What is Gossip?

Updated March 4, 2015, 2015 (first published June 5, 1999) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org;)

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Gossip is a great evil, and because of the corruption of the fallen human heart, it is a great problem. The old Adamic nature delights in hearing and spreading gossip. Gossip is not something that is confined to “old women.” In fact, it is a great problem among independent Baptist preachers. I have often been amazed at the gossip that is spread by pastors and evangelists, and I must admit before the Lord that I have done some gossiping myself through the years.

Though the word “gossip” does not appear in the Bible, the concept does. Gossip is described by the biblical words “backbiting,” “busybody,” “evil speaking,” “slander,” “talebearer,” and “tattler.” God’s people must guard themselves vigilantly against these sins. Gossip is extremely damaging. In fact, gossip can destroy a preacher’s effectiveness and can ruin an entire church.

WHAT GOSSIP IS NOT

It is very important, though, not to confuse gossip with legitimate things, such as the following:

SPEAKING TRUTH TO PROPER PARTIES FOR A GODLY PURPOSE IS NOT GOSSIP.

It is not wrong to share truthful things with those who have a right to such information.

For example, it was not gossip for the household of Chloe to tell Paul about the problems in the church at Corinth (1 Cor. 1:11). As the founder of that church, Paul had a right to know about those problems. It is not talebearing to talk to a pastor or Sunday School teacher or deacon about matters in church members’ lives that they should know about. It is not talebearing to talk to a father or mother about matters affecting their children.

It was not gossip or slander for Paul to remind Timothy that the Cretians had a poor national character which he described in such strong terms as “liars, evil beasts, slow bellies” (Titus 1:12). What Paul said about the Cretians (quoting one of their own poets) was true, and his motive was not to hurt them but to help them (“that they may be sound in the faith” verse 13) and to further the work of Jesus Christ in Crete.

It is not wrong for a Christian to warn another person about a serious problem in a church or organization, so long as the information is true and the motive is not to hurt but to help and warn. Often times I have warned people about serious problems in certain churches. I have done it privately and publicly. That is not gossip and it is not slander.

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The Vicissitudes of Victory

March 3, 2015 (Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

The following is by Buddy Smith, pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Malanda, Queensland, Australia, smiletex@bigpond.net.au:

As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Romans 8:36-37).

In many pastors' hearts there resides a simple heresy, a consumer driven error of great magnitude. It is the error that forces many good men out of the ministry, and leads many churches into the pursuit of big business methods and then, into open disobedience to God, and finally into theological and financial bankruptcy. This heresy is not overt, but covert. It does not wear its robes and crown when it comes. In a disguise of helpfulness it creeps in, first into the pastor's heart, then into his study, then into his sermons, then into the deacons' meeting, then into the church's advertising, and finally into the hearts and pocketbooks of the people in the pews.

A Great Heresy of the Last Days

What heresy is this that comes as an angel of light, but is actually the ambassador of Hell?

It is the heresy of Successism.

It is a heresy with axioms to be memorised and engrafted and implemented by every pastor who desires to be "successful." If you listen very closely you will hear the axioms of Successism taught at all the Leadership conferences that are hosted by "successful" Independent Baptist Churches. So what are the axioms of Successism?

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Friday Church News, Volume 16, Issue 9

The Friday Church News Notes is designed for use in churches and is published by Way of Life Literature’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service. Unless otherwise stated, the Notes are written by David Cloud. Of necessity we quote from a wide variety of sources, though this does not imply an endorsement.
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ROB BELL SAYS “THE CHURCH” IS ONLY MOMENTS AWAY FROM ACCEPTING “GAY MARRIAGE” (Friday Church News Notes, February 20, 2015, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Rob Bell, former pastor of the emerging Mars Hill Bible Church of Grand Rapids, Michigan, said recently about “gay marriage” that “we think it’s inevitable and we are moments away from the church accepting it” (“Former Megachurch Pastor Rob Bell,” Christian Post, Feb. 17, 2015). Bell made the comment when he and his wife Kristen appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday television program to discuss their new book The ZimZum of Love: A New Way of Understanding Marriage. Having rejected the Bible as the infallible Word of God, the Bells have lurched from one heresy to another. Their final authority is their own thinking and the pop culture of which they have deeply partaken in their zeal to be “relevant.” Bell said, “I think culture is already there and the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense...” We would say, first, that “the church” that Bell is talking about is a hodgepodge of professing Christians that is no church at all in a Scriptural sense. As for being irrelevant, the churches that stand on the testimony of Scripture are the most relevant institutions on earth. They alone are standing on the rock of God’s eternal Word rather than the shifting sand of human thinking and feeling. They alone are giving a prophetic voice into the darkness of this present world. Bell is right about one thing, though. He is right that many churches will accept “gay marriage” and that we are on the cusp of a great turning point in church history. Many “churches” have already accepted homosexual marriage, and others are caving on the issue daily. The apostle John had a different message from Bell’s: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. ... And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 2:15-17; 5:19).

