By Dr. DeWayne Nichols

I preached a sermon recently on the subject of false accusations. This is one of the great sins of Christians in general and of fundamental Baptists in particular. In this sermon, I pointed out that there are always 3 people involved where false accusations are spread: (1) the one who levels the false accusation; (2) the one who hears the false accusation; (3) the one who is the falsely accused.

The one who levels the false accusation is in cahoots with the devil. In fact, it is interesting that the very word “devil” (by definition) means “slanderer”. The devil is referred to in Rev. 12:10 as “the accuser of our brethren”.

In the sermon, I gave 5 simple principles for the person to follow who is the recipient of rumors (i.e., the one who hears rumors):

(1) Consider the source (Prov. 14:5; 14:25).

(2) Don’t make up your mind until you hear both sides of the story (Prov. 18:17).

(3) Be extremely careful about believing an accusation (especially if the accused is a person of good reputation) on the basis of only one person’s testimony (Num. 35:30; Deut. 17:6; 19:15; I Tim. 5:19).

(4) Assume innocence, not guilt (i.e., guilt, not innocence, should require proof; the burden of proof lies on the accuser, not on the accused) (Deut. 13:12-15).

(5) Once you know that a person is a chronic false accuser, don’t run with that person (II Tim. 3:1-5).

For the person who is falsely accused, just remember that you are not the only one who was so treated (remember Joseph, Stephen, Jesus, etc.), and simply live in such a way as to prove the false accusation to be false (I Peter 3:16).

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