They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. Rom 1:29-32
And here we read specifically about women as “gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to” (1 Timothy 5:12-13). Ouch!
Dictionary's definition of gossip: casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true
The author of this article breaks the word gossip into six categories:
These are the 6 things that fall under the category of gossip. If anyone who calls themselves a person who loves the Lord, sings the praises of God, worships in fellowship with other believers, pray, read the Word of God, say they love God and at the same time engage in gossip and everything that goes along with gossip,(busybody, talebearer, slander, evil whispering, evil speaking and backbiting), is practicing hypocrisy therefore making that person a hypocrite!
Yes, there is no doubt, gossip is a serious problem and we must be careful to not get caught in the trap.
Early this morning, I approved a one-word comment: "Gossip". I was in bed when I approved it and unable to see the context, so my brain went on a wild goose chase trying to figure out the context. I found the context here and it made sense:
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Will's comment was spot on! The no-gossip rule ties in clearly with the "no-talk" rule (which is defined here in the Definition Section). You see, if people were allowed to talk and share their experiences, enough people would have seen a pattern and this could have been dealt with before it got this far. Instead, we have a cycle of "don't gossip", with pastor/elders reading scriptures like Hebrews 13:7 (Remember those who rule over you...) to hush us. Bottom line is our talk was controlled. We did not have liberty to discuss truths that we experienced freely because it was labeled as gossip.
Truth sometimes is divisive. It doesn't mean it is always gossip. We need to be careful about that. What is the intention of our heart when we share our experiences? Is it in anger or malice? I know my intention for going public. It was to say: YO!!! There's a problem here. God is not being honored in this situation, and in fact, God is being trampled upon by false teachings, hearts are turning AWAY from God, HELP!!!!
Will addresses something that I hadn't considered regarding gossip from the pulpit. He frequently mentioned current conflicts from the pulpit (between him and other "so-called" pastors, etc,), so it would only make sense that he would be bringing this lawsuit to the forefront of conversation at the church. Look at what he posted publicly about me and others:
- Nov 18, 2009JulieAnne's Destructive Slander Continues To Whom It May Concern: Almost a year ago JulieAnne and her husband were Biblically put out of Beaverton Grace Bible Church with a group of families and individuals that were engaged in ongoing divisive slander. After attending many churches and leaving them in a similar manner, the group has now splintered. Many of those in this factious group no longer attend church at all. It is sad to see that JulieAnne remains steadfast in her destructive behavior. For obvious reasons we exhort you to heed the following Scriptures: Prov 6:16-19 16 These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: 17 A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 A false witness who speaks lies, And ONE WHO SOWS DISCORD AMONG BRETHREN. Prov 16:28 A perverse man SOWS STRIFE, And A WHISPERER SEPARATES THE BEST OF FRIENDS. Prov 26:20 Where there is NO WOOD, THE FIRE GOES OUT; And where there is NO TALEBEARER, STRIFE CEASES. Rom 16:17-18 NOW I URGE YOU, BRETHREN, NOTE THOSE WHO CAUSE DIVISIONS AND OFFENSES, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and AVOID THEM. 18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. Titus 3:9-11 But AVOID FOOLISH DISPUTES, genealogies, CONTENTIONS, and strivings about the law; for THEY ARE UNPROFITABLE AND USELESS. 10 REJECT A DIVISIVE MAN AFTER THE FIRST AND SECOND ADMONITION, 11 KNOWING THAT SUCH A PERSON IS WARPED AND SINNING, being self-condemned. It is our prayer that there will be no more wood thrown upon the fire of contentiousness, strife, discord, and division. It is our prayer that the fire will go out and that the body of Christ at BGBC will be able to press on “in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Phil. 1:27). It is our prayer that those who started the fire and have cut, stacked, and stoked much wood upon it, will repent, for God's glory and their blessing. If you have any questions, please contact the pastor and elders. May we be evermore convinced of mankind's sinfulness and of our need for God's amazing grace through faith in His beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. God STILL has the whole world and His Church in His very capable hands. For Christ and His Church, Pastor Chuck O'Neal, Elder Dave Loynes, Elder Dale Weaver
and this is another review:
DEFAMATION IS A CRIME: It is convenient and crafty to wage a three and a half year war of reviling defamation in which you and those with you ACCUSE THE PASTOR AND CHURCH OF HORRIFIC CRIMES AGAINST GOD AND MEN, to then hide behind 1 Cor. 6:7-8.
FOR THREE AND A HALF YEARS JULIEANNE AND THOSE WITH HER, HAVE BEEN ENGAGED IN PUBLIC, CHURCH TO CHURCH, AND WORLD WIDE WEB DEFAMATION IN A SELFISH WILLINGNESS TO DISCREDIT GOD, HARM THE CHURCH, HARM WIVES, HARM CHILDREN, AND HARM THE TESTIMONY OF CHRIST'S GOSPEL.
IN MATTERS OF GREAT DAMAGE TO OURSELVES OR FAMILIES, WE MAY USE LAWFUL MEANS TO RIGHT OURSELVES. WE ARE NOT BOUND TO SIT DOWN AND SUFFER THE INJURY TAMELY, WITHOUT STIRRING FOR OUR OWN RELIEF;
Anonymous is convinced that I am a gossip. If the above was posted publicly, I can only imagine what is said to the remaining church privately and in church meetings to the congregation. If this is what that congregation sees and perhaps hears on an ongoing base from the pastor, is it any wonder that I get "divisive" comments on my blog from time to time. These comments are meant to challenge me. The people in the church have come along side him in his thinking and I and "those with me" are considered the enemy.
In the context above, the Anonymous poster felt that sharing our creepy stories is gossip. Stories that we might share with one another may be hard to hear, is uncomfortable, but it is the truth and not gossip. I am speaking the truth in the most loving way I know because I care and love that body of Believers. I care for their souls. And believe it or not, I have love for the pastor as well. The people of that church need a pastor who cares for their souls, not one who goes after former members in creepy ways. Going after former members is destructive and a distraction to the real responsibility of a pastor. It must be stopped. So until it is stopped, those of us who have left must continue speaking the truth in love - - - which is NOT gossip.