“Ghost Whisperer.” Name of a T.V. show. One I’ve only seen in the television listings but must admit that I’ve never actually watched. Never felt the desire to. I – as I’m sure almost any other church leader will readily “amen” as they read on – am sadly already far too familiar with, and have had all too much experience with all too many “ghost-whisperers” in the church as it is. You know who they are; those nameless, faceless, ever mysterious and unable to be identified and/or held accountable “others,” who apparently continually float around and “whisper” to everyone else in the church about you, when they have a problem with you, instead of coming directly to talk to you, like they’re commanded to by their all-seeing Lord and Savior (Matthew 18:15; Hebrews 4:13).
The typical scenario usually unfolds something like this… A brother or sister comes to see you, and in the course of the conversation, says or starts a sentence something to the effect of, “Well, a few folks have told me…,” or, “Several people have come to me and said that…” But of course when that brother or sister who brought them and their complaint up to you is asked to reveal the names of his or her infamous informants, these mysterious and transparent “whisperers” are fanatically well-protected by aggressive anonymity, and seemingly disappear back into thin air, leaving behind a trail of damage for which they will never be identified or held responsible…
But, such ghost “whisperers” and their transparent tactics are anything but approved by the Lord of glory (Ro. 1:29-32). And so, this practice must stop once and for all amongst the called out people of God. There’s only room for one “ghost” in His plan, and that’s His Holy Ghost!
So, how do God’s faithful people exorcise these elusive “ghost” “whisperers” from amongst their number? Enter God’s spiritual “ghost-busters;” undeniable truths from God’s word meant to blast such “ghost” “whisperers” out of existence by making them more accountable and responsible for their carnage, comments, and complaints. And just how exactly does one utilize these powerful “ghost busting” weapons (2 Cor. 10:3-5) when confronted by the protective front person for them unleashing a poisonous plethora of these ghost whisperers’ comments? Here are three, powerful, practical ghost-busting truths to present and practice for the prevention of such ghost whispering tactics.
- Jesus could not have been clearer in the “Sermon on the Mount” as to what one must do when they know their brother has a problem with them. “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matt. 5:23-24). If you know your brother has a problem with you, getting it reconciled must even precede worshipping God. And this is the very thing which the ghost whisperers’ front man is preventing you from doing when he comes to you and informs you that “some brethren” have a problem with you or what you’re doing, but then refuses to identify those brethren by name so that you can go and be obedient to God by getting the matter or misunderstanding resolved. This protection of their anonymity is a practice which allows these “ghost” “whisperers” to remain “ghosts,” and wholly unaccountable for their personal points, positions, and perspectives whether right or wrong. It also prevents you outright from doing what is righteous and just before almighty God. Thus, any “front man” must be firmly reminded that by withholding their identities while willfully spreading their “whispers,” means that he himself is subsequently causing you to sin (Cf. Matt. 18:6-9; Rom. 14:10-13)!
- And not only is he causing you to sin by personally preventing your obedience to God’s word, but he is also promoting their sin as well. The biblical fact of the matter is that if any brother feels they have been sinned against by another brother, they are commanded to go see that brother themselves, in person, in private, FIRST! Once again we would note the commandment of the Lord from the gospel of Matthew. “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother” (Matt. 18:15). In other words, these always unidentifiable and therefore always unaccountable “ghost” “whisperers” who are constantly floating about and finding fault with all their brethren but never directly to their faces, need to be told every time they try this transparent little trick, that their story stops here and will not be repeated, because they have no right to talk to anyone about their problem with a particular brother, until they’ve talked to that particular brother personally, about the problem they perceive to be between them. But of course that might require taking some substantive personal responsibility as to their part in the problem which would bring them back down to earth – the one thing such ghosts seem to want to escape experiencing at all cost.
- And lastly, not only do such “ghost” “whisperers’” front men: provide only enough pieces of information to cause the brother they go to see to sin; not only do they also become a party to, and willing promoter of their “ghost” “whispering” and backbiting brethrens’ sin; but as such, in addition to both of these things they also escalate their own sin count as well at the same time! Remember, it’s not only the “whisperer” that God holds accountable, but also any and all of those who approve of – through supporting – their whispering too (Rom. 1:29-32)! And such approval is certainly given when one joins and participates in, and thus promotes by becoming a party to, such slanderous and mud-slinging sin! The getaway driver in a bank robbery, who helped the culprits to escape, is just as liable to judgment as the actual thieves themselves! And in the same way, one who aids and abets by helping those escape scot-free and without a trace who rob their brethren of the chance to respond to their complaints in person and face to face, by whispering only to others behind their brethrens’ backs, are just as liable to God for judgment as their fiendish and ghostly friends.
These are but three of God’s “ghost-busting” truths that should blast such “ghost” “whisperers” into non-existence in our congregations. Their frightening follies must not be found amongst God’s flock. Let each and every one of us from this day forward – former “ghost-whisperer” or not – determine not to allow the “ghost” “whisperers” reign of hit and run terror and anonymity to continue to terrorize and tear apart the flock of God. Call them to account. When they complain to you about a brother, make it absolutely clear to them that they need to go talk to that brother about their problem, complaint, or criticism of him FIRST, or not ever bring it up again – to anyone, anywhere, at any time or for any reason: and that includes you; and that you refuse to listen to them any further. If all will do that, it won’t take long for such ghastly practices to take flight once and for all. As it is written:
“An ungodly man digs up evil, and it is on his lips like a burning fire. A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates the best of friends. A violent man entices his neighbor, and leads him in a way that is not good. He winks his eye to devise perverse things; He purses his lips and brings about evil” (Prov. 16:27-30).