A Forgotten Regulation

It’s one we don’t think about. I imagine you haven’t heard a sermon on it in a long time, if ever. It first came up in Deuteronomy and was re-emphasized a few times in the New Testament. More importantly, it has incredible potential to keep you and me out of deep messes. We can hardly imagine why it is important at all, but it got enough mileage in Scripture to show us the Lord thought it a worthy concept.

What is this mysterious and forgotten regulation? The requirement that we have two or three witnesses to establish the validity of a word or matter (Deut. 19:15) is the one that needs to make a comeback in our generation. Think of how we establish a matter. We accept a whisper, we seize a rumor, and the worse the report the sooner we believe it. We so believe it that we feel it such an established fact that we have the right to tell it far and wide. Such is the genesis of broken friendships, wounded hearts, assassinated reputations, and of course, a sin itself. This doesn’t even cover the fact that it is blatantly unchristian and repeatedly forbidden.

The Lord knew what He was doing when He gave us this regulation. He knew conflict would arise among us and He knew we might not always play fair. So He took precautions for us. It protects us from both directions.  On the one hand, it’s so easy for someone to make up a charge in a moment of vindictiveness, or at least so exaggerate the situation that it no longer resembles what actually happened. If there’s a requirement of two or three witnesses, unless they conspire together, it will rule that out. At the very least, it will greatly lower the chances of a false accusation getting through. This makes a great principle obvious. Don’t form opinions by the word of one person, even if a good one, because you never know what complications in life may color his or her judgment. Also, we should check our own conclusions by those of others because it’s so cheap and easy to form a harsh opinion. You can check and see if others you respect have the same opinion.

Don’t form opinions by the word of one person, even if a good one, because you never know what complications in life may color his or her judgment.

Secondly, this can lead us through church troubles. Such crises usually denigrate into who can garner the most support as if it were but a popularity contest. But, praise the Lord, we don’t have to settle matters that way. I look for two or three witnesses, and if they are not available, I turn it over to God. Isn’t this what Matthew 18:15-20 is all about? Then personalities are irrelevant and we have a clear path through the mess.

There’s something to this two-or-three-witnesses thing. Do you suppose it has something to with why we are sent out two-by-two to witness of our Lord?

There is a lot of junk in this sin-cursed world. Perhaps, though, there wouldn’t be quite as much if we would but remember a carefully-defined, yet mostly-forgotten, regulation our Lord gave us long ago.

Article by Jimmy Reagan

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6 Responses to “A Forgotten Regulation”

  1. Thankyou for your blog today. At first I took the verse you used as meaning that we were required by God to bring two to three souls to Him in our lifetime. Then as I read further I realized the point you were actually writing about. Our pastor just did a sermon on this subject this past Sunday p.m. But he called it divisions. We have an academy attached to our church. The rules that have part of this church and academy have been here for years. So many have had to abide by them. But now parents are not happy when Johnny or Susie come home with demarets, suspensions or just notes from theachers. So they start complaining to one person than two and so on. Pretty soon it is appearing on Facebook and what is worse the teachers, parents and students pretty much all go to our church. Yes the rules are strict. And me coming from a pretty laid back ministry that I followed for years it is even harder. But by God’s help I have accepted the rules. As for the academy I don’t know all the rules. But I am very happy to see each year the wonderful results of our academy anywhere from the Pre-School all the way to the graduates. So God Bless our pastor for heading up the academy and church as he feels by The Holy Spirit.

    • Becky, this kind of thing happens so often unfortunately! Your Pastor probably walks a tightrope at times in issues like that. It’s great he looks to the Lord to lead him. God bless you

  2. Great article! Much needed reminder!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. If I Were God (via P4G) « The Reagan Review - 11/14/2012

    […] A Forgotten Regulation […]

  2. A Forgotten Regulation | The Reagan Review - 07/26/2013

    […] I first posted this on Partners For The Gospel […]

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