“1 “Don’t pass on malicious gossip. “Don’t link up with a wicked person and give corrupt testimony. 2 Don’t go along with the crowd in doing evil and don’t fudge your testimony in a case just to please the crowd”. Exodus 23:1-2 (MSG)
“ 8 In conclusion, my friends, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable.” Philippians 4:8 (TEV)
It is the most trying thing about FB and Google+ and other social media. It is a sin that needs to be checked, and it is more rampant and as devastating as any thing the church normally publicly protests.
It is not just violating the 8th commandment, but is a complete disregard of it, and the two passages above. The incessant number of rumors, most of them lies, that we are so willing to pass on, without checking the facts behind the story, something that can be done with a highlight and a click or two. Of course, we also takes these “gems” of wisdom with us, and they end up in conversations over lunch, or preceding Bible Studies and Worship services, giving more fuel to the falsehood, because people we know and care about shared them with us.
These days, many of them are still about the President of the United States. Even more about the Pope who is about to retire, or about the church he oversees. But there are many targets out there, and the gossip and slander is…sickening.
I will be the first one to admit that I have done this in the past.
I will also admit that with both men, and their predecessors and positions I have some issues. (Less with this particular pope, more with the theology he inherits from the Council of Trent) If we have issues – deal with the real issues. Do not degrade someone, do not dismiss someone based on heresay and gossip that has nothing to do with the issues. engage in discourse with those who can affect them. They are not the enemy…nor is any target of gossip and slander. (see Eph 6)
There are a number of logical positions that can be made about this topic – how such spreading such gossip affects your own credibility, how it is simply sin, how it hardens you, and affects your prayer life, and your relationship as you dismiss other sins just as easily.
But simply put – it is sin, and we are called to abstain from it, be reconciled to those damaged by it, and to confess it. Grace will not abound because you share that picture, or that article, or that quip or slam… it just won’t.
But when we sin, confess it, and know we are forgiven…and cleansed… and then go and sin no more..