February 1, 2002 - My pet rabbit died abruptly (as pet rabbits have a way of doing). As a forlorn eight-year-old, in China, I buried him in our yard, lovingly digging a hole and covering him. Every day I dug him up to see how he was getting along. The last time I saw him he was green.
by Ruth Bell Graham
While I was growing up in China, someone in our greater mission family sinned, and I remember how quickly, quietly and effectively that situation was dealt with. Then the principle of "love covers" was applied. Not, like my pet rabbit, dug up again. And through the years in our own family, situations on occasion had to be faced, dealt with and buried.
Churches need to deal the same way, wisely and compassionately with sin, and then love covers: "Ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow" (2 Corinthians 2:7, KJV).
However, in those situations where some heresy, cult or con game operates under the name of Christianity, they need to be exposed so as to warn others. That is something different. But for those believers in God's family, sins need to be dealt with promptly, compassionately, privately. Then silence, under the principle of "love covers."