silence a safe bet? • Jesus did not condone adultery – Joh 8:11 And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” • The Church’s responsibility – 1Co 5:1  It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father's wife. – 1Co 5:2  And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.
  49. Jesus and John had to confront adultery cases • Do not confuse Jezebel that led Israel astray with the woman caught in adultery – The two cases have to be treated in context! • John and Jesus spoke thus – Mat 3:7  But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? – John – Mat 23:33  You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? – Jesus • Ponder: Was Jesus teaching forgiveness and himself unwilling to forgive?
  50. While Jezebel in Revelation is mostly symbolic… • Rev 2:20  But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. – Did the early church have a leader in their midst by the name “Jezebel”? – Even if there was one she would have changed her name. – Jezebel is easily associated with external wicked influences that enters the church and corrupts the church. (Jezebel a foreigner married Ahab and corrupted Israel) – The church thought it ok to tolerate this influence: • practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. • The instruction from Jesus is that Jezebel should be treated differently to the woman he met at the temple dragged by her condemners – Ponder: Is there a difference? What is the difference?
  51. Silence is Good Finally…
  52. Power of Silence
  53. Questions For Meditation and discussions
  54. Question 1 • Do these two verses contradict each other? – For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 1 Corinthians 5:12 ESV – Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Matthew 7:1-2 ESV • Few References: 1Co 1:10, Psa. 37:30, I Cor. 6:1-5, Malachi 3:18, Rev 2:2, Col 2:16, I Corinthians 11:30-31 – If a church leader cannot reconcile the above two verses then his judgments will be marred
  55. Question 2 • You notice a brother/pastor pocketing some money from the collection. – How should you deal with the situation? – What is your responsibility? – Should it be brought to the attention of the church? – Should that brother/pastor continue in that position if the church were to find out? – Should the church take any action? • Few References: Exo 20:15, Mat 18:15-16, 1 Timothy 5:19, 1Co 5:13, Gal 6:1, Eph 4:28, Luk_3:10-14, 2Th_3:11-12,2Th_3:6-8, 1Co 6:10
  56. Question 3 • Discuss cases in your city or country where justice was obstructed due to 1. Lack of witnesses 2. Incorrect sentences pronounced 3. Incompetent judge
  57. QUESTION 4: • If a brother brings up a case of cheating against another brother what should you do? – Ignore it – Act Quickly – Speak to others – Any other suggestions? • Few References: Matthew 18:15-16, 1 Timothy 5:19, 1Co 5:13, Joh 7:51, Mat 7:1,2, Gal 6:1,2, Mat 18:21, Proverbs 26:17, Luke 12:13-14
  58. QUESTION 5: • Do these two verses contradict each other? – John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. – Romans 16:17-18 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.
  59. QUESTION 6: • You had some suspicion that a married brother maybe having an affair with another married sister. Time went by when you hear the news of a marriage and divorces. – What should you do? – Should you have acted earlier? – What should the church do with the newly wed and the divorcees? • Few References: Exo 20:14, Lev 20:10, Heb 13:4, Rom 7:3, Joh 8:3,4, Luk 16:18, James 4:11, Rom 2:3, 1 Corinthians 5:1-13