1 Timothy 5:13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.
Exodus 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
The Apostle Paul and other New Testament writers continue this basic principle taught of the LORD to Moses concerning that most vile of offenders, ‘the tongue.’ (Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: see also - James 1:26; James 3:5-8; 1 Pet 3:10)
Being a false witness not only concerns directly lying to one another but also slandering one another with malicious reports or what is commonly known as gossiping. (Exodus 23:1 Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.) Bearing false gossip is classified with being an unrighteous witness. An example in the New Testament is that of Paul who was accused of breaking Roman laws by jealous masters. ( Acts 16:21 And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.)
In biblical times the gossips were mainly confined to local church groups in each town as Paul admonished the Ephesians use their tongue to edify his neighbour (Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.) The Apostle to the Gentiles tells the individual Titus to speak evil of no man (Titus 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.)
This is NOT to say evil and sin are not to be tackled and exposed (Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. ) but the how, why and where does not edify the Body of Christ when someone’s personal business is broadcast like a Hollywood Soap Opera and discussed across the world. EXPOSING FALSE TEACHERS and GOSSIPING are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT! The first one is scriptural but the latter is anti-scriptural. There are people that can quote references to justify their gossiping til the cows come home, but at the end of the day the Judge of the World will decide whither you’re a defender of the Faith or blethering meddling busybody.
Sadly, nowadays gossiping has went international with the help of the WWW. It appears that it is no big thing to slander a brother or sister in the Lord half way across the world even if they don’t know them. They sit in their mostly anonymous ivory towers and snipe away at the Body of Christ. Like in the Old Testament when the wise sat in the gate to discuss the matters of the people, these so called internet wise owls are just as wrong as they at the gate were about King David. . (Psalms 69:12a They that sit in the gate speak against me; ) This deceitful practice of slanderous gossip isn’t confined to a certain few, but is applicable from Princes to drunkards (Psalms 119:23a Princes also did sit and speak against me: and Psalms 69:12b and I was the song of the drunkards. )
It’s quite often an eye opener to go onto some so called Christian forums only to read character “assassinations” in which the Mafia would be proud of.
These forums, which are supposed to edify the saints, are in reality only a breeding ground for malicious speakers to vent their inner hatred and jealousy, and dragging some unsuspecting target through the mud with the most part, false accusations and slander. These forums are usually made up of people that have little to do with their time other than witch hunt for flaws in other Christians . 1Timothy 5:13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.
However, when a forum or any ministry for that matter is exercised properly it can sharpen (Pr 27:17) ones sword for contending for the faith which is within God’s armoury. It is a mere lack of character when Christians malign other Christians by bringing in personal attacks which is not only unbiblical but also gives ammunition to the antichrist.
This short treatise will look at the Biblical principles against gossiping, slandering or talebearing.
What is a talebearer?
A talebearer is a busybody Leviticus 19:16 Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD.
A talebearer reveals secrets Proverbs 11:13 A talebearer revealeth secrets: …
A talebearer causes injury and nervous anxiety. Proverbs 18:8 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.
The child of God is warned to stay clear of the talebearers in Proverbs 20:19 He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips. because the talebearer causes strife Proverbs 26:20 Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth. Being strifeful is one of the warnings the Apostle Paul gives in his letters to the Galatians (5:20)
The talebearer, as well as being strifeful is also labelled as ‘contentious’
Proverbs 26:21 As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.
The talebearer will find himself short on friends when his sin finds him out Nu 32:23b. Talebearer beware, these Christians are only doing what is scriptural which is to avoid the talebearer ( Proverbs 20:19)
When confronted the talebearer claims to be like the Bereans, and is only trying to reveal the truth to the world by naming and shaming the culprit. This feeble excuse is a mere clutching at straws and their claim is obviously very much of ‘private interpretation’ in an attempt to justify their slanderous actions!
The Bereans were those noble who searched the scriptures whether it were so Ac 17:11, UNLIKE talebearers who search the daily tabloids or internet to malign and spread muck further afield in total disregard of the scriptures Proverbs 11:13 … but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.
When a talebearer castigates some brother or sister in the Lord, we have to assume that they do not examine themselves. It’s as if they have a short memory when it comes to scripture for instance, the Lord said “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” John 8:7
Matthew 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Matthew 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
These ‘holier than thou’ (so called) resist being a ‘doer’ of the word by campaigning together in forums instigating slanderous stories (giving no heed to whither the dirt they spread be true or false). There is a saying that the more you stand on dirt the more it spreads! And how much faster in spreading than on the WWW!
The talebearer has backslidden so much that he is without the pricking of his conscience to even pray for that brother or sister. Their mission is to maliciously spread rumours and gossip among the brethren. To them it’s like a vendetta that needs to be accomplished. The talebearer maligns another Christian’s character only because it does not line up with his ideals or opinions; unfortunately at this stage the authority of the scriptures are far from his mind whilst targeting an unknowing victim of prey. The strifeful Christian does not need to know or have met the victims acquaintance to gossip and spread malicious rumours.
Christian beware of being a talebearer and associating with one.
Proverbs 17:9 ... but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.
Nehemiah was slanderously attacked and maliciously spoken about by Tobiah (Nehemiah 6)
These whisperers ( Proverbs 16:28) gossiped behind the back of the faithful servant of God to destroy the works of God through Nehemiah.
The slanderous talebearer should think soberly about himself and the whispering campaign in which he is embarking upon. The whispering Christian is NOT led by the Holy Spirit, but is used by Satan. The talebearer is being led by what is called a ‘familiar spirit’ Isaiah 29:4.
Most Christians know not to consult with spirit guides or familiar spirits as Saul did. 1Sa 28:7. The talebearer does not realise the wiles of the devil, and when he gossips and whispers against another saint, not only is he consulting with the familiar spirit but is promoting the devils empire!
King David who was a self confessed sinner Psalm 41:4 asked the Lord, when He will be rid of the whisperers (Psalms 41:5 Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish?)
Christian beware of whispering against a saint of God
The gibbering gossip falls foul of the commandment “ Thou shalt not bear false witness” because they are usually only privy to hearsay and exaggerated tittle tattle! This tittle tattle does nothing for the spiritual body of Christ. If it is aimed at a brother in Christ it merely wounds a member of the body and that body is Christ. Ac 9:4. If it is aimed at a lost soul, just how this would be a witness or a testimony to that lost soul to come to repentance is beyond me. The scripture that comes to mind for the slack of tongue is Ecclesiastes 5:3 ... and a fool's voice is known by multitude of words.
If you find yourself cut off from the saints, don’t say you haven’t been warned Psalms 101:5 Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.
A fool is one that meddles - Proverbs 20:3 It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling. DON’T BE A FOOL!
The wicked husband that speaks falsely and belittles his wife is worthy of chastisement - Deuteronomy 22:13-19 If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: And the damsel's father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her; And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him; And they shall amerce him in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days.
If you, Christian are caught in the fiery tongue of a tittle tattler or the crooked digits via the internet, these busybodies having nothing better to do than spread muck about you. Please remember -
It matters not what others say, in ridicule or fun – live that you may hear HIM say to you ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant’! God judges us all by what we do, not by what others say about you. A good example for the Christian is that of Joseph when he faced unwarranted flak Genesis 39:14 That she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice:
The Lord will recompense and like Joseph He will deliver you from slanderous misery to many riches and blessings. So stay strong in the Lord
The devouring whisperer has no better sense, that it is better to bite his own tongue other than have a biting tongue. He fails to see or blatantly ignores scripture.
James 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.