What would I do if I was falsely accused of sexual immorality?

I had an eerie sense of déjà vu as I watched the Dinesh D’Souza scandal unfold last week.  I’ve seen a number of men be accused of sexual immorality – politicians, businessmen, pastors – and almost always their first reaction is not only to deny the accusations, but to attack the accusers as jealous, small-minded, and part of a wider conspiracy or vendetta against them (e.g. Bill Clinton, Dominique Strauss, etc).

Obviously we have to resist the temptation to assume the worst of people, especially of powerful men. False accusers do exist. However, it does raise the question if this is the way those who really are victims of false accusation would or should react?

Or to make it more personal, what if I was wrongly accused of sexual immorality? What would I do? How would I hope I’d react?

First of all, I go to fairly extreme lengths to ensure that I am never in a situation where such an allegation could arise, or if it did it could easily be disproved due to the presence of other witnesses, etc.

Second, I would humble myself before God, as I would view such an accusation as divine chastening. I would prayerfully look for why God saw fit to allow such painful allegations to arise in my life. Even if not guilty, there is a humiliating shame involved. I would pray for much grace for my wife and family as such accusations would impact them as much as me.

Third, I hope I’d try to reach out to the accuser(s) in love and mercy seeking to understand why she/he is making such an allegation. I hope I would not denigrate her/him or seek to destroy her/his character. She/he is a precious soul with a great need for salvation, and so are those who may be supporting her/him.

Fourth, I’d ask my pastor/elders/employer to initiate a full and open investigation of the accusations. I’d want them to treat it seriously rather than dismiss it with “We know you’d never do that.” I would not want to be treated with any special favor or shortcuts.

Fifth, I’d seriously consider stepping aside from public Gospel duties while the investigation is completed. I imagine it would feel very strange and inappropriate to be proclaiming God’s truth while under such a dark cloud.

Sixth, I’d seek solace in the sufferings of Christ, trying to enter into the fellowship of his sufferings, who was falsely accused throughout his life.

Seventh, I’d pray for vindication, asking God to clear my name through due process. I hope I would not resort to threats, manipulation, or other political machinations to secure my reputation or innocence.

Eighth, I hope I’d be willing to submit to God’s providence even if it was not possible to clear my name, even if it meant the end of my ministry. That’s easy to say when it’s not happening, but I hope I would be thankful for the years God did grant me to proclaim His Word, and accept that now it’s over and God will advance His work and His kingdom without me.

Lastly, even if false accusations ended my ministry, Joseph’s and King David’s stories encourage me to hope that in time God would yet vindicate me and return me to even greater future usefulness in His Kingdom.

It reminds us all to pray more earnestly than ever before, “Lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from evil.”

Check out

My year of biblical womanhood
Really enjoyed this from Kim Shay.

Extroverts and introverts need each other 
Great video summary of Susan Cain’s The Power of Quiet

The joy of spiritual fellowship
Funny and challenging extract from Thabiti’s recent book The Life of God in the Soul of the Church 

The struggles and hopes of a disabled Dad
Dave Furman: “Ten years ago I never would have dreamed that I would have a physical disability. But God knew the beautiful design he had for me and for the spread of his gospel would involve taking away the strength of my hands.”

Avoiding legalism in our Sabbath keeping
Iain Campbell: “The question for us then becomes – how can we ensure that our Sabbath-keeping is like that of Jesus, and not like that of the Pharisees? How can we avoid being legalistic and Pharisaic in our Sabbath observance?”

New Opportunities at Mukhanyo College (South Africa)
I’ve seen Mukhanyo College in action and continue to be excited about its impact on numerous African countries. The College is now inviting applicants for three positions: Academic Dean, Senior Lecturer, and Assistant to the Principal.

Children’s Bible Reading Plan

This week’s morning and evening reading plan in Word and pdf.

This week’s single reading plan for morning or evening in Word and pdf.

If you want to start at the beginning, this is the first 12 months of the children’s Morning and Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf.

And here’s the first 12 months of the Morning or Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf.

And here’s an explanation of the plan.

How do you cook for ten? 8 Food Rules

How do you feed ten hungry mouths…every day? I enjoyed reading this homeschooling Mom’s answer.

I never realised that we even had food rules until I started to write this post… but horrors we do and lots of them!!! So I thought I would begin the series with se7en + 1 unspoken food rules in our home. A lot of our rules have evolved as the kids grow older and become more capable so the rules do change, they are a framework freeing us up from making major food decisions every single day. The rules are there to rely on but they are also their to be broken from time to time and I would never pin them up on the fridge and say… this is how it is done. Because families change and times change and needs change…

  1. We Cook And Eat and Clean-Up Together
  2. We Eat in One Place
  3. We Eat Three Meals a Day
  4. We Cook From Scratch, Mostly
  5. We Eat Out, But Not Take-Outs
  6. We Don’t Eat or Drink in Transit
  7. I Don’t Buy “Treats” Very Often
  8. Keep it Fun

Read the full post here. You’ll find lots of good ideas.

