Often it occurs that Bunyan's 'Christian' is found morphing into Cervantes 'Quixote' as the cause of doing what is right is put aside to enable windmills to be tilted at and the Kingdom of God, and its unity, toppled as a result of the ensuing madness.
When this occurs it is the duty of the minister to boldly go forth and challenge the donkey before them. Sadly though, Balaam's Ass they aren't, and the words they utter are man's, not God's. Thereby hangs this cautionary tale:
We read in Galatians, chapter six, that it is the duty of every Christian to 'restore those who are caught up in a sin' in a way that the Bible speaks of as 'gently'. The 'gentle' element is the key here for it is far too easy for the observer to pass through from Christian action into negative, and even destructive, acts.
The caution that we should 'watch ourselves lest we be tempted' is a sound as anything there is to be found in the Bible. There is but a short journey from us seeking to challenge sin to us engaging in, and becoming sin ourselves.
Gossip, albeit masked as concern, is the work of the devil and it's seeds, once sown, bring forth a harvest of division and destruction.
Righteous indignation, is (as I often say) rarely ever righteous and results in two sinners where perhaps there was originally one.
Seeking to enlist others into our camp in ways that have more of the playground than of the family of God can only end in tears. Rabble-rousing has never been the means to any end that can be considered to be Christian; Neither has threatening to take our brothers to law (1 Corinthians is clear on this)!
If there is conflict then we can be sure that what we are to do is take the issue to the person and if that does not bring about a resolution then to readdress the issue with two or three witnesses and then, all else having failed, we are to take it to the Church. There is a requirement for openness and honesty on all sides and there is one who sees and knows all and will judge accordingly when the time is right (so we can cut out all the imprecatory stuff then, can't we?).
Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.
Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, the living Stone - rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him - you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says: 'See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.'
Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe. 'The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,' and, 'A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.'
They stumble because they disobey the message - which is also what they were destined for.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
So in a couple of words: