He Says He Didn’t Do It
by Greg Gwin
A few years ago there was a national controversy concerning allegations of immorality made against the man who was then President. He had been accused of serious and repeated sexual misconduct. The President and his aides vehemently denied any wrong doing. What could be done? How could we know if he was guilty, or not guilty? Should those denials simply be accepted and everyone move on, or should there be a thorough investigation?
The answers to questions like these, of course, are to be found in a search for verifiable evidence. At that time, the public sought to know if there was compelling proof that the reported deeds actually took place. In that specific case, the evidence indicated that the President was guilty, and not only that, but had lied to cover it up. Again, provable evidence was the key.
Now, to the point -- what if we believe a brother has sinned, but he denies that it happened? Must we accept his denial and leave it at that? Obviously, some things are more easily investigated than others. “Murder, drunkeness and revellings” will be more simple to discern than “wrath, strife, seditions and heresy,” but all are “works of the flesh,” and those who commit these things “shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21). If we are truly concerned with our brother, we will not ignore sins which will cost his soul.
Jesus offered the answer to our dilemma of discerning those sins of the heart. He said: “. . . every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:17-20). And so, we have all been given the job of “inspecting fruit.” And when we see the evil fruit, we must seek to “restore such an one in the spirit of meekness” (Galatians 6:1).
It is very common for men to deny their sins when first confronted. This reaction dates all the way back to the Garden of Eden! It is our job as loving brethren to “covert the sinner from the error of his way,” and “save a soul from death” (James 5:20).