ACCUSATION

 

SLANDER

 

KJV Dictionary Definition

Accusation is the act of charging with a crime or offence; the act of accusing of any wrong or injustice. Accusation and slander are among the sin that so easily besets God’s children. Slander mean to injure by speaking ill of; false charges or misrepresentations which defame and damage another’s reputation. Consequently, the sin of slander is a very serious sin. God hates slander (Proverbs 6:16, 19). It is evil. That’s why Paul lists it as a behavior of those who hate God (Romans 1:30) and why James calls it demonic behavior (James 3:15-16). This sin is very wide-spread among us Christians. Many of us would not lie intentionally and yet we lie by condemning and accusing others. Remember slander is a false and defamatory statement about a person. As mentioned it is a very dangerous sin. Why? Because the sin of slander and accusation creeps unnoticed into our hearts. Slander belongs to the sin of lying, and liars, as we can see in the Scriptures. Those who slander will find their place in Satan’s kingdom. Our fate for eternity depends upon whether we are freed from accusation and slander. Slander is the attempt to make oneself look cleaner. However God specifically told us to esteem others better than ourselves. To slander is so serious to God that He forbids us to eat with anyone who slander others. 

The Subtlety of Slander

Sometimes saying something untrue and damaging about someone is bold and blunt. But often slander is insidiously subtle, especially since we have heard slander all our lives in almost every context and grown accustomed to it. This means we must heighten our sensitivity to it and lower our tolerance of it. Slander can wear a hundred masks. I’ll mention a few common ones. Sometimes we pass along slanderous information that seems almost like harmless hearsay, yet the effect it has on our listeners is to leave them with an unfairly negative perception of another. Sometimes we embellish with information or tone a negative report about someone in order to enhance our listener’s perception of ourselves. Satan is called the “accuser of the brethren” (Revelation 12:10), as seeking to uphold his influence among men by bringing false charges against Christians, with the view of weakening their influence and injuring the cause with which they are identified. With our mouths and careless words we can destroy another brother or sister (Proverbs 18:21). Slander is the desire for revenge and self-enhancement, often driven by the deeper desire to deflect attention from our own failings. The worse light we can put another in by slander, the less our own darkness shows.

Fight Slander First in Yourself

The foremost slanderer we must silence is the one inside us. Our sin natures are not interested in truth, but in self-glory. So they seek to manipulate others through slander (or flattery) for our own selfish benefit. Sin (and therefore our demonic harassers) seizes on a concern for or an offense we’ve received from another and seeks to distort it into thinking evil of that person.

Thinking evil of another is assigning imagined or exaggerated negative qualities to them that don’t exist. Often this begins as private fantasies where we nurture our concerns or offense by imagining ourselves justified in our righteousness and others condemned in their evil. But in truth, all we’re doing is passing our own evil thoughts on to imaginations disguised as other people. That’s our sin nature’s slanderer talking. We are fools to listen to it and when our slander spills out from ourselves to others — and it will if we don’t catch it soon enough — it is both selfishly indulgent and cowardly.

Slander is indulgent because often what we really seek is the self-flattery buzz of our listener approving and admiring us more than the one we are slandering. We are robbing another’s reputation to get the drug of self-flattery. Slander is cowardly because it’s a way of nurturing a concern or an offense and gaining sympathizers without doing the courageous work of bringing it directly to the source of our concern or offense. Our rationalizations for this can be countless, but essentially we don’t have the guts to deal with it head-on. This means our character is in serious question, since we are willing to vandalize another’s character to gain allies. We must grow ruthless in ignoring and silencing our slandering sin natures.

Many Churches and ministries have been split by malicious slander, untrue accusations, without speaking to the individuals privately. The sin of slander and accusation is very dangerous in that we partake of the very character of the devil. When we follow the Lord and walk in godliness we are being like God as its His character. The word slanderer, or “malicious talkers” (1 Timothy 3:11) is the Greek word diabolos, meaning “false” accuser. This is a title given for the devil (Jude 1:9, Revelation 20:10). When we commit the sin of slander we are doing one of the main practices of the devil. He is known as “the accuser of our brothers and sisters” (Revelation 12:10). This should sober us to realize the severity of the sin of slander. We are never called by God’s Spirit to criticize and speak evil of others in the Church but to always look how to serve and love each other. May God grant us the grace to not speak evil of our brothers or sisters. 

