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How to deal with the issue of judging leaders properly.

There are so many false accusations, slander, libel, gossip, hearsay, innuendo, false witness, and lies around in Christian circles today, that it is a subject that begs to be addressed.

How sad it is that we find so- called "Christians" in the forefront of these kinds of activities. Firstly I want to deal with the big time "heresy-hunter" people who in self appointment have set themselves up as judge, jury and executioner of anyone that they privately disagree with.

Then I also want to deal with the low grade local church gossips, who slander, bring false accusation, carry hearsay, innuendo and bear false witness and who think that it is alright to do so and that it's their privilege and prerogative to satiate themselves with such activity. Regarding these personality types it was my great joy to return to England after living for four years in the United States and to confront a concoction of lies which were being touted as truth regarding the reasons that I went to America. For the slanderers, the fact that I returned and to the very town that I had left from, definitely "rained on their parade" of lies, slander and wicked maliciousness. As one friend said to me on my return, "you are either the most stupid man in the world to come back to this town, or else you have nothing to hide and the truth of your ministry and manner of life is a very different story to the version that has been put about".

But we shall deal with that latter. Let us deal with the "New Pharisees", the "Heresy-Hunters.

Now there are people who are true charlatans and must be rooted out and exposed but there are also godly people who some of these "heresy-hunters" include in their summation as charlatans that definitely aren't.

This is why I personally stand against the “heresy-hunters” who expose people in ministry in the public arena. Why? Because, to do so is absolutely un-Scriptural. This is why I personally made a visit to withstand the Dallas heresy-hunter Ole Anthony and his constant battering of the televangelists on secular media. I did it because, although some of what he was saying was true, the secular media and the public arena was not the place to do it. I thought to myself, what should we do about them

Whatever we do about these heresy-hunters, we should take the kind of definite stringent action that will fulfill scriptural requirement.


"They are presumptuous, self-willed: they are not afraid to speak evil against dignitaries." 2 Peter 2:18

In monitoring the activities of these websites and their authors we have discovered some interesting things about those who use the medium of the internet to spread lies and deception.

In order to protect the public and our children from their hypocrisy we are following the activities of these individuals.

So, who are these Modern Day Pharisees?

"But when the Pharisees heard it (that Jesus had been casting out devils) they said, 'This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.' " Matthew 12:24


These "so-called Christian" websites have been set up simply to distract unstable souls from the truth.

These 'so-called heresy - hunter" websites are generally set up by Antinomian, Cessationist and Calvinists. These people are consumed by fatalism, believing that the Holy Spirit has never moved in power through people or circumstances since the death of the twelve Apostles of Christ. However, whether they are fatalists or whatever they are is irrelevant to the fact that they have put themselves under the Judgment of God by their actions.
Some of these websites list men and women who they classify as "agents of satan", "false teachers" etc., and state categorically that whoever is on "their website list" is without doubt going to spend eternity in Hell.

Even if what these websites allege is true, is there any grace, mercy or redemption's love shown toward those who they attack? Absolutely not!

Never once do any of these website writers ever consider King Solomon in all the glory of his prosperity. Or David's reason for killing the messenger who brought him the tragic news of the death of the Lord's anointed, King Saul. Or the Scripture; "judge not lest ye be judged". Oh no! In arrogant unholy and ungracious unrighteousness, they spew out their venomous accusations on behalf of their father of lies and thereby they betray their ultimate destiny.

What did Jesus say:

Passage, Matthew 12:24-28:

24 But the Pharisees hearing it, said: This man casteth not out the devils but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.

25 And Jesus knowing their thoughts, said to them: Every kingdom divided against itself shall be made desolate: and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.

26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself: how then shall his kingdom stand?

27And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges.

28 But if I by the Spirit of God cast out devils, then is the kingdom of God come upon you

I had a conversation with a good friend of mine about the heresy hunter and this is a synopsis of the conversation's salient points:

Well, who are these heresy hunters? What are their motives, or more to the point, who has possessed them?

"Oops! Let's see what we have found in their trash!" said a friend of mine.

I replied "The media maggots who parasitically feed off the heresy hunters, maybe we need to rummage around in their trash as well, to see what we can find."

