Why do we as church members and leaders tolerate church gossip? We have no problem attacking alcohol, drugs, sexual sin, abortion, gay rights, dancing, gambling, etc, etc, but ignore the church gossip. Why do we minimize this? There are too many verses to list that talk about the tongue, talebearers, gossips, false witness, people that create discord among the church members and the like. For example from Proverbs Proverbs 18:21 English Standard Version (ESV) 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. One can spot them a mile away. Here they come again with another story. There can only be two reasons to tell such a story. 1. They are interested in seeking your help in restoring the person to the Lord as prescribed in Matthew or 2. They get their jollies from spreading tales at the expense of others sins or misfortune. Once I figure out it is number 2, I end the conversation and walk away. More reputations have been destroyed from the tongue than any other source. Sometimes these reputations took years to build. From the perspective of the gossip, it makes no difference if the story is true or not. It is a source of evil enjoyment, yet we do nothing about it. Here are a few more verses. Proverbs 21:23 ESV Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble. Ecclesiastes 3:7 ESV A time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 1 Peter 3:10 ESV For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; Matthew 12:36-37 ESV I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Proverbs 12:18 ESV There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. James 1:26 ESV If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. Proverbs 29:20 ESV Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him. James 3:6-10 ESV And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. James 3:8 ESV But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:1-18 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! ... Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Proverbs 10:19 ESV When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent. Proverbs 17:27 ESV Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Proverbs 10:8 ESV The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin. 1 John 1:9 ESV If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. James 3:6 ESV And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. 1 John 4:1 ESV Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. Proverbs 6:16-19 ESV There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. Proverbs 20:19 ESV Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler. Matthew 5:22 ESV But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. Psalm 1:1-6 ESV Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; ... 1 Timothy 3:1-16 ESV The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? ... John 8:44 ESV You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Luke 13:1-35 ESV There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” ... Matthew 18:1-35 ESV At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, ... Matthew 12:1-50 ESV At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? ... Matthew 7:21-23 ESV “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Psalm 12:3-4 ESV May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that makes great boasts, those who say, “With our tongue we will prevail, our lips are with us; who is master over us?” We are not doing anyone in the church who practices this any favors by letting this pass. The only thing that sends someone to hell is not being a Christian, however, a gossip that destroys at every chance is not the mark of a Christian.