Stop me if you've heard this before. Some mega-famous celebrity pastor is about to do something colossally stupid and sinful. Many little people - blogger/lepers, pastors of 'small' churches - voice concern over the issue. Mega-pastor publicly blusters and slanders and blasphemes. The little people cry out for help from the Truly Great Champions of the faith. And the response inevitably comes back: "Quiet down, you! You don't know what private conversations are happening behind the scenes!"
I'll admit - I don't know what private conversations are happening. And? Those private conversations are utterly irrelevant. I don't give a rat's lower digestive tract about them, and neither should you. They're about as important to the issue as ... well, they're so insignificant, the language lacks the words to explain just how insignificant they are. They don't matter one tiny bit. So shut up about them, already.
Don't believe me? Let me illustrate. Suppose I somehow get an opportunity to preach. During the sermon, I take ten or fifteen minutes to talk about how much I hate my wife, call her all sorts of horrible things, and actually threaten her a few times. Really ugly, nasty, horrible stuff. Now some people want to confront me about it.
Can you imagine the pastor and a few elders intercepting them and telling them to shut up about it - they've been talking to me privately, and important conversations are taking place? When I'm alone with her, it's all sweet and good, honest! If things are to progress, they can't have rabble like the peons in the pews speaking up! That might just alienate and offend me. No, you silly little people, just be quiet and get back in your place - the experts are handling this, and trust us, everything will be OK. And in the small chance that it isn't, well, tough questions will be asked someday.
Can you picture that? Not likely. The entire concept is utterly stupid, insane, and extremely dangerous. Most likely you'd think that what we're talking about in private doesn't matter at all when I act like that in public. In fact, you might think that if there's such a big disparity - that I'm really nice in one arena but a reprehensible reprobate in another - that the relationship is abusive. And you'd be exactly right.
Nothing that is said in private can justify such sinful, despicable public behavior. It couldn't in my example, and it can't when the Towering Guardians of Christendom tell you to just simmer down and let the Top Men handle it. It's really hard to even get my head around that kind of arrogance.
1 hour ago