on the subject of gossip.....

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by menageriekeeper, Jun 21, 2005.

  1. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
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  2. jdcanady

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    What made the first thread gossip was the personal, scandalous details.
     
  3. menageriekeeper

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    Please be a bit more specific, JD.

    Just which details were to personal to divulge?
     
  4. jdcanady

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    Any details concerning the children as they grew up and the problems they had. Any details concerning negative feelings the family members were suppose to have had about the man. Any details concerning what other people were suppose to have said.
     
  5. menageriekeeper

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    Okay, granted that these could be intensely personal issues if we knew exactly to whom they belonged, how are they gossip if no one know who these folks really are?

    In the second thread we found out that the man was a preacher with a son(hmm, sounds familiar) and then it was speculated how the child might feel. How then is this NOT gossip?
     
  6. OCC

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    So that would make almost every post in the Calvinism/Arminianism forum gossip then right? I can't believe some of the things people say about CHRISTIAN brothers and sisters.
     
  7. jdcanady

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    The definition of gossip does not make it necessary to include a person's name. It doesn't even matter if the comments are true. It is gossip if you repeat personal, scandalous information. It also doesn't have to include motives. IMO, motivations do not matter. The nature of the information is what makes it gossip.
     
  8. jdcanady

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    I don't post in the Calvinism/Arminianism forum, so I wouldn't know.
     
  9. jdcanady

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    I have not said what occurred in the second thread was not gossip.
     
  10. TexasSky

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    JD -

    The bible actually says, "Thou shalt not bear false wittness." That's where we get the phrase "you shouldn't gossip from."

    I went out of my way in that thread to be sure I did follow that commandment.

    1) I stuck to the truth as I knew it to be.
    2) I avoided labeling the man.
    3) I had honorable intentions. I wanted to know if I had done the right thing. I wanted Christian advice.

    One reason I shared the "details" (which by the way, were not details), is because if I'd just said, "What should you do if a man is unfit for the pulpit, and...." because it wasn't my place to declare him unfit.

    If I said, "I have doubts," it would have left too much unspoken in regards to how severe the doubts were or weren't.

    Now, you've left me in a bit of a quandry. I actually feel that the only way to disprove your accusations of gossip would be to supply you with what you think you already have - the details to the story. Details that really aren't any of your business.

    You have a general outline of the matters of concern. Nothing more.
     
  11. jdcanady

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    By the way, you never know how information like this can get back to people. How do you know a relative doesn't visit this board? How do you know if someone who was a member of the same church as TS, knows she uses that sign in name, moved to another state, and now is a member of the church considering him for a pastorate? How do you know that another member who visits the board, saw the post and notified the man involved?

    How do you know that someone from the church the pastor has applied to, doesn't visit this board? How do you know if search committe members from 50 different churches that are interviewing pastors that have pastored in Texas and have four grown children, are now having second thoughts about a candidate, based on what was said?

    A little far fetched? Maybe, but you never know how such information can make it's way back to people.

    There was a way this could have been done without providing the details that made it gossip.
     
  12. gb93433

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    Gossip is anything which will damage another. It can be true or false.
     
  13. BillyMac

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    REALLY???

    Share it........ please.
     
  14. TexasSky

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    JD,

    Regarding your questions. Since I have never said where the man was, where he is now, or where and when I knew him - odds are slim anyone who might know him who did it would know who I spoke of.

    Odds go even lower when you figure that they don't know who ~I~ am.

    Odds go even LOWER when you learn that the people who are the man's search committee don't KNOW that I was asked about this. They asked a man I know for his opinion. He knows that only a very few people know the details, and that we've kept the secret, so he came to me and said, "What should I do? If I recommend him, and I'm wrong, I've wronged a church. If I refuse to recommend him, without saying why, I may have cost him a pulpit because who knows what they will imagine, if I recommend him and tell them why, I may be bringing up things that he's overcome. What should I say?"

    And my answer to that man was "Pray about it, maybe investigate it further."

    I couldn't and wouldn't go to my own church or to his about this, because that WOULD be spreading gossip.

    I thought coming to strangers who were Christian and asking for their advice was the best thing to do.

    Obviously you feel I need to be beaten with a cat-of-nine-tails for that, but I truly, truly was trying to figure out what was the best thing from a Godly standpoint, and which was worse. Keeping that kind of information from a search committee or sharing that kind of information with a search committee.

