Berean Studies / Ber08 - Evil speaking and Evil Surmising
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Single Click a triangle below to see the references CT Russell selected for the associated question. The study questions (with the references) are also included as an attached Adobe PDF file at the bottom of this page.
1. What is evil speaking?
2. How prevalent is this fault among even those who profess to be Christians?
3. What is the power of the tongue?
4. What is meant by a ‘tongue set on fire of gehenna’?
5. What are the baneful influences of evil speaking, and what are some of the excuses and subterfuges offered by the fallen ...
6. What is evil surmising and what is its relation to evil speaking?
7. What are ‘secret faults,’ and of what two kinds are they?
8. Is an evil suggestion a sin, and how does it become a secret fault?
9. What is a ‘presumptuous sin,’ and when does a secret fault become a presumptuous sin?
10. What is the ‘great transgression’ to which these sins lead?
11. How may we purify and keep our hearts pure from these sins?
12. How is the Lord judging us?
13. Why should we render to God a daily account of any ‘idle’ (pernicious) words?
14. How are words the index of our hearts?
15. What does purity of heart signify?
16. What is the importance of a pure heart?
17. How may purity of heart be attained?
18. How do we know our motive is pure, since ‘the heart is deceitful above all things’?
19. What is the relation between our conscience and purity of heart?
20. Might telling the truth be evil speaking?
21. Is it always necessary to tell all we know about every affair?
22. Is an uncomplimentary remark evil speaking?
23. Would it be evil speaking to criticize doctrines publicly uttered?
24. What is a slanderer?
25. What is ‘false witness,’ and is it possible to bear false witness without uttering a word?
R3045 col. 2 ¶3, 4 - False witness applies to the telling of lies, but it goes deeper than this and applies to any misrepresentation, whether it be by direct statement or indirectly by such a statement as would permit a wrong inference to be drawn. Indeed, amongst refined people this subterfuge, by which they palliate their consciences, and at the same time gratify their spiteful hearts, is very common. One may even bear false witness by the nod of his head, by the shrugging of his shoulder, or by silence--if a misstatement be made in such a connection that silence might be understood to mean consent. If a Jew, a member of the house of servants under Moses, the Mediator of the Law Covenant, was required to be particular upon this point, how much more particular should all be who essay to be members of the house of sons, under the New Covenant and the New Mediator! Does not the New Covenant Law of Love go still deeper on this point? It surely does. It prohibits in specific terms, not only the speaking of untruths in respect to a neighbor, but the speaking of anything concerning him that would be to his discredit, even tho it were true--unless under certain circumstances which Love could fully endorse--if the testimony were required by a court of law, or if the testimony were necessary for the protection of another from injury. And even in such cases as little of derogatory truth as possible should be uttered, and it only in love. The Apostle's word on this subject is, "Speak evil of no man."
There is no point, or feature, of the entire Law of Love, as it bears upon our relationship to fellow-creatures, that needs more of our attention than this point. It seems difficult for Christians to learn thoroughly the Master's lessons, that, if they have anything unpleasant to say respecting a brother or sister, any criticism of the private life or affairs to offer, it should be offered to him or her alone and not to others.
26. How should we deal with a brother or sister who begins to relate an evil report?
27. How should we deal with persons of the world who do evil speaking?
28. Is evil speaking against a brother in Christ more culpable than against one of the world?
29. In order to avoid gossip, slander and evil speaking, what is the only proper and Scriptural way of redress for grievanc...
30. How should we deal in a matter of evil speaking against an Elder?
31. Why is ‘a bridled tongue’ a chief essential in an Elder?
32. How may we ask advice and not do evil speaking?
33. What is the relation between ‘busy- bodying’ and evil speaking?
34. How should the Golden Rule help us to overcome evil speaking and evil surmising?
35. What is the sole exception to this rule, ‘Speak evil of no man’?
36. What inspiration should we receive from Jesus’ example?
37. How can we overcome evil surmisings and evil speaking?
38. What additional thoughts are found in index of Heavenly Manna under ‘Evil’?
39. What special experiences and practices have helped you to overcome evil surmisings to some extent?
40. As we realize how insidious this foe of the ‘new creature,’ what should be our daily prayer?
Psalms 19:12-14 - Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. (13) Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. (14) Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.