On Privacy Part 2

IV. Some things should be kept secret rather than openly broadcast. PRO 12:23; 25:9. A. The ability to keep a secret is an act of faithfulness. PRO 11:13. B. Be wary of a man that cannot keep a secret. C. Your closest friends with whom you share the most should be people you can trust. PSA 41:9. 1. The breach of such trust is a grievous thing: betrayal. 2. Betrayal is something that is done only where trust and closeness existed. 3. One of the most piercing, telling statements our Lord ever made was to Judas who came to betray Him: “...Friend, wherefore art thou come?...” (MAT 26:50). D. It is wisdom to cautiously consider the motives of someone who suddenly wants to get close to you. 1CH 12:16-17. V. We are commanded not to be talebearers. LEV 19:16-17. A. talebearer: One who officiously carries reports of private matters to gratify malice or idle curiosity. B. Talebearers reveal secrets. PRO 20:19. C. Talebearers flatter people. PRO 20:19. 1. This is how they collect their tales and gain their hearers. 2. They are to be left alone rather than meddled with! D. Talebearers are injurious people who cause strife. PRO 26:20-28. 1. They are guilty of hatred and deceit. 2. They are NOT to be believed. E. Talebearing is carrying reports of private matters, not public matters as in 1CO 1:11; 5:1; 11:18; 2TI 1:15; 2:17-18. F. Consider the damage to a relationship or reputation and the potential for strife among otherwise peacefully coexisting people that could be generated by betraying a brother who had in confidence confessed a fault to you, per JAM 5:16. 1. This might be a fault against you that a brother is confessing he was wrong about. 2. This might be a personal fault (sin or deficiency) that a brother is struggling with. 3. Either way, it is a confidence that should be honored as much as possible. G. (PRO 11:13) A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter. H. If possible, it is best to cover a person's faults rather than spread them abroad. PRO 10:12; 17:9; 19:11. 1. People who unnecessarily broadcast the faults of others have a hatred problem. 2. Pride plays a role in such fault-spreading. The spreader is actually exalting himself by the diminishing of another man. 3. Charity “...vaunteth not itself...seeketh not her own...” (1CO 13:4-5). 4. Don’t spread dirt so you can sow discord. PRO 6:19. I. There are obviously times when something said in secret should be exposed to others, such as when a grave danger exists. EST 2:21-23; ACT 23:12-16. 1. There is a difference between ratting out weakness and ratting out wickedness. 2. The former destroys a good person, the latter saves one.

VI. Sin need be confessed only as narrowly as the offense extends. A. The procedure of MAT 18:15-18 is obviously designed to keep the offense contained, if possible. 1. Mind that MAT 18:15-18 is instruction for handling a matter of private offense between two brethren; others are only brought into the picture as necessary. 2. MAT 18:15-18 is not an order for dealing with publicly known sin problems as in the case of the commonly reported fornicator in 1CO 5:1. 3. MAT 18:15-18 is not even an order for exposing a sin that would merit exclusion from the church. It is a process to settle grievances between brethren, which when a determination has been made, the conflicting brothers must abide by the terms. c/w 1CO 6:1-2. B. The one to whom we confess is the one we have wronged and who can, therefore, forgive us. LUK 17:3-4; COL 3:13. C. If a sin (such as heart adultery, MAT 5:28) does no injury to one's fellow man, then the sin need be confessed only to God. D. Note that the confession of JAM 5:16 is one to another rather than to everyone and need only to be made so far as to promote healing. E. Public confession of excludable offenses would cause the offense to be commonly reported and thus warrant exclusion from the church. 1CO 5; EPH 5:3. F. This counters much of what passes for “sensitivity training” which encourages group confession to people who were not sinned against by the confessor.

VII. The following are preventatives to becoming busybodies. A. Keep busy with your own work. 1TH 4:11; 2TH 3:12; 1TI 5:14. B. Work out your own salvation, first. ROM 2:21; PHIL 2:12. C. Do not wear out your welcome when visiting others. PRO 25:17. D. Avoid evil surmisings, the unnecessary framing of conjectures, suspicions. 1TI 6:4. 1. Reserve judgment when you lack sufficient evidence. 1CO 4:5. 2. Beware of engaging in slander, which is “the utterance or dissemination of false statements or reports concerning a person, or malicious misrepresentation of his actions, in order to defame or injure him.” PRO 10:18; PSA 101:5; 2TI 3:3. E. Do not watch for iniquity in others. ISA 29:20-21; PSA 64:1-7. F. Respect the right of private property. MAT 20:15. 1. One has a right to do what he will with his own. 2. The circumstances of ACT 2:44-45; 4:32 were unique to the Jerusalem church. a. Even in this situation the right of private property was respected. ACT 5:4. b. In view of the impending destruction of Jerusalem, it made sense to sell the property. c. Such communal living is never commanded in Scripture. d. Paul did not tell the rich to sell everything but rather to be “...ready to distribute, willing to communicate” (1TI 6:18). 3. Paul plainly instructed us to eat our “OWN bread” (2TH 3:12). 4. A word to all and especially to children: do not assume that something which belongs to another is yours to handle, use, enter, etc., without permission from the owner. 5. “A man’s home is his castle” is a long-standing article of Western Civilization: “The poorest man may, in his cottage, bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail, its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storm may enter; the rain may enter; but the King of England may not enter; all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement.” (William Pitt, 19th C. British MP and Prime Minister) G. Respect the right of private judgment in areas of liberty. ROM 14. 1. “...Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind” (ROM 14:5). 2. We are perfectly joined together in the same mind and judgment when we respect each other's choices in matters of liberty and do not try to force our opinions on others. 1CO 1:10. H. Let every man bear his own burden. GAL 6:5. 1. Each will be held responsible for his own work. 1CO 3:8; EZE 18:1-4, 20; JOH 21:21-22. 2. Therefore, every man must prove his OWN work. GAL 6:4. 3. Let every man do his OWN business. 1TH 4:11. 4. Let parents train their OWN children. MAL 4:6; 1TI 3:4-5, 12. 5. Let each husband rule his OWN wife and let that wife submit to her OWN husband. EPH 5:22-24. 6. Let each man provide for his OWN that the church not be charged. 1TI 5:8, 16.

Attachment Size
On Privacy.pdf 65.0 kB
On Privacy.pdf 86.4 kB

© 2021 Cincinnati Church