Helping Each Other Fight Slander

When someone slanders another to us, we must remember that we are not mainly fighting flesh and blood, but spiritual forces of evil (Ephesians 6:12). Satan knows that slander deadens and splits churches, poisons friendships, and fractures families. He knows slander quenches the Holy Spirit, kills love, short-circuits spiritual renewal, undermines trust, and sucks the courage out of the saints. So our goal, particularly in the context of the church, is to help each other shed demonic weights and avoid satanic stumbling blocks.

So how do we do this? The best way is to become people who are not safe to slander around. We must ask each other questions like:

  • Have you shared your concern with this person directly? I’d be willing to go with you to talk to him.
  • Just to be clear, is this information I should know? Do you want me to help you pursue reconciliation?
  • Are you doing everything you possibly can to put away “all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander?” (Ephesians 4:31). 
  • How can I help you guard this person’s reputation like a treasure? (Proverbs 22:1).

In other words, friends don’t let friends slander. Friends don’t let friends act like God-haters (Romans 1:3). The more we love people, the more we hate slander, because a slanderer hates his victims (Proverbs 26:28). 

Let us remember that we are stewards of the treasure of each other’s good names. Let us resolve to avoid sharing information that is unnecessarily damaging to another person’s reputation and to repent to everyone affected if we do. Let us seek to silence the sin nature slanderer within and graciously give and receive others’ help when one of us slips, perhaps unaware, into slander. Let us do damage to Satan’s forces by speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Let us lay aside the destructive sin-weight of slander.

Are You a Co-worker With Satan or With The Lord Jesus? Zac Poonen

We read in Revelation 12:10 that Satan is the `Accuser of the brothers’, and that he accuses them before God day and night. This is a full time ministry that Satan is engaged in. And in this ministry he has many co-workers – both among his evil spirits as well as among men. The sad fact is that there are many believers too who are co-workers with Satan in this ministry of accusation.

Satan transmitted his nature to Adam as soon as Adam sinned in the garden of Eden. We see proof of this in the fact that when God came to Adam and asked him whether he had eaten the forbidden fruit, the very first thing that Adam did was point his finger at Eve and say, “She was the one who gave me the fruit to eat” (Gen. 3:12).

That pose of Adam’s – with his forefinger pointed at a fellow human-being – is a familiar one, found among all his children as well. From early childhood, we have all developed the habit of blaming and accusing others. As we have grown older, this blaming, accusing spirit has become cleverer, more subtle and more evil in its manifestations. The sad thing is that it has not been eliminated from most believers, even many years after they are born again!Satan has a field-day in Christendom today, with the easy access that his spirits of accusation have into the lives and hearts of so many believers.The ministry of intercession is one that every one of us must take seriously.

There is no other way to overcome Satan in the church. Our Lord has told us not only to forgive those who persecute us, but also to pray for them (Mt.5:44). If we only forgive them but do not pray for them, then the spirit of accusation can re-enter our lives. Let us begin to thank God then for one another, for this is where all true intercession begins. “You were called in one body – be thankful (for one another)” (Col.3:15).God grant that, as much as the spirit of accusation and complaining and backbiting against others has found its place in our thoughts and in our hearts in the past, we will now be equally filled – and even more – with the spirit of thanksgiving and intercession for one another. Thus the enemy will no longer find a place in our lives. The Accuser and his spirits will be overcome and driven out by the the spirit of intercession. Will you be radical now and forsake this habit of accusing others – once and for all – and replace it with the spirit of intercession? May the Lord help us all to do so.

The Serious Sin of Slander

A farmer’s wife had spread a slanderous story about her pastor through the village, and soon the whole countryside had heard it. Sometime later the woman became sick and confessed the story was untrue. After her recovery she came to the pastor and craved his pardon. The old pastor said, “Of course I will gladly pardon you if you will comply with a wish of mine.” “Gladly,” replied the woman. “Go home, kill a black hen, pluck the feathers, and put them in a basket and bring them here.”

