MCLOUD, Okla. (BNC) — A gospel preacher has come to the defense of one of the most popular authors in the brotherhood, answering charges and rebuking brethren for engaging in gossip.

Bradley Cobb, of website and Cobb Publishing, knows Michael Shank, author of Muscle and a Shovel. Bradley works with the McLoud congregation.

He’s heard it all about Michael, he said in a post published Apr. 19.

I’ve been asked this everywhere I go, it seems. I’ve been asked by some friends in Canada. I’ve been asked by preachers in Ohio, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Illinois, and several other places that I don’t even remember. I’ve been asked by left-leaning brethren, one-cup brethren, and everyone in between. They’ve all asked me the same thing: Is Michael Shank really/still a faithful Christian?

All the bad things people have said or heard about Michael are a lie, Bradley stated.

I have known Mike since long before he ever wrote Muscle and a Shovel.  He is the same person now as he was then: one who cares deeply about God, about Jesus Christ, and about being right with the eternal Judge of the universe.  He’s not perfect–none of us are–but in no way, shape, or form has he left the faith.

Bradley provides some background information and history about Michael.  A couple of years ago, he said, Michael and family

… decided to do what the first-century Christians did, and began to meet in their home with some other like-minded Christians.  They still meet on the first day of the week.  They still teach the plan of salvation as seen in the Bible.  They still sings psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs without mechanical instruments of music.  They still take the Lord’s Supper each Lord’s Day.  They love each other.  They praise God, and they are bringing people to the Lord.

Bradley made a plea to stop the gossip, recalling and paraphrasing Jesus’ words in Mark 14:6, “Leave him alone.  Why are you troubling him? He has labored good work for Jesus.”

He ended on a strong note:

The Bible condemns gossip and those who spread it.  The Bible also strongly condemns the person who sows discord among the brethren.  Those who are spreading lies about Mike are doing both.

Bradley’s entire post can be read at this link.