“Let's do trace on all their IP addresses, follow up on the lawyers who pen the articles that one of their poor stooges will have to put their name to. How many empty bottles did we find in their trash per week? How many porn sites have they been on? How many adulterous affairs have they had. Let's put it all up on the internet for all to see.

Hey! What about all those television producers, editors, researchers, lets expose them and what they're into behind closed doors?”

It's not down to what we could do but what we should do, although I would like to say “let's expose the maggots".

But, here is what we all can do to stop this infernal symbiosis and see instant results.

Scripture says; " No weapon formed against us shall prosper and every tongue raised against us we shall condemn (curse). This is the heritage of the saints of the Lord and our righteousness is of Him." Turn the other cheek and bless those who curse us because "vengeance is mine", saith the Lord.

Whatever we should do about these people, we should take the kind of definite stringent action that will fulfill scriptural requirement.

But, more importantly what did Jesus say?

Matthew 12:33-37:

33 Either make the tree good and its fruit good: or make the tree evil, and its fruit evil. For by the fruit the tree is known. (We do it)

34 O generation of vipers, how can you speak good things, whereas you are evil? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

35 A good man out of a good treasure bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of an evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

36 But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall render an account for it in the day of judgment.

37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

We have the authority through Christ to bind or loose the actions of others.

Now, here is much less highly profiled story on the other extreme and yet none the less devilish:

I heard of one man of God who was wrongly accused of moral indiscretion by a woman who had been shunned by him when she had made her self available to him. Her obvious interest in him was just slightly short of propositioning him, as she was crafty enough not to implicate herself. But, her slander, gossip, maliciousness and anger ruined the man’s marriage, tore his family apart and he lost his position in his denomination and he was left facing bankruptcy. The malicious woman used every incident that happened to that preacher as a consequence of her lies, to substantiate her allegations which she was sure would stick. Eventually that woman found herself on her deathbed in a cancer ward and when confessing to her then liberal hospital chaplain, she admitted her lying and evil against the man of God that she had discredited. Oh, it was good that she eventually was seeking repentance for her sins. Indeed many got to hear the truth about the lies she had told and the man of God was exonerated. But, in context, it was really only a few who got to hear about it realized the truth. Sadly however, for the rest of that preacher’s life, the public still believed her lies and his ministry was never as successful as it was before.

This is the plan of the devil, who is the accuser of the brethren day and night. He wants to get the dirt to stick. He will get people to make sure it will, for they are his people and he knows that they want to make sure that the dirt will stick also. Now, I will be the first to hold my hand up to something that I am guilty about. I know the Bible and I know that it says, “Behold your sin will find you out.” So, I am not stupid. However, where wrong assumption, allegations and slander has been purposely engineered for the benefit of others, then that is a different story. I should not go “belly-up” and take it, on the wrong premise of “turning the other cheek”, but rather fight it, refute it and expose the truth, come what may.

I have had to live with people’s projection of illegitimacy towards me and about me all my life from birth. So, it is nothing new to me when others call into question my credibility in any department of my life, morally, educationally, ministerial, my activities or intention. My life is, for the most part, an open book, having been divorced from a failed marriage from my days in the Rock Music industry in 1973. Then the anger from the leadership of Irish Methodism when they found out that I was a Bible fundamentalist, demanding them to recognize my already acquired ordination and who was already preaching in their pulpits. My straight preaching was received, much to the delight of the congregations, but to the disgust of the clergy’s liberal leadership. That all happened back in 1981. Then there was the saga which transpired when I handed in my resignation from the English Methodist Church over the sale of Methodist Chapels in Wiltshire and the ordination of homosexuals. Also there was the issue of me having been baptized into the Holy Spirit in 1989. Lastly, but I am sure not finally the lies I incurred when I made my attempts to hold onto a second marriage which was on the rocks, between 1998-2001.