In half an hour she was back. “Now,” said the pastor, “go through the village and at each street corner scatter a few of these feathers, the remaining ones take to the top of the bell tower and scatter them to the winds, then return.” She did so. “Now go through the village and gather the feathers again, and see that not one is missing.”The woman looked at the pastor in astonishment and said, “Why that is impossible! The wind has scattered them over the fields everywhere!”“And so,” said he, “while I forgive you gladly, do not forget that you can never undo the damage your words have done.” Slander is a serious sin to others and more importantly to the Lord.

The Cross Conquers Accusation ~ Douglas James Wilson

God really is righteous, and when true righteousness comes into contact with unrighteousness there must be either wrath or mercy. But wrath is not fussy indignation, self-importance, and self-righteousness, the way the devil does. The righteousness of God is not the devil’s bony finger, pointing in accusation (Revelation 12:10). God is righteous. The devil thinks he is righteous. But this was refuted and destroyed by the cross, when the “righteous accuser” let his hatred get away from him, and perpetrated a gross injustice by executing the world’s only sinless victim. Why would anyone believe the accuser now? Why would we even trust the spirit of accusation?

From Sermon Central

Like Jesus, those who follow Him will eventually come under attack. These attacks are often unprovoked and unwarranted, but we must endure them. The enemy will do anything within his power to hinder and discourage believers. Let’s examine the lessons revealed in the text as we consider the thought: Attacked with False Accusation. The Accusation of the Scribes (22) – And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils. Mark records yet another accusation brought unjustly against Jesus. Notice:

The Association Suspected – And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub. As you study Scripture, you discover amazing accounts recorded regarding humanity. The utter depravity of man cannot be argued if one takes the time to consider what the Bible reveals. These men were scribes, those trusted with transcribing the Scripture, literally making copies for others to read. If anyone should have known the Word, and the prophecies surrounding the coming of Christ, these men should. Here we find that they have openly accused working under the authority of Beelzebub. The names refers to “the lord of flies or the lord of filth; the dung-god.” Beelzebub was believed to be a wicked demon, associated with flies and filth, utter depravity.

Being completely unable to explain away the power and authority Jesus had shown, they mercilessly accuse Him of being under the direction and influence of the devil. The Son of God is accused of demon possession and working through Satan’s power by those who knew the Scripture. If they admitted Jesus was working through the power of God, they would have been obligated to follow Him. They would have to admit their approach to righteousness was lacking. They would have had to confess Jesus was in fact the Christ. They are unwilling to relinquish their power and way of life, so they are determined to find any means possible to accuse Jesus.

Quotes

  • “Forget yourself and live for others, for It is more blessed to give than to receive” – A.B. Simpson.
  • “Difficulties and obstacles are God’s challenges to faith. When hindrances confront us in the path of duty, we are to recognize them as vessels for faith to fill with the fullness and all-sufficiency of Jesus” – A.B. Simpson.
  • “Superficial Christians are apt to be eccentric. Mature Christians are so near the Lord that they are not afraid of missing His guidance” – A.B. Simpson.
  • “I would rather play with forked lightning, or take in my hand living wires with their fiery current, than speak a reckless word against any servant of Christ, or idly repeat the slanderous darts which thousands of Christian are hurling on others” – A.B. Simpson.
  • “One touch of Christ is worth a lifetime of struggling.” – A.B. Simpson.
  • “God means every Christian to be effective, to make a difference in the actual records and results of Christian work” – A.B. Simpson.
  • The chief danger of the Church today is that it is trying to get on the same side as the world, instead of turning the world upside down” – A.B. Simpson.
  • “When we dare to depend entirely upon God and do not doubt, the humblest and feeblest agencies will become mighty through God” – A.B. Simpson.
  • When we depend upon organizations, we get what organizations can do. But when we depend upon prayer, we get what God can do” – A.C. Dixon.
  • “Inward holiness and eternal glory, are the crown with which God adorns and dignifies his elect” – A.M. Toplady.
  • “If we are doing this for Christ, we shall not care for human reward or even recognition” – A.T. Pierson.
  • “Faithful people have always been in a marked minority” – A.W. Pink.
  • “Growth in grace is growth downward. It is the forming of a lower estimate of ourselves. It is a deepening realization of our nothingness. It is a heartfelt recognition that we are not worthy of the least of God’s mercies” – A.W. Pink.
  • “O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, so that I may know Thee indeed” – A.W. Tozer.
  • “Sin is not just breaking God’s laws; it is breaking His heart” – Adrian Rogers.    

