Sunday, October 18, 2015

Resisting Gossip: Winning the War of the Wagging Tongue



Welcome!

Thanks for visiting my blog to find out more about Resisting Gossip: Winning the War of the Wagging Tongue.  

Resisting Gossip was released on September 3, 2013 by CLC Publications.

Learn More

Preview, download, and read the endorsements, table of contents, foreword by Ed Welch of CCEF, introduction, and first chapter here.

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Resisting Gossip is available through these and other booksellers:

     Amazon

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     ChristianBook.com

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     Next Step Resources

and in a growing list of e-book formats.

Now Even More

Go deeper into Resisting Gossip with the new participant's guide and Bible study Resisting Gossip Together, the corresponding video teaching series, plus the Spanish version, Resistiendo el Chisme, and the French version, Résister à la Médisance.

6 comments:

Hello pastor thank you for dropping by my blog...We enjoy reading Resisting Gossip...its a very relevant issue in churches today...sadly gossiping is much worst in churches than from those unbelievers...Praying that your book will make a great impact to Christians...

Hey Matt,

I have been reading your book recently and have found some of it really useful. I have been wrestling with the issue of gossip for some time and it has given me much clarity on certain things. But I have a question that I hope you won't mind answering and it has to do with the only caveat to gossiping - warning others.

In your opening chapter (p.28) you say that there are times when we have to talk about people who are not present and even share bad things about them. You say that this falls in line with the biblical principle of 'warning others' which will be discussed later in chapter 5.

In chapter 5, section 3, under the subheading 'exception: warnings'(pp. 85-86) you say that there are times when we HAVE to talk about someone else without them being present in order to warn others. Although you again state that warning others is a biblical principle you fail to quote the Bible anywhere to back this up. Instead you illustrate the point with a story of a friend of yours, John, who warns his friend, Ryan, about a drug taking prospective boyfriend of Ryan's daughter. But the story is massively flawed.

Your friend John is already acting on second hand information (some seemingly credible information - from somebody else?) which he then shares with his friend Ryan. He is obviously not 100% sure about the information he is passing on because he says that it might turn out to be a misunderstanding and he knows that the character of Michael is on the whole good.

Rather than being a good example of warning others this is a good example of gossip masquerading as warning. The biblical principle would surely have been for John to go to Michael. He obviously knows him and he has an opportunity to confront him about his sin thus allowing Micheal to repent, if at all Michael needs to do this as the info doesn't sound compelling.

If Michael fails to change his ways then ideally John brings somebody else in to challenge Michael together, and failing that it is either brought before the church or if Michael isn't a Christian then he is told that Ryan and his daughter will now be informed about his behaviour.

That is the only pattern of talking about others to warn them that I see in the Bible (Matthew 18:15-17). The details of the story that you relay would only be applicable as the final stage when all other options have been exhausted and there is no repentance. And this should only be done after John is 100% sure of the information about Michael.

I would be really interested to know what the biblical principle of warning others that you implicitly refer to is, because at the moment the only guiding principle you offer is to treat others as you would want to be treated yourself.

Many thanks
Matt

Matt,

Thanks for your note and your very good, well-stated question.

This is a busy season, and I don't have the time right now to respond as your question deserves. I look forward to further interaction soon.

-Matt Mitchell

Thanks for responding so quickly Matt. I look forward to your reply and hope that you have a great Christmas season.

All the best
Matt

Matt,

Just a quick note to let you know I haven't forgotten about you! I'm sorry that it's already been over a month since you sent your question. I hope to have some substantive thoughts for you next week. If not then, then the first full week of February.

-Matt