So, I have had to endure the full venom of the gossip-mongers. They accused me of making money out of sham products, when all I did was to set a website up for someone else’s food supplement business. They lied and said that I had run off to America with someone else’s wife, when I went to America on my own. They said that I was the host of wild parties and was the instigator of immoral activity when I had organized Church based social evenings for fellowship. They have said that because I baptized someone in the bath at home because they got saved and wanted baptized immediately to banish evil from about them, that it wasn’t a proper baptism. They said that when my wife gave that baptismal candidate a “holy embrace “and welcomed the person into the Kingdom of God that she was involved in an immoral act. They said that I have stolen money from people. There is loads more that I can’t be bothered relating, all the usual stuff that is thrown at preacher’s with a public profile and especially if you have a weekly on television. Also I don't want to be subject to the charge of, "well it seems that the preacher protests too much".

As you can see, I like many preachers, have experienced false allegation, accusations, slander and continue to experience this first hand. It goes with the turf. If you are a preacher reading this, then some of you will have incurred the wrath of the devil with some of these types of allegations.

However, it is nearly impossible to fight against lies, slander and character assassination.

I personally have forgiven those involved and I didn’t go to the law and take them to court before unbelievers, although many of them still bear false witness about my life. I could have done so in the high courts of justice in London, as barristers were assured of winning the case and wanted to take it on a no-win no-fee basis, so sure they were of my complete exoneration.

And still, I am still held guilty by some who continue to slander me and desire me harm. People, who if I committed suicide in front of them and make sure of eternal destiny in hell by thrusting a knife into my own heart, it still would not be good enough for them and they would maintain that I didn’t twist the knife properly after sticking it in. Those are the type of people who wish me in hell. For me there is no forgiveness, neither by them or God. Sadly, some of those slanderers are “Christians”, or at least think they are and some hold high office in “Christian Organization and Churches”. Some think they have a ministry for God, and some are local preachers on the Methodist circuit. I suppose their oversight agrees with what they are doing, or ignores what they doing, or in fact are unaware of what these people do in the position they hold. Have they been reprimanded? No! I know what John Wesley would have done with them.

Did one of them ever call on me by telephone, or come by, as they knew where I lived, to see how I was? Did one of them, even if they believed the worst of me and about what they had heard in the gossip-mill, come and confront me about it and properly check it out? No! Not one telephone call, not one visit, even though I called on some of them for help.

Most of these type of people hide in the shadows where they comment on all and sundry and concoct the gossip that has the venom of hell attached to it. These are mostly women or men that think and act as gossipy women. Like the 'fish wives' on the quay side, gutting fish, gossiping tongues whose final resort will be bare knuckle fighting amongst themselves, scrabbling with their fingernails and pulling each other's hair, these frustrated jealous souls turn to the use of character assassination, defamation and slander as their barbed weapon.  From those who swallow their lies, their avid audience who buy their evil report you will receive just aloof conceit ridicule pity, looks of condescension, right down to distain, open hostility, hatred and curses. From some of them it has been much worse, including public verbal abuse, articles and letters sent to the newspapers, contact made with all past colleagues and denominational leaders and all future ministry organizers, in order to deny me the possibility of advancement in any sphere of service for Christ. Oh yes, they rang them up to slander this preacher. Some of my accusers are people that I don’t know and have never met. They certainly have never been in my presence personally, maybe publicly in a Church meeting, but never alone.

But, did those critics and slanderers ever ask themselves as to who is still going on with God? In the whole scenario that they have gossiped about, have they ever asked themselves who is not going on with God and why they are not? Did these accusers ever estimate who the people are who have now sadly ended up “in bed with the world so to speak” and in some instances ended up with a succession of associations and relationships that are not godly at all? Let me pose the question as to who now exhibits an ambivalence toward even attending Church or having fellowship with any semblance of Christianity? 

No! As far as the slanderers and false accusers are concerned, the preacher is always the wrong one, the one who did the wrong doing. Why, because, that’s the more tasty story, the one that grabs the hearers attention. Sadly the British press call it, “The Vicar’s Knickers story”, the Sunday tabloid newspaper’s stock in trade, “allegedly”!

I say to my accusers; “Where are my accusers? Come forth! Bring your evidence! Take me to court if you dare! Either put up, or Shut Up! Either put your evidence up in a court according to the law of the land, or shut up!” But, I think that you’ll just skulk away as usual.

They have nothing, no one scrap of evidence, just false witness and hearsay.

