It's All Right to Speak Up:
Editor's note: This page is under construction. The points made here need to be sorted and integrated.
Silence is a Fool's Gold form of kindness or love. It can be valid to speak up, to confront people, and to talk honestly.
I myself sat on much of what I know for 20 years, And it's both true and fair that many Christians don't like to talk about somebody else's life or actions. It can be rightly perceived that it's negative and even aggressive to be intrusive without cause.
However, the preference for silence and the dislike for frank talk can be a sign of weakness as opposed to civility. If you're not able to speak up when it's called for or listen to negative things that might be important, you might end up as a servant to falsehood.
Silence is something that gives people the power to look better than they are. It makes them unapproachable instead of un-reproachable. It is an easy way out, but they claim it is better and makes them better.
The only thing that helped me observe and eventually correct my own behaviors of becoming obsessed with people was people being unflappable and direct with me. The only way I stopped Chameleon was through being unflappable and direct with her. Any other answer, concession, or apology only led to her gaining more control over me and leaning into that heavily.
At times, I apologized for things even though I didn't believe I had done anything wrong. That is never right, and allows you to be controlled.
You can make concessions, such as to apologize for offending someone or make some other apology if necessary to get along at the workplace or other unavoidable situations, but making an apology that contains a lie reinforces the lie and is detrimental to any relationship regardless of whether you think it will bring peace or not.
When Paul Auckland first preached unilateral Calvinism, I tried to persuade him otherwise after the sermon. A man standing beside me smiled and said, “It's too late. He already preached it.” I continued the conversation, mildly annoyed. I didn't get very far with Auckland, though he didn't seem to really be able to address my points.
Later I learned that Mormons have a saying along those lines: “Once our leaders have spoken, the thinking has been done.”
Silence is setting aside the truth. Setting aside the truth is false peace.
2 Kings 2:23-25 offers a related point. Try not to ascribe “being nice” with righteous or even with being right – it's just a fictional form of kindness.
In the context of a Church, when the honest are silent, silence lends credence by default to people who are dramatic for their own purposes.
All that a dramatic person needs to do is serve up a little drama and they might seem to be the person with the most “amazing testimony” in the room.
“Amazing testimony” isn't necessarily a sign of an honest or just person.
Some people have made positive changes in their lives and this is to be acknowledged. However, others are living a con artist's dream. They employ remarkable testimonies to ensure a steady flow of giving, loving, and trusting victims.
“Be careful of false prophets. They come to you looking gentle like sheep, but they are really dangerous like wolves.”
– Matthew 7:15 (NCV)
Some of you may be familiar with homilies of acceptance such as “just love on them”. Many Christians go to big impersonal churches where such homilies are common and are urged to just bring people to Church. However, this isn't what the Bible advises.
Our society promotes universal acceptance. The idea is to “be cool”; i.e., never confront or expose anyone.
But the Bible says to confront (Matthew 18:15-21) and to do justice (Micah 6:8). To do justice means to stand up for others and for yourself. Christians often fail to do this. So, they don't seek justice even for themselves.
The justification might be perception that one is inadequate and unfit to judge others. It's right to be humble. However, balance is needed. The arguably unbiblical view of an unredeemed and unworthy self gives license for others to use you and others around you.
You may be concerned that if you stand up for others and seek to do what's right, you may be hated. You shouldn't make being hated as a goal, but as Jesus said, “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as it loves its own…” (John 15:18-19 NCV)
It's considered proper to assume the best of people in Church contexts, I've heard preachers state that directly. Sometimes, they use Jonathan's view of David in the Bible as a template.
Giving people the benefit of the doubt may be fair, and you should question them instead of judging them. However, you shouldn't fall short of questioning them.
Matthew 18:15-21 in the Bible says to put addressing issues even before doing religious acts. Essentially, if you have to be late for a meeting or “ministry” opportunity to correct a problem, you should do it. If we actively seek to see the best in people but leave Biblical checks and balances by the wayside, we will not resolve avoidable situations that affect people to the point of life, physical health, emotional health, or livelihood before it is too late.
In fact, situations occur in Churches because Christians are afraid to appear negative and “call out” people who have power and influence. I've observed this in my own experience with the Southeastern PA Baptist community.
One common thread is that victims and potential victims often don't learn from the past. They're too ready to accept declarations of repentance that come from manipulators who are sizing them up.