“Did you hear what Andy Stanley said about small churches? Oh, I know he apologized but that isn’t enough; his statements revealed his true heart. Let’s write an open letter!”
“Did you know that Rick Warren is the founder of Chrislam, a new religion aimed at combining Christianity and Islam? What, there’s no such thing? Wait, he’s denied it time and time again? Well, I think it’s disgusting either way!”
“I knew that Duggar family was strange from the moment I saw the first episode…but by season 3 I was convinced!”
“Nobody with a smile that big, a church that large and messages that sappy can possibly be a real Christian, let alone a legitimate Pastor.”
“With a car that nice, he better be tithing.”
“Pastor Bob wasn’t shaking hands after church like he usually does, probably a sign of a tough elders meeting last night.”
“Can you believe how rowdy Brianna was last night? Her parents must not be paying her enough attention at home.”
Christian gossip. I’m guilty of it. So are you. Let’s stop it already. Seriously. I’ve never seen a problem solved by it, or a brother or sister in Christ made better because of it. I’ve never seen an open letter, which seems to be the body’s favorite new way of acting pious and concerned while really only serving one’s own purposes, have the desired effect.
Christian gossip on social media is the worst kind. People get worked into a frenzy, the accused feels forced into some sort of correction or apology, people get worked into a bigger frenzy than before as they dissect and critique the apology. Was it genuine? Were the thirty-five steps of true repentance followed in the proper order? Gross.
Somebody once said that Christianity is the only army in which the soldiers shoot their own wounded. Think about that for a minute. That’s our reputation? How many triggers have you pulled? How often have I added ammunition to the firing squad by reading a post or nodding in agreement when a fellow soldier is in somebody’s sights?
Jesus told us that we reap what we sow. He reminded us to be faithful in the little things. He exhorted us to do unto others as we would want done to ourselves. Christian gossip (is there even such a thing?) could easily be compared to the leaven that so quickly spreads as discussed in Galatians.
We’ve become far too comfortable with it. At least I have. There are lots of reasons it’s dangerous, but for youth workers the biggest pitfall may be in the list at the top of this post.
You see, when we begin feeling comfortable taking shots at those who are distant, or famous, we slowly become more and more comfortable taking shots at those who are much closer.
And everybody knows a “point blank” shot almost always does more damage than one from a distance.