Have they and will they succeed in destroying the man of God? Never!
They haven’t and they won’t be able to, because the truth will always come out and triumph.

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD. Isaiah 34:17

So, how should people deal with this issue of judging and disciplining a leader properly?

Firstly it is imperative and Scripturally mandatory that you should have actually witnessed someone who is a brother or sister in the Lord failing before doing or saying anything.

Then, if you have you got a complaint against a brother or sister in the body of Christ because you have first hand seen them do that sin, the first thing that you need to do is to consult and use the Bible, then go and find another actual witness or two witnesses of the person's sin before you do or say anything.

If we go by the Bible Scriptures then we won’t get into the area of gossip or being judgmental.

Related verses and comment:

Deut 19:15
"One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established.

(Actual witnesses, people who have actually seen it happen, not just heard it or heard about it, or are carrying hearsay, gossip, innuendo or accusation).

The reason for this is that it will force the issue brought by the accuser to be tested or else exposed as a false witness, thereby putting the false accuser under a biblical charge to be judged by the justice of God.

1 Tim 5:19
Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. (NKJ)

An accusation is not a conviction, but rather an opinion until proven with due process and by a legitimate authority (Matt. 18:15-2).
"The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him" (Proverbs 18:17).

The person(s) making the accusation might have some axe to grind that we are not aware of, or might not be reporting all the facts of the case, and unless we are in a position to justly evaluate all the relevant information we simply do not know enough to make godly judgments.
God has established civil, ecclesiastical and familial authorities to make lawful judgments regarding the crimes and/or sins of others.

Such judgments are not left to individuals, though individuals might have their own, private opinions in the matter.
When individuals second-guess the judgments of the legitimate authorities, then publish their judgments, they arrogantly exalt their private opinions over the wisdom of legitimate authorities
In legitimate courts there is a presumption of the innocence of the accused until proven guilty.

Proof must meet biblical standards: “One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established. If a false witness rises against any man to testify against him of wrong doing, then both men in the controversy shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges who serve in those days. And the judges shall make careful inquiry, and indeed, if the witness is a false witness, who has testified falsely against his brother, then you shall do to him as he thought to have done to his brother; so you shall put away the evil from among you. And those who remain shall hear and fear, and hereafter they shall not again commit such evil among you” (Deut. 19:15-20).

These witnesses must be accountable to the appropriate court, and must be in a position whereby they can be cross-examined themselves. Thus, anonymous accusations must be rejected as unsubstantiated and considered not credible.
Not all witnesses are to be believed: “And two men, scoundrels, came in and sat before him; and the scoundrels witnessed against him, against Naboth…” (1 Kings 21:13).

Multiple, credible witnesses are required before even receiving an accusation against an elder: "Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses" (1 Tim. 5:19).
Those attempting to by-pass legitimate authorities and who spread accusations in order to harm those whom they accuse are in sin, and their reports must not be received.
To publish unproven accusations against others is at best the sin of gossip, and if motivated by revenge or hatred, is malicious gossip.
“He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, therefore do not associate with a gossip” (Prov. 20:19).
“You shall not bear a false report; do not join your hand with a wicked man to be a malicious witness” (Ex. 23:1).
“Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool” (Prov. 10:18).
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise. A fool’s wrath is known at once, but a prudent man covers shame” (Prov. 12:15-16).
“The simple believes every word, but the prudent considers well his steps. A wise man fears and departs from evil, but a fool rages and is self-confident. A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, and a man of wicked intentions is hated. The simple inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge” (Prov. 14:15-18).
“A fool has no delight in understanding, but in expressing his own heart….A fool’s lips enter into contention, and his mouth calls for blows. A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul. The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body.” (Prov. 18:2, 6-8).
“It is honorable for a man to stop striving, since any fool can start a quarrel” (Prov. 20:3).
“Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes”(Prov. 26:4-5).

Ex 23:1-2, 7 (NKJV) says "You shall not circulate a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. {2} "You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after many to pervert justice. {7} "Keep yourself far from a false matter; do not kill the innocent and righteous. For I will not justify the wicked.”
Deut 16:19-20 (NKJV) "You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. {20} "You shall follow what is altogether just, that you may live and inherit the land which the LORD your God is giving you.”
vv. 10-11 (NKJV) “Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, {11} knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.” has disqualified himself by his actions and behavior and should be considered the same as “a heathen man and a publican” (Mat 18:17 KJV).

