The Accuser of the Brethren, the Great Accuser, another name for the enemy. You find him in the book of Job and the book of Revelation doing what he does best, accusing the brethren. It’s a very simple bit of theology, one easily missed and not seen as our brains go seeking more elaborate things to chase.
The Accuser of the Brethren, he accuses the brethren. Like, duh. Do not accuse the brethren. Don’t work for that guy, the pay is terrible, the outcome is worse, and we should not be serving him at all.
I say this with all good humor while I am sitting on my hands once again resisting the urge to go after the low hanging fruit that is Joel Osteen.
I always walk a really fine line here, a line that falls somewhere between encouraging critical thinking skills and nurturing discernment, without actually attacking and accusing the brethren. It really is a narrow line, a bit like trying to walk a top a fence line. There is some evil in the world we simply must speak of, drag out in the sunlight, because turning the other cheek and pretending you do not see it, is not moral. You are simply creating that proverbial elephant in the living room everyone is afraid to acknowledge.
Than there is the body of Christ as a whole, the health and well-being of a family. So in a family situation, there are often bits of dirty laundry that must be aired out, discussed, debated, resolved. Secrets tend to be toxic, hidden things, things people are afraid to look at and they make us sick. Where ever the truth is feared, something is usually all wrong. So yes, I am all about speaking the truth in love. That in itself becomes a real art form.
James speaks to some really important concepts, how we are supposed to relate to one another, what lies at the root of so many of our disagreements. James 3:16 says, “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.”
Envy and strife, that is what human beings do! It is so pervasive one could almost say it is our natural state of being. We who walk with Jesus Christ however, are no longer living in our natural state, so we are called to something Higher.
I wrestle with these things myself, when to speak up, when to let it go and trust God to handle it. Something I have learned however, if something is really bothering you, asking yourself why, examining what the fear is, can be really helpful. Go deeper and find the root of your own concerns. Fear is a big one for me, I often fear people will be misled. The problem being faith and fear cannot coexist, and perfect love casts out fear. So if my response is one of fear, my response is always going to be subjective and reactionary. Subjective and reactionary is not of God, it is of me.
Once you address those personal issues, you really can go forth calmly and suggest that the salt really does seem to have slid off of somebody’s communion wafer. That’s not motivated by accusation, it’s motivated by a desire for love and restoration.
I have a saying, “God heals, satan destroys,” just a simple reminder to question my own motivations. If the goal is healing and restoration, well that’s of God. If the goal is to put someone on a giant catapult and fling them off the planet, well that’s usually of me. I never want to make the enemy’s job any easier by inadvertently doing his work for him.