JUDGE RULES AGAINST CHRISTIAN FLORIST FOR REFUSING TO DECORATE HOMOSEXUAL WEDDING (Friday Church News Notes, February 27, 2015, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Judge tells Christian florist she is entitled to her beliefs, but not to act on them,” OneNewsNow, Feb. 19, 2015: “A Christian florist in Washington State who refused to provide flowers to two homosexuals for their wedding violated state consumer protection and anti-discrimination law, a judge ruled Wednesday. Benton County Superior Court Judge Alex Ekstrom rejected arguments from the owner of Arlene's Flowers in Richland that her actions were protected by her freedoms of speech and religion. While religious beliefs are protected by the First Amendment, actions based on those beliefs aren't necessarily protected, he said. ‘For over 135 years, the Supreme Court has held that laws may prohibit religiously motivated action, as opposed to belief,’ Ekstrom wrote. ... Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers, sold flowers for years to customer Robert Ingersoll. She knew he was..

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Brass and Percussion in Church Worship

Republished February 26, 2015 (first published June 7, 1999) (Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org) -

The following is from the Sword & Trowel, 1998, No. 4, copyright 1998, Metropolitan Tabernacle [Elephant & Castle, London SE1 6SD. 0171-735-7076 (voice), www.MetropolitanTabernacle.org (web site), SwordTrowel@MetropolitanTabernacle.org (e-mail)] --

Original spellings are retained in this report.

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What does the Bible teach about how instruments should be used in worship? This is a burning issue today. Those who advocate the uninhibited use of solo instrumental ‘numbers’ and groups point to the Old Testament and say that God allowed all kinds of instruments and large orchestras to contribute a major musical element to worship. If God, they reason, is the same yesterday, today and forever, He must want the same kind of worship today.

But is it true that God allowed full instrumental worship in the Jewish church? Is it true, for example, that timbrels (tambourines), played by dancing maidens, led the worship? Is it true that the Jews regularly worshipped with percussion instruments and brass, and that these generated powerful, rhythmic music?

A brief look at the data will show that this idea is a thousand miles wide of the mark. In the Old Testament, God put very firm restrictions on the use of instruments, obviously to prevent the over-enjoyment of music at the human level from overpowering and eclipsing spiritual worship. Instruments were allowed, but only some, and only at certain times. So the Old Testament example teaches a great principle which is tragically thrown away by new-style worshippers today.

We realise that the Church of Jesus Christ is not under the rules of the Old Testament. Their order of worship does not bind us today. However, the general principles then taught by God still apply, and this is why we must examine the claim that God allowed uninhibited instrumental and rhythmic worship.

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The Bruised Reed And The Smoking Flax

February 25, 2015, 2015 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

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“Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth” (Isaiah 42:1-3).

For more than 40 years I have meditated on this wonderful Messianic prophecy, this amazing statement of the character of Almighty God.

We learn here that the Son of God will not break the bruised reed or quench the smoking flax (Isa. 42:3).

What a wonderful description of Christ’s tender compassion! He is the Good Shepherd who redeems sinners by His atonement and cares for them continually as their High Priest. He does not discard His people when they are weak and overcome by temptation. He has committed Himself to them. They are ordained to be conformed to His image. It will happen! He has guaranteed that it will happen. And it is an eternal process that begins in this present life.

The believer is likened to
a bruised reed. What could be weaker? At his best, the believer is a mere reed rather than a strong and majestic tree. But how often we are bruised reeds. Reeds are easily bent by the wind and injured by the elements. Reeds are highly effected by drought conditions. Likewise, the believer is easily bruised by the world, the flesh, and the devil, bent over by the storms of wickedness and trouble and persecution. We are bruised by failure to abide in God’s Word, bruised by unfaithfulness and sin and backsliding. Yet Christ does not cast away His bruised reeds; He does whatever is necessary to bring them back to health. He cares for them, nurses them, reproves and chastens them. David was a bruised reed after his sin with Bathsheba, yet Jehovah God brought him to repentance and forgave him. In his old age, David wrote great Psalms and received the plans for the Temple by the Spirit of God. The bruised reed was healed.

Likewise the believer is likened to
smoking flax. This is a picture of an oil lamp with a flax wick that is not properly trimmed or that is low on oil. Rather than burning brightly, it is smoking. Rather than providing light in the darkness as it is intended to do, it is smoldering and producing irritants. Christ doesn’t throw away His smoking lamps. Those with true faith even as weak as a smoking flax are accepted and taken into His tender care. He renews the oil and tenderly trims the wicks and fans the smoldering fibers into a bright flame. Peter was a smoking flax after he denied Christ, yet Christ restored Him, and afterward Peter’s lamp burned more brightly than ever.


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About Way of Life
- The name “Way of Life” is from Proverbs 6:23: “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.” The biblical instruction that molds men to God’s will requires reproof. It is not strictly positive. It does not focus on man’s “self-esteem.” It does not avoid controversial or unpopular subjects. It warns as well as comforts. It deals with sin and false teaching in a plain manner. It is reproves, rebukes, exhorts with all longsuffering and doctrine (2 Tim. 4:2). This is what we seek to do through Way of Life Literature. The Way of Life preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. A mail stop is maintained in Port Huron, Michigan.

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