Lev. 5:1 ¶ When any of you sin in that you have heard a public adjuration to testify and—though able to testify as one who has seen or learned of the matter—does not speak up, you are subject to punishment.
The laws and rules were being established for God’s people. Those who had witnessed a crime were required to testify to the crime. If they refused to testify they were considered guilty and were subject to punishment.
Have you ever witnessed something that made you nervous and you would prefer to turn a blind eye to the situation. I’m afraid that this may happen more often than we would like, and there have been times that it has happened within the Church.
Sadly the abuses of the Roman Catholic Church have come to light in the last number of years. For years there were those who withheld evidence because they were concerned about the ramifications. Who wants to report the misbehavior of a priest? However, by not reporting the misbehavior of the priest necessary evidence was withheld and the crimes were able to continue.
God did not want this type of insidious behavior to go unnoticed among his people. He knew that if people could live their lives unchecked that they would continue to try and get away with unacceptable behavior. That is why the one witnessing the behavior is responsible to testify!
As Christians there may be events in the world that we are witnessing and maybe we need to stand up and testify to help stop the behaviors. Recently I was asked why Christians should be speaking up in regard to human trafficking — and whether our little voices could even make a difference! If we couldn't make a difference why would God have made a regulation such as this for his people? The reality is that when person after person steps forward and becomes a voice for what they are witnessing, things will change! If we are silent, then we become complicit in the crime itself.
I am concerned that “Christians” may find themselves remaining silent on a number of issues, and in effect giving tacit approval to certain behaviors. What about the issue of pornography? What about the inappropriate behavior of leaders toward those under their authority? What about the misuse of funds? What about the misuse of power?
God’s people were never to withhold evidence, but are expected to stand firm in the truth. We are not to excuse inappropriate behaviors, but we are to expose them for what they really are. Not in some sort of a “witch hunt” but simply being honest about what we know and see and being willing to testify. Only in this way will God’s people be a people of integrity so that the world might be able to know that we represent him well, and that he can be trusted.
Lord, may we be a people of integrity. Amen.