    Next time, instead of asking for Christian advice, I'll just tell the people, "I'll never recommend that man," and let the chips fall where they may, and the imaginations run where they will.
     
  15. menageriekeeper

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    I suppose I should present my own opinion on this subject.

    Encarta defines the act of gossip this way:

    talk about other people: to spread rumors or tell people the personal details of others' lives, especially maliciously

    So I'm going to start with that:


    To spread rumors...:

    As far as we know, neither account is the whole truth and nothing but the truth. So by that criterea both accounts are gossip.


    ...to tell the personal details of others lives...:

    We were told certain details of both men's lives. Both were similar to a certain extent; Both were men, both had one or more children(no specific numbers for either, mind you), both were pastors and both had done something that raised questions in the mind of the author of the thread.

    How personal are those things, really?

    No names or locations were given, although in the second thread it is revealed that the man in question is the author's pastor. I suppose a specific person could be located with that information.

    Such details as were given seem to me to be general as opposed to personal. Even down to the specifics of each complaint.

    What we are left with is:

    one man didn't fulfill his VBS obligations(possible)

    and

    one man didn't fulfill his obligation to love his family(possibly)

    that is pretty general in my book. To be personal we would need names and locations.

    Not gossip by this criteria.


    ....especially maliciously:

    Nothing in either thread struck me as being particularly malicious. In the second thread there was frustration expressed but not maliciousness. In the first thread there was a conversation with another unknown person that dicussed the man in question, but nothing presented was malicious.

    So here again we have nothing that seems to be gossip.

    So 2 out of 3 steps in our definition say that neither topic was gossip and the other says that BOTH were gossip.

    I'm with the majority. The OP of neither thread is actual gossip.

    ----------------------------------------------

    The next question is: If someone asked you your opinion about someone else's actions or character, when does honest discussion between two people who both know all the personal details of a situation become gossip?

    I say when that information is presented to a third party who is not going to be affected by the situation in any way and has no use for the info except sensationalism.

    For instance, A and B may know that C who lives in New York City, NY at such and such specific address was once convicted as a child molester. If they share that info with D who happens to live next door to C that is not gossip. It would also not be gossip to ask any general person off the street, whether or not they should tell the next door neighbor that C was a convicted molester so long as they didn't identify who C actually is.

    It would be gossip to tell E that C was once convicted of being a child molester if E lives on the other side of the country and the possibility that there will ever be contact between the two. (in other words that E will not be affected by the information)

    While I have presented an extreme example I believe that almost any situation can be inserted here.

    This is what constituates gossip in my world, what say ye?


    (I'll be gone till this evening late, carry on without me and I'll catch up.)
     
  16. jdcanady

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    BillyMac

    A thread could have been started that asked how does a pastor's relationship with his family effect his qualifications for ministry and what responsibility (if any) does a church have in providing negative information to another church that a former pastor is a candidate for.
     
  17. OCC

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    Going by that definition every personal, scandalous story in the Bible would be gossip. And so would the news.
     
  18. TexasSky

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    JD,

    If I had asked the question the way you suggested I would have been pointed to Timothy and the verses that say a man should have his house in order.

    Which wouldn't really address the issue. What IS having your house in order? What counts as "not in order?" How "unorderly" is "too unorderly"? Do the sins of the children reflect on the father?

    I might, eventually, have gotten a real answer, but as it is, it came up pretty quickly that most felt the man should be given the benefit of the doubt, which is what I did.
     
  19. jdcanady

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    TexasSky

    Proverbs 20:19 says something about gossip. The word there is taken from two words that literally mean "to make bear, reveal, to be naked." The second word means "to open the lips." It has connotations of openly revealing something that is shameful about another. It doesn't mean it has to be false, it doesn't mean your motivations have to be bad, though they often are bad. (No, I didn't say your motivations were bad.) That is where we get the definition of gossip, not from "do not bear false witness".

    In the N.T., Paul uses several words for gossip. Some have the meaning of a "false accuser" (one is "diablos" from which we get "devil") (No, I am not calling you the devil)

    Another word means "to bubble", i.e. a tattler, a whisperer, a slanderer.

    All of the words have in common the idea of revealing details about someones life.
     
  20. Gold Dragon

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    I don't think either post is gossip.
     

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