Sunday, January 02, 2005

GOSSIP: Overt Anonymity Or Covert Animosity!

"You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people, and you are not to act against the life of your neighbor; I am the LORD."
Leviticus 19:16
Your organist has bad breath, but you’re certain of the consequences if you tell her; your deacon chairman hugs the ladies a little too enthusiastically, but to tell him is one step away from updating your resume. Well, finally there’s a way to tell them without all of the potential conflict.

Several Internet companies will anonymously inform anyone about anything, for a price. The put-downs come in plain envelopes with phony return addresses. [Ed. Note: You’ll have to search out the URLs yourself, since I don’t agree with this approach to problem solving.]

Few things are more painful among members of the Body of Christ than anonymous criticism.

It comes in all forms and sizes:
  1. "Well, John, I’d love to tell you who told me but they asked not to be identified."
  2. Also: "I’m sorry, pastor, but I just can’t remember who told me you were having an affair."
  3. And: "Ordinarily I wouldn’t pass on stuff like this, but we’re such good friends I just had to tell you."
  4. Or: "I assure you, several people told me. And, no, I can’t remember who!"
  5. Likewise: "Pastor, you really ought to give this some thought. After all, I’ve heard EVERYBODY is talking about it."
  6. Then: "Personally, I think you’re a fine teacher. I just thought you like know a lot of others don’t agree."
Nevertheless messages clothed in the armor of anonymity are stealth bombs, intended to inflict the greatest damage at the least cost by a cowardly enemy.

The evil foundation of such criminal communication is the bedrock of Hell itself. People involved in rumor mongering, backbiting and gossip are misguided missiles from Satan himself.

We must not only abstain from evil [1 Thessalonians 5:22] but avoid even the hint of it [Ephesians 5:3].

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