Why Defining Gossip Matters in the Church’s Response to Abuse

"Have we tamed the tongue too much? Christians work to recover a biblical understanding of harmful hearsay vs. healthy criticism." - C. Today

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Bert Perry's picture

We might summarize it in a nutshell; the Bible's prohibition of being a tale-bearer does not mean that church leaders ought to be free to tightly restrict criticism of what they do in ministry, especially in public ministry.  That simply isn't reflected in how the Bible treats those who abuse others in ministry--e.g. Diotrephes, Alexander, Hymeneaus, etc..  (or the prophet Hananiah who broke Jeremiah's yoke)

One sees this a lot in separation agreements with former employees out in the secular world, and as the recipient of a couple of them over the past quarter century, I've got to admit that it does at times put a certain amount of stress on the former employee as others ask "what happened?", and you can't really tell.  One time I turned down the silence agreement because the severance would have only increased by a few hundred bucks, and the situation there had gotten so bad that people were wondering when someone would go postal.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.