Desert Fathers – On Slander

1. No sensible person, I think, will dispute that slander is born of hatred and malice. Therefore it comes next in order after its forebears.

2. Slander is an offspring of hatred, a subtle yet coarse disease, a leech lurking unfelt, wasting and draining the blood of charity. It is simulation of love, the patron of a heavy and unclean heart, the ruin of chastity.

3.  There are many insincere people, such as: hypocrisy, vice, melancholy, the remembrance of injuries, disparagement of others in one’s heart. They appear to propose one thing, but they have something else in view.

4. I have heard people slandering, and I have rebuked them. And these doers of evil replied in self-defence that they were doing so out of love and care for the person whom they were slandering. I said to them: ‘Stop that kind of love, otherwise you will be condemning as a liar him who said: “Him who secretly slanders his neighbour, him I drove away.” If you say you love, then pray secretly, and do not mock. For this is the kind of love that is acceptable to the Lord. But I will not hide this from you (and of course think about it, and do not judge the offender): Judas was in the company of Christ’s disciples, and the Robber was in the company of murderers. And what a reversal when the crisis came!’

5. He who wants to overcome the spirit of slander, should not ascribe the blame to the person who falls, but to the demon who suggests it. 

6. I have known a man who sinned openly and repented secretly. I condemned him as a profligate, but he was chaste before God, having propitiated Him by a genuine conversion.

7. Do not regard the feelings of a person who speaks to you about his neighbour disparagingly, but rather say to him: ‘Stop, brother! I fall into graver sins every day, so how can I criticize him?’ In this way you will achieve two things: you will heal yourself and your neighbour with one plaster. This is one of the shortest ways to the forgiveness of sins; I mean, not to judge. ‘Judge not, that you be not judged.’

8. Fire and water are incompatible; and so is judging others in one who wants to repent. If you see someone falling into sin at the very moment of his death, even then do not judge him, because the Divine judgment is hidden from men. Some have fallen openly into great sins, but they have done greater good deeds in secret; so their critics were tricked.

9. Listen to me, listen, all you malicious reckoners of other men’s accounts! If it is true (as it really is true) that ‘with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged’,then whatever sins we blame our neighbour for, whether bodily or spiritual, we shall fall into them ourselves. That is certain.

10. Hasty and severe judges of the sins of their neighbour fall into this predicament because they have not yet attained to a thorough and constant remembrance and concern for their own sins. For if anyone could see his own vices accurately without the veil of self-love, he would worry about nothing else in this life, considering that he would not have time enough for mourning for himself even though he were to live a hundred years, and even though he were to see a whole river Jordan of tears streaming from his eyes. 

11. The demons, murderers as they are, push us into sin. Or if they fail to do this, they get us to pass judgment on those who are sinning, so that they may smear us with the stain which we our selves are condemning in another.

12. This is one of the marks by which we can recognize malicious and slanderous people: they are plunged in the spirit of hatred, and with pleasure and without a qualm they slander the teaching or affairs or achievements of their neighbour.

13. I have seen some committing the gravest sins in secret and without exposure, and in their supposed purity they have harshly inveighed against persons who have had a petty fall in public.

14. To judge others is a shameless arrogation of the Divine prerogative; to condemn is the ruin of one’s soul.

15. Self-esteem without any other passion can ruin a man, and in the same way, if we have formed the habit of judging, we can be utterly ruined by this alone, for indeed the Pharisee was condemned for this very thing.

16. A good grape-picker, who eats the ripe grapes, will not start gathering unripe ones. A charitable and sensible mind takes careful note of whatever virtues it sees in anyone. But a fool looks for faults and defects. And of such it is said: ‘They have searched out iniquity and expired in the search.

17. Do not condemn, even if you see with your eyes, for they are often deceived.

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