The following article was written by Jon Zens in 2008. Three things to keep in mind:
1. Most Christians never realize or understand the despicable, sub-human act that gossip and slander are in the eyes of God until it happens to them.
2. Zens is using the biblical definitions for “gossip” and “slander,” not the modern, American legal definitions. They are quite different.
3. Some people have wrongly used the biblical teaching against gossip and slander to contradict Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 18. For instance, if a person is sinning against others and doesn’t stop after being corrected in private by one person, then in private by two or more people, and then corrected by an entire body of believers, it’s not gossip or slander to make that person’s continuing sin public if they refuse to stop (repent). It’s also not gossip to go to a police officer and report a crime. Zens does talk about the Matthew 18 principle in the article, but his point is that many Christians skip steps 1 and 2 and go straight to 3. And this also is sin.
Have You Heard? The Plague of Gossip & Slander in the Body of Christ
by Jon Zens
Bob Mumford once said, “The Christian army is the only one that shoots its wounded.”
Regrettably, I have observed his statement to be all too true.
As long as I’ve been a Christian I have watched friends and their families undergo untold pain and hurt because of the incredible power of gossip and slander. Years ago we were traveling and after speaking in a church a brother came up to me and said, “I heard that you had quit teaching in churches and took up potato farming.” How and why such a rumor got started is anybody’s guess! This rumor was fairly innocuous, but imagine the untold harm done by vicious judgments on the life and character of others.
In this article, I would like to address this issue head-on. My hope is to raise the awareness of my brothers and sisters in Christ on this matter, so that we all will better follow the Lord’s teachings regarding our speech about and actions toward others.[Continue Reading…]