Friday, July 31, 2020
and cannot be undone
and can only be stopped
by putting out the fire
You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with the wicked to act as a malicious witness.
2 Timothy 2:15
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth.
Words of Grace For Today
Martin Luther, the victim of a false conviction achieved by many false witnesses and corrupt judges, equated bearing false witness with murder.
Spreading rumours is essentially the same as bearing false witness. The audience is the open community instead of the confines of a court.
An old story recounts how a student asked his teacher what was so wrong with rumours. The teacher, on who effectively used illustrations and demonstrations as much as lectures, instruct the student to take two feather pillows, place them outside on his neighbours doorstep, and slit them open and return with the pillow cases. The student did this and returned to report to the teacher asking what this could possibly mean. The teacher instructed the student return the next day. That next day the teacher directed the student to take the pillow cases, collect the feathers, and sew up them closed to be used as pillows.
The student stood aghasted. It will be impossible to collect the feathers now. The wind has blown overnight. More than a handful of feathers will be impossible to find, yet alone collect.
The teacher said, so it is with rumours (and false witness). Once rumours are spoken the spread like wildfire in the community and beyond so that nothing can undo them, true or not. They destroy like invisible poison not only the person they are told about, but the people who spread them. In that way they are like Covid 19.
False witness, like rumours, once told are sins for which little restitution can be made to the person they are told about, and certainly not to all who hear them in the community or the courts. They are an indiscriminate poison that kills both body and spirit.
Thus we followers of Christ are not called to speak falsely of others.
We followers of Christ are not called to silence, rather we are called to speak truth. Always truth begins with what God has done for us, Jesus’ story, our salvation and daily renewed life, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Against rumours and false witness: we can do no other than to forgive as we can, to bind sins for God to judge, and to clearly speak the truth in the face of all false witness and rumours. We can expect that those caught in rumour and false witness will expend every effort to end the truth, and us with it; history will continue to repeat itself, and good people will be killed to protect the lies of corrupt and sick people.
Life following Christ is not safe, and never boring. It is life abundantly blessed, even when one is caught in life threatening poverty.