Why It is Critical that Public Sin Be Publicly Rebuked

Luther was once asked

Should not those who have sinned openly by their teaching be rebuked openly, as Moses did to Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, as Elijah did to the Baalites, as Paul did to Peter, and as we publicly opposed the pope?

Luther replied, “A brother ought first to be rebuked privately, especially if the fault is new and involves only a few people. But if the error is firmly rooted among many people, so that it’s not possible to approach every individual and admonish him separately, the error must be rebuked and refuted publicly.”

People owe it to the community to rebuke politicians and church leaders when they sin publicly.

Jerome’s Preface to the Latin Version of the Old Testament

jeromeIn the preface to his translation, Jerome writes to those who would quibble with his work:

… if you are incredulous, read the Greek and Latin manuscripts and compare them with these poor efforts of mine, and wherever you see they disagree, ask some Hebrew (though you ought rather to place confidence in me), and if he confirm our view, I suppose you will not think him a soothsayer and suppose that he and I have, in rendering the same passage, divined alike.