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A Michigan pastor is urging people to go "Gossip Free" for at least eight days starting on 8-8-08, but said it's never too early to stop listening to or sharing idle chatter at home, work or especially church.
Pastor Kevin Hester of Sanctuary Baptist Church in Coloma, Mich., said "even though gossip is commonly accepted by people and churches, God takes it seriously. It's right next to murder in the Bible."
Hester argues in his pocket-size book, "Gossip Free? The High Cost of Low Talk" that "gossip has caused more wars, broken up more homes, ruined more businesses, split more churches and destroyed more lives than anything else throughout human history."...
Gossip is another species of a chronic problem in church society. From what I've seen, there is an almost total absence of justice within modern churches. The only people talking up justice today seem to be Lib Theologians (with their perversions of it); others either do not know what Biblical justice is (mocking 1 Cor. 6), or care not a whit about it. In many cases of my acquaintance, injured parties simply disappeared w/o warning or explanation, perhaps because they hadn't a chance against the board or pastor. I have seen other people quietly tolerate abuse towards themselves, which means they will tolerate it again when it happens to others.
Justice in Scripture is a prominent subject (since God Himself is justice, & is supposed to be reflected in man, made in His image), but one I have heard very few sermons about, especially pertaining to church disputes. Whining about the Supreme Court is much easier, apparently.
Lest I seem like sour grapes, see: www.trinityfoundation.org/journal.php?id=224 , which has a Presby example, but it applies to Baptists etc. too.
Pastor Kevin Hester wrote: Unfortunately, this is exactly the sort of thing the gossip free book was written about and what I intended the entire movement to address. I am the founder of gossipfree.org. I wrote this book because of my own personal experiences with gossip that devastated my life, my ministry, and my family and also gossip that I have seen affect the lives of others. The book of James is very clear about the power that words have. Though the things that were said about me had absolutely no truth to them, they still had a profound negative impact on my life and ministry and the lives of my children.
Very commendable. I told my wife, I wonder what would happen if our pastor placed signs at the doors of the auditorium "Gossip Free Zone". We do it for cell phones, but gossip has plagued many churches including our own.
Unfortunately, this is exactly the sort of thing the gossip free book was written about and what I intended the entire movement to address. I am the founder of gossipfree.org. I wrote this book because of my own personal experiences with gossip that devastated my life, my ministry, and my family and also gossip that I have seen affect the lives of others. The book of James is very clear about the power that words have. Though the things that were said about me had absolutely no truth to them, they still had a profound negative impact on my life and ministry and the lives of my children.
In this blog I am accused of attracting media attention in order to sell books. This simply is not true. That is gossip/slander which is addressed in my book. We have primarily been giving the books and bracelets away. They ARE available on our website for a nominal fee. It barely covers the cost of shipping. Sadly, this is the sort of gossip that turns the unsaved and unchurched away from our churches and causes many others to leave churches.
Wouldn't it be a refreshing change if we as the body of Christ would stop the fault finding and the divisiveness and get busy doing the work of the ministry,and spreading the gospel through the love of Christ?
"gossip has caused more wars," No. Politicians who service corporations start wars. Sometimes politicians are also businessmen (Bush and Cheney and Gore) and are duplicitous in pretending to follow the constitution but in actuality make and redefine laws which profits them the most. What confuses the masses is that they do not SEE (understand) that the United States itself is a CORPORATION.
"broken up more homes," No. The Gospel divides families sometimes and in non-believing households, a satanic selfishness fearless of a holy God causes strife whether those involved speak or not.
"ruined more businesses," No. A communistic-socialistic and tyrannical-fascist progressive tax ruins businesses which in turn ruins households.
"split more churches and destroyed more lives than anything else throughout human history." No. It is the pride of man's heart coupled with a disobedient life wherein people can and do use others as means to an end--happiness and/or pleasure INSTEAD OF learning holy Love as Jesus taught and lived.
Pastor launches gossip free campaign which is talked about on blogs, web sites, e-mails, etc in a viral marketing campaign to sell his pocket sized book about gossip ... oh, yeah ... psst - pass it on! Only then stop gossiping!