William C. Sexton
There seems to be a great need in the Lord's church today for "Spiritual Critics." There are many critics of the destructive type, who seem to have something of the negative nature to say about a lot of people. But they usually show a deficiency in spirituality, lacking the qualities which would enable them to carry out the Lord's instructions to the faulty trespassers in an effective manner.
A "critic" in the strictest use indicates a person who attempts to make an objective judging so as to determine both merits and faults. A "spiritual" person is one who is concerned with the eternal well-being of himself and others. He is conscious of his duty and privilege of observing the life of his fellow-citizens in the kingdom of Christ, and when he sees a brother "overtaken in a fault," he recognizes that it is his job to try to "restore" that brother. He, likewise, realizes that there is danger involved-he may be "tempted" himself and thus fall into the same trap. He is very conscious, also, of the seriousness of the brother's condition. If not restored, he will lose his soul. If he does not attempt to restore his faulty brother, his soul also then is at stake!
Experience and "use" of the word of righteousness give one the skill to "discern both good and evil" (Heb. 5:11-14). This skill is needed so badly in the, Lord's church today-on the congregational level, it seems to me. It is not uncommon at all to have a brother talking about the weakness of another, the acts committed by another, to learn that nothing has ever been said to the erroring person, the trespasser. Yet, the Lord's instructions are clear, to the point, and emphatic regarding the action that is to be taken in this respect.
1. First the trespasser is to be rebuked (Lk. 17:2). He is to be contacted and confronted with the charge "between thee and him alone" (Matt. 18:15).
2. Secondly, the one who has been trespassed against is to take "one or two more" with him and attempt to get the Trespasser to "hear them." (Matt. 18:16)
3. The third step is to take it and tell it to the "church" hoping that he will "hear the church" and correct his life. (Matt. 18:17)
4. The fourth step is to be taken only "if he neglect to hear the church"; then he is to be considered as a "publican" and a "heathen."
If the Lord's plan was followed, by spiritual people, I am sure that before the fourth step was reached in many cases the person who had been "overtaken in a fault" would indeed be restored! But, when the Lord's plan is neglected and unspiritual people posing as spiritual spread "bad news" all over the community of the "evil" member, Satan is succeeding in destroying the souls of many in hell.
May I therefore impress upon you the need for Spiritual Critics? May I provoke you to consider the potential for advancement in this great field? The rewards are everlasting, possessing qualities that cannot be stolen or transferred; they are reserved in heaven, having the greatest security guards that can be found anywhere. The pay will begin immediately and continue to increase as time passes. However, if you are looking for an "easy buck," a "prestigious" position, and worldly luxury, then you need not apply. You would be disappointed and you would only disappoint many other people. Will you be a spiritual critic?
Truth Magazine XIX: 18, pp. 285-286