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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Accountability

You have probably heard of accountability groups.  You may be in one.  There is a lot of talk and a lot written on holding each other accountable.
Accountability
You may have heard about or experienced the use of questions in these groups.  Here is a list of several, here are five that I have experienced:
  1. Have you been with a woman anywhere this past week that might be seen as compromising?
  2. Have any of your financial dealings lacked integrity?
  3. Have you exposed yourself to any sexually explicit material?
  4. Have you spent adequate time in Bible study and prayer?
  5. Have you given priority time to your family?
  6. Have you fulfilled the mandates of your calling?
  7. Have you just lied to me
This idea of accountability has gained a lot of traction in the Church.  One problem, the word “accountable” does not appear anywhere in the text of the Bible as a directive or description of the relationship between individual believers.  Instead the word is used to describe our relationship to God.  Check out:
You will note that in the Bible the idea of accountability in these texts, and they are the only places that the English word “accountable” appears, is toward God not toward man.  By the way these are all the passages in our English Bibles that have any Hebrew or Greek word translated accountable...

So what do we make of this?

The Bible does give us direction on how we are to engage with one another (not an exhaustive list):
The words used in these passages are words like build up, encourage, reprove, rebuke, exhort, teach, correct, and arguably the most important, love one another.  I ran across an article that had a paragraph that seemed spot on:
In The Duty, Owen writes that church members should, of their own accord, “assemble together, to consider one another, to provoke unto love and good works, to stir up the gifts that are in them, yielding and receiving mutual consolation by the fruits of their most holy faith.” During these gatherings, Owen tells believers to warn the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak (1 Thessalonians 5:14 (here @ Bible Gateway)), help one another understand the Word of God better (Acts 18:26 (here @ Bible Gateway)), help one another be on guard against the heart-hardening effects of sin (Hebrews 3:13 (here @ Bible Gateway)), gently restore those who have are trapped in sin (Galatians 6:1 (here @ Bible Gateway)), encourage and build up one another in the faith (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Jude 20 (here @ Bible Gateway)), and pray for one another (1 John 5:16 (here @ Bible Gateway)). – How John Owen Would Run an Accountability Group.  Links to Bible Gateway added.
It would seem from considering the text of the Bible that possibly the idea of holding one another accountable is a means of attempting to deal with sin by asking questions rather than building up one another in our relationship and dependence on Christ and the Holy Spirit.

What do you think?