2Sa 12:7 Nathan said to David, “You are the man!
I have seen in my 40 years as a pastor that wicked people who parade as Christians only grant “permission” for preaching in the church to go only “so far.” In most cases their demands prevail, the sermon is delivered in vagaries of application. No specifics. This permits the wicked hypocrite to continue in disguise, still able to hide in the pews.
The Lord does not preach that way. He does not yield to this wicked pressure – and neither must any pastor/preacher who would be a true servant of the Lord. But many if not most, do. They sense that line which must not be crossed. In fact, it is typical that most seminary classes on preaching instruct the students to never cross that line and blow the cover of any specific wolf among the flock.
The Lord does not preach that way. You see it in the prophet Nathan’s confrontation of King David after David had sinned so wickedly against his loyal servant Uriah. David had taken Uriah’s wife and ultimately murdered Uriah to cover David’s own sin. How did God’s prophet preach to David? Thou art the man! The Lord names names.
Now, this is not to imply that pastors ought to name names from the pulpit all the time. Cults do that as a means of control and abuse. Normally the Word of God is to be preached clearly and the Holy Spirit left to bring conviction to the sinner. But that is not what I am addressing here. What I have in mind is evil of this sort:
2Ti 4:14-15 Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. (15) Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message.
And there are many other examples of this specific identification of the wicked all through Scripture. Paul told the Corinthians that they were to put the man out form among them who was living in habitual gross immorality, and they all knew who he was talking about. He also gave this instruction in respect to church leaders who are walking in sin:
1Ti 5:20 As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.
But evil hates this kind of light. Wicked one insist upon anonymity and they will lash out with all kinds of projecting and accusations if they are ever specifically identified. This is one primary reason RASNs (revilers, abusers, sociopaths, narcissists) are able to operate unmolested in the church. They threaten, overtly or covertly, retaliation if anyone dare speak negatively of them. Their sin is to be covered and kept covered…or else. How many churches are in the control of such people and how many of their victims continue to suffer at their hands because no one will tell them, Thou are the man!?
But the Lord Jesus does not and did not operate this way:
Joh 8:44-45 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (45) But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.
No one is qualified to be a pastor or church leader if they are too cowardly to call out the evildoer. Most all of the pressure exerted upon pastors and local churches to “not cross that line” comes from the wicked themselves, parading as Bible doctrine when in fact it is a perversion of God’s Word.