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Obscure writing is not evidence of profound thinking
And neither is obscure preaching.

When Christ orchestrates a prison break
Wonderful testimony of how God used R.C. Sproul’s radio ministry to set a prisoner free.

Joel Beeke on “Precious Puritans”
A response to Propaganda’s rap against the Puritans.

Preaching Christ from Deuteronomy
Excellent resources from The Gospel Coalition.

10 Questions a pro-choice candidate is never asked by the media
This might help you in the office or factory today.

How Creativity is affected by time

What if Jesus is still dead?

If Christ is not risen…

Awful thought isn’t it. Unthinkable, actually.

Yet the Apostle Paul considers the possibility in 1 Corinthians 15, and he also thinks through five terrible consequences…if true.

Pointless preaching
First, if Christ is not risen, preaching is pointless (1 Cor. 15:14). Christ’s resurrection was the most important event in the New Testament. Christ preached about it frequently before it happened and the Apostles preached it relentlessly afterwards. Take it out of the Gospel message, and you have nothing left. It’s like trying to build a house without cement; it’s pointless and vain.

A preacher without Christ’s resurrection is a preacher without a message. He has nothing useful to say and nothing he does say will result in anything good. He’s just wasting his time preparing sermons and preaching them. And we’re wasting our time hearing them.

In fact, such a preacher is a liar, a false witness (v. 15), because he is misrepresenting God by saying He did something He didn’t do – that is, saying that God raised Christ from the dead.

Futile faith
Second, our faith is futile (v. 17). If our faith is in Christ, and Christ lies dead and still under a Middle Eastern sky, then our faith is in a pile of human dust. The thief was right, if He could not save Himself, He can’t save us.

Christ rested the validity of all His teaching and claims upon his resurrection. Without it, the foundation cracks, crumbles, and turns to dust – as does our faith.

Christ’s death was a remarkable proof of His love and willingness to save, but without His resurrection, there’s no proof of his power and ability to save. All hope of salvation lie dead with Him. Our faith clings to a decaying skeleton. Such faith is futile.

Sinking in sin
Third, we are still in our sins (v. 17). Our sins have not been removed from our account. They still exist, charging and condemning us before God.

Moreover, if sin has not been removed from our account, it cannot be removed from our nature. If Christ remained under sin’s power, how can He deliver us from it? We are just like any other pagan, trying to be good in our own strength. We remain unfit for heaven and unprepared to meet God.

Dead and damned
Fourth, the dead are damned (v. 18). Paul beautifully describes a believer’s death as simply and quietly falling asleep in Jesus’ arms. Their souls are immediately perfected in heaven, and “their bodies, being still united to Christ, do rest in their graves until the resurrection” (Shorter Catechism 37). It’s magnificent, isn’t it!

But then Paul introduces an ugly note that mars the chords of hope. If Christ is not risen, those who have fallen asleep in Christ “have perished.” It’s so violent, so hideous. Their souls are perishing in hell and their bodies are perishing in the grave.

They turned up at heaven’s gates, but when they looked for their advocate, they were told, “Oh, he died long ago.” All hope dies. Death can separate us from the love of Christ. The dead are damned. Therefore, let us mourn as those who have no hope.

Miserable men
Fifth, we are the most pitiable of men (v. 19). Think of all the spiritual stress, strains, and sufferings that Paul went through to testify to the risen Christ. What self-denial, what self-sacrifice! And what kept him going as he faced beasts and beastly men? The hope of the resurrection (vv. 30-32).

But if Christ didn’t rise, then neither would Paul. He has no life here, and he has no life hereafter. “Pity me!” says Paul, “more than anyone else in the world.” Anybody is better off than the Christian. Better to be a Muslim, a Buddhist, or even a devil worshipper. Better to be anything than a Christian without resurrection hope.

From black hole to beautiful sunrise
Imagine the Corinthian believers as this letter was read to them. How the darkness must have settled on the congregation as Paul explored the black-hole consequences of a still-dead Christ.

But then, just as despair was about to overwhelm them, the sun breaks through the storm: “But now is Christ risen from the dead” (v. 20), Paul emphatically asserts. He’s brought us to the abyss of hell, to endear the risen Christ to us all the more.

Don’t despair, He is risen – He is risen indeed!

Therefore preaching is the most momentous activity in the world. Our faith is well-grounded in a living Savior. Our sins have been wiped off our records and are being worked out of our hearts. Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, and we believers are of all men to be envied.

O, unbeliever, don’t pity us; pity yourself! And look to Christ for enviable hope.

An edited version of this article was first published in Tabletalk.