How to deal with something against another (If it is proven by the above)

You don’t talk about it or gossip about the individual until you have personally gone to the individual alone and found out the truth or satisfied yourself regarding the issue. This should be done humbly, in an attitude of respect, a readiness to forgive and above all an attitude of making sure that the person is regarded by you as innocent until proven guilty. Otherwise you will enter God’s law of double jeopardy as mentioned in Mt 7:1,2 “Judge not, unless ye be judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. In other words, the person that you’re judging goes free and the judgment for what you’re accusing him/her of is placed upon you.


Matt 18:15
15 "Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.
16 "But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.'
17 "And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector. (NKJ)

Jesus shows the proper procedure for disciplining an erring brother. Three steps are specified

1) Go privately to meet with the person alone in a humble attitude considering the preference that you might be wrong.

2) Go privately with witnesses, hoping that the person may at this stage repent of their sin, be forgiven by God and your witnesses and you, that being the end of the matter.

3) Bring the entire issue publically before the church.

4) Then treat him/her as a heathen, remembering that the individual even then has access through repentance to redemption, forgiveness by God and should if truly repentance be forgiven by you also. That means that their sin has been forgiven, forgotten and is gone forever in the eyes of God. Likewise it should be forgiven, forgotten and never mentioned again by you also.

Remember Matthew 18:21,22 Then came Peter to him, and said, “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” Jesus saith unto him, “I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”

In conclusion to all those who have something to say about others in ministry, whether they be multi million dollar televangelists right down to simply a local pastor. Is your heart clean?

Are you living a holy life by your actions? What you will need to do if you have gossiped, slandered or borne false witness against someone.

There is great importance of making amends if you have not instituted the procedures that are clearly itemized in Scripture and if you have gossiped, slandered or maligned another person in the Lord. Even worse is in store for you if you have borne false witness against another. In any case you will not only have to repent before God in order to expiate yourself from the eternal consequences of your actions, but you shall also have to go all who you have shared that malignity with and refute it and ask them for their forgiveness and beg them to tell you who they have told in order that you can go to them also. Finally, you will need to go to the person that you have slandered and maligned and beg their forgiveness. It is called, making reparation for your sin.

If you don't, well then your heart and hands are not clean in the matter. Remember, that you couldn't wait to tell someone else the hearsay that you were holding? Remember how quickly you had to pass it on? Remember how you carried that newspaper to show to someone else, a secular rag carrying falsehood about another person in the Lord? Now you shall have to be as quick in making reparation for the sin that you have done for it will take you to hell.

You need to realise the importance of obtaining a clean heart. Obtaining a clean heart is seen when we remember that we cannot enter heaven without it. It is something more than a luxury. Heaven is quarantined against sin. Only holy people will ever enter heaven. It is an eternal necessity. Morality will keep us out of jail, but it will take holiness to keep us out of hell.

The Psalmist says, "Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord and who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart." Jesus declared " Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God", and the sight of God is promised to no one else. The wicked will see Jesus as an offended judge, but only the pure in heart see Him with any favour or delight.

The inspired penman commands us to "follow peace with all men and holiness without which no man shall see the Lord". Holiness is the wedding garment which we shall have to wear or we shall never get into the marriage supper of the Lamb. We may try to think that it is of little importance, but we shall not think it is of little importance when we come to our death bed. We may despise those who now advocate it and declare that they are specialists, but we will be glad to make it our specialty the last day of our life and anything that will be the specialty of our last day ought to be the specialty of every day. Do not mess around when you pray for a clean heart. It is too important.

From 2001 onwards I have been consumed with living right before God. Nothing else has occupied my thoughts and desires than to have a clean and pure heart and to live a holy life before God. Oh yes the counseling was important post divorce, the being set aside from pastoring a church for a season and under solemn men of God was beneficial, but none of these were as important as being right before God. Nothing else is as important. My heart is clean before Him. Is yours?  

Dr. S. J. Houston




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