WRITTEN BY MELISSA H. STRAUTMAN, LMT
What Does God Say About the Kavanaugh Accusations?
Companion blog to “Credible”
Better asked, what does the Bible say about determining if accusations of wrongdoing against any person are credible or incredible (not believable)? In the sermon we are digging into this week, “Credible”, Pastor Wilson springboards off the headlines for a close look at God’s specific direction for us believers when it comes to:
- Bringing forth an accusation
- Determining credibility of witnesses
- Evaluating evidence.
I’ll Admit It…
I pretty much refused to follow any of the Kavanaugh hearings because I felt as though it was going to be a total character assassination of both people. Even if God Himself came down with a video, no one would be convinced that their side held the liar. I now see my abstinence from the judicial drama was a cop-out. After listening to “Credible”, I realize that I don’t have to pick a side in order to hold a strong and Biblical opinion that really matters.
In the Kavanaugh case everyone seems to have taken a he-said-she-said situation and publicly tried it to determine guilt or innocence. That is truly jumping the gun with a postmodern way of looking at controversial situations. That is NOT how we as believers are instructed to process the situation. So, how are we supposed to do that?
First Things First
“Absent evidence, absent the necessary grounds upon which an accusation might be considered credible — accusations are NOT TO BE CONSIDERED; period.” – Pastor Steve Wilson
He isn’t saying that you shouldn’t hear an accusation/claim but that if the claim doesn’t qualify as credible, you shouldn’t give it credence.
What is “Credible”?
The modern dictionary defines credible as “convincing, able to be believed, persuasive”. This is a pretty low standard and leaves things to be believed on purely subjective grounds. This definition allows most anything to be considered “credible” even though it is separated from any objective truth. This definition says that the accusations/claims ONLY have to be persuasive. Would you want to be convicted in a court of law on the modern definition or your accuser being dubbed “credible”?
The much older and richer historic definition of credible (from the Latin credibilia) offers a far higher standard. It says: “worthy of belief, involving NO impossibility, of known or obvious veracity (truth)”.
“How far we have fallen in our standard of a thing said to be “credible”. We’ve moved from “worthy of belief” to “able to be believed”. We’ve moved from “NO impossibility” to “Well, it is possible!”. We’ve moved from “obvious veracity” to subjective imprecision. We have moved from the thing most certain, to the thing least likely and we are calling it CREDIBLE” – Pastor Steve Wilson
What are the “Necessary Grounds”
Deuteronomy 19:15 says:
“A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed. Only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established.”
We should be thankful for these opportunities (Kavanaugh, etc.) to put Biblical principles into practice. Imagine the conversations with other people we could have. Imagine standing there telling them that you are going to confidently follow a standard of evaluation that they’ve possibly never heard of from the Bible or paid attention to in our own legal system. Imagine admitting that you are too easily swayed by your own prejudices and political favorites and need God to prevent you from joining the heated opinions and gossip. That doesn’t mean you haven’t formed an opinion. It just means that you are quietly holding fast to what God says about a thing that cannot be absolutely known by you because you weren’t there.
Jesus was Tried without Grounds
Political leaders wanted the blood of Jesus so badly that they moved rapidly from accusation to declaring guilt. No credible eyewitness could be found. Finally ,“two witnesses came forward” and all they could accuse Jesus of was the truth of His deity; which the council declared “blasphemy”. Christ’s miracles and prophetic fulfillments proved He was God. These things would have undoubtedly been heard if the Sanhedrin hadn’t held their little court in secret, at night, without the public knowing. Even Pilate and Herod couldn’t find enough credible evidence to convict Jesus of the erroneous charge of leading an insurrection.
Evidence is Everything
The disciples were in fear of the mob after Jesus was murdered. The protections God had put in place for all men within the legal system had broken down. No proof (credible witnesses + evidence) was required for a charge to be laid. In John 20:19-20 those same disciples locked themselves behind closed doors. They did not believe Mary Magdalene’s amazing story of seeing and talking with Jesus; even though she was a credible person. She was only one witness saying these things. It wasn’t until Jesus came to them in the flesh that they believed. Walking through a locked door and showing His fleshly wounds was tremendously credible evidence.
Thus it is Written!
Then Jesus took them through “all the scriptures” and reminded them of all the detailed things written about Him by the prophets and fulfilled by Him. They had foolishly forgotten this huge body of evidence. They later expressed their grief and anxiety over this saying, “Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked…”. These disciples became credible witnesses to Jesus’ walking, talking and eating after the crucifixion.
“Christians, do you understand that the Bible is God’s personal deposition of the facts? Maybe you should believe the deposition of three [witnesses] in one.” – Pastor Steve Wilson
May the Holy Spirit stir our conscience to “burn within us” if we are tempted to make up our minds about issues that demand proof (credible witnesses + evidence) without first taking into account what He has already said. God has spoken on everything we need to know for processing through absolutely all life issues. Do not let feelings of helplessness or ignorance on any issue keep us from searching the scripture or seeking Biblical counsel from those you have assigned to shepherd us. The world is watching and we need to be ready to give a real, logical and loving answer for the hope and peace that is within us.
The Kavanaugh case matters for Christians not because we want to irrefutably identify the hero or villain and not because we need to see justice done, as it seems right to us. This case matters because these conflicts happen in our lives all the time. Which child actually stole the cookie? Was your pew mate right about Mrs. Smith gossiping about you? Is Mr. Smith stealing money from the band boosters?
God Gives Us Direction
- If hearing a claim from just one witness (even if a credible person to you): you must reject further pursuit of the claim.
- If hearing a claim from two or more credible witnesses: you must accept the claim as credible and move to gather further evidence.
- If further evidence is given and accepted then the claim is only now considered credible and a credible-charge can be laid for a judge and jury (or church elders) to rule on.
- If further evidence is given and not accepted as valid, even though there are credible witnesses, there is no credible-charge to take further. This doesn’t mean charges can’t be filed (in our legal system) but they will not hold good weight. To see how this plays out in the church among believers, read the short but eye-opening Handbook of Church Discipline: A Right and Privilege of Every Church Member by Jay Adams.
Next week I hope to open up the conversation on Biblical manhood and womanhood. There are many opinions as to what this means but I hope to always ask and answer the question that is most important: “What does God say about this thing?” If you wish to listen ahead to our recent adult discipleship classes with discussions, click here: What’s the Difference?
I hope you will subscribe to this blog and keep learning all God has for you through these lessons taught by Pastor Steve Wilson of Grace Community Church.
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 Matthew 26:59-60
 Luke 24:25-27
 Luke 24:32