Don Carson, Kevin DeYoung, and Justin Taylor have posted a very good statement about the Sovereign Grace lawsuit here. I appreciated it very much.
The issue — among thoughtful Christians — should never be whether or not justice should be done. That should be a given. What should we seek out, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God? (Micah 6:8)
The issue is that we do not know what the just response is until after a fair and just trial. Just sentences do not fall out of the sky — they proceed from just trials. And in order to have a just trial, it must be managed and conducted by just men, men who hate bribes, men who have a backbone, men who know the law.
If a man is accused of child molestation, a horrendous crime, and charges are made and the evidence is being gathered, then patience is absolutely necessary. If a judge is ruled by the spirit of Prov. 18:17, and he is proceeding with all deliberation, and then he finds himself accused of covering up misdeeds, or enabling such crimes, or being soft on molestation, simply because he did not move straight to the sentencing, then we know that the spirit of injustice is on the loose.
In the case of this statement, certain men who had absolutely nothing to do with the original situation were being attacked simply because they were silent, because they were not speaking out. Spoken out about what? About sexual crimes or about false accusations? When you speak out, shouldn’t you have something to say?
When Christian leaders were asked to speak out about Potiphar’s wife’s troubling accusations against Joseph, what should they have said? When they were asked to speak out about the rape of Tamar, what should they have said?
In Scripture, perjury could be a capital offense, if that perjury were committed in a capital case. When a man’s life is on the line, to be a false witness at his trial was to put your own life on the line (Deut. 19:16-19). That is what justice is like. However bad sexual abuse of children is (really evil), we must remember that false accusations of such behavior are every bit as bad.
From this we may gather that because the accusations in the Sovereign Grace case are really bad that something awful has been done. Either some children had to go through some hellish lies about Christ and the church, or Christ and the church are having some hellish lies told about them. But until after a fair trial has been conducted, we don’t know who the liar is. And we shouldn’t be called upon to act as though we do “in the meantime.”