I think I have just learned about the term 'whistle blower' recently and thought it is a good description of what I think it should do. A whistle blower alerts someone to danger. The Bible does not actually use this term, but I believe the concept is there. A whistle blower exposes the works of darkness. A whistle blower warns people of the danger of heresy or false teachers. Those are important things for people in the church to be doing. But can there be problems with being a whistle blower? You can be sure that there are.
One of the biggest problems of being a whistle blower stems from pride. You see, the problem is that each person is blinded to their own sin. In Matthew 7, Jesus tells us to take out the log from our own eyes, before we take the splinter out of the eyes of other people. We have to deal with our own sin first, before we can help others deal with their own sin. Pride doesn't let us do that. Pride keeps us from seeing our sin. That's why we need accountability and God helping us to see our sin that blinds us.
If we are a whistle blower and our pride has not been dealt with, problems will begin to fester. What will happen is that we may see something that needs to be exposed or brought into the light, but our flesh will not want to stop there. If we are not careful, our whistle blowing can easily turn into slander, or idolatry. If we catch a false teacher who seems to be regularly teaching false doctrine, then we should expose it. But if we continue to press into the area of seeking out false teachers, or if we continually hound the false teacher we have discovered, we are going into an area beyond what we are asked to do. We are putting ourselves on dangerous ground, and entering into slander.
The Bible has a lot to say about slander. It is pretty dangerous to practice it. Our flesh loves to slander and gossip. It is part of the outworking of our human nature and sin weakness. How much do we have to 'warn' people about that false teacher? How much time do we have to spend cutting him or her down in public forums like Facebook? Should we spend our precious time 'hunting' down these false teachers, or should we spend that time developing a relationship with the Lord, and with His people (the church)?
I don't want to say its wrong to expose a false teacher. It is wrong to continually pick at it though. What about that Christian leader who has hurt someone? Should we create blogs to destroy that person? What does Matthew 18 tell us to do? It tells us to work with that person, and if he doesn't cooperate, work with the church. If he still doesn't cooperate, we are to treat him like a pagan. We treat him like an outsider. We pray for him and do what we can to restore him to the broken relationships. What we must not do is to take our complaints to those outside of the church. That is when it becomes slander. Let's be careful how we use our tongues and words with people. Let's also be careful to not air out the dirty laundry of a church in which we have no personal connection with the offending parties. Love covers a multitude of sins. Let's practice love and mercy, like God has done with us.