Slander: 'How to Kill Your Neighbor'
By Mike Riccardi - Posted at The Cripplegate:
Slander is murderous. Do you want to kill your neighbor? Slander his character. Or pass along an unsubstantiated accusation.
It’s not a controversial statement to observe that our culture is morally bankrupt. Western society has barreled through the checkpoints of God’s judgment of abandonment as outlined in Romans 1:18–32. From the denial of God’s existence to pervasive idolatry, from unfettered fornication to rampant adultery and divorce, from homosexuality and the virulent attempts to destroy anyone who doesn’t “give hearty approval” to the reprobate mind that can no longer discern between male and female: we live in an uncommonly wicked society. Add to that the systematic extermination of the most defenseless of our population—the 60 million babies murdered in their mothers’ wombs in the last 45 years, all under the protection of federal law—and it makes one cry out for the mercy, or the judgment, of God.
But in the midst of a culture so morally upside-down as ours, even those of us in the visible church can become desensitized to the sinister nature of what we might think of as less sensationalistic sins. Jerry Bridges called them “Respectable Sins” several years ago, and evangelicalism has understood what he meant. Sins like anxiety, discontentment, impatience, and jealousy all seem to be small potatoes compared to the great societal evils outlined above. And while we know they’re wrong, we tend to think of them as things that are just a part of life—even life in the church of God. But it’s these “respectable” sins that have the greatest potential to destroy the moral fiber of a people, because they’re the most covered-for and rationalized-away. Like the slow rot of tooth decay, these sins imperceptibly wear away at our moral enamel until the pain they cause is unbearable and requires drastic action.