If a person sins because he does not speak up when he hears a public charge to testify regarding something he has seen or learned about, he will be held responsible. (Leviticus 5:1, NIV 1984).
My Musings – How many times have we heard someone say (or said it ourselves), “it’s not my place to say something?” Not only is it our place, but it is our responsibility. According to this passage, neglecting that responsibility is a sin. But “hidden” within the passage is a qualifier, and that is “a public charge.“
Does that let us off the hook if what we have “seen or learned about” is not public knowledge? I think we must remember the context, which deals with sin among God’s chosen people. In this case, the Israelites. In our case, the body of believers. Thus, I believe, if it is a criminal act (public or private) we have a civil obligation to “speak up” to the authorities.
But back to the context – the Church:
“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” (Matthew 18:15–17, NIV 1984).
“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently.”(Galatians 6:1, NIV 1984).
“Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? But instead, one brother goes to law against another—and this in front of unbelievers!” (1 Corinthians 6:5–6, NIV 1984).
My Advice – Act responsibly.