Author Topic: I don't know which one I hate more - living in rumorville or church discipline  (Read 18828 times)

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Offline spurly

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I am living in a small town where everyone knows everyone for the first time in my life.  Can I be honest with you - I hate, I despise, I abhor the rumor mill.  I have seen first hand the way it is used to literally destroy people's lives.

Is there anything I hate worse than the rumor mill?  Maybe.  Maybe it is when your church gets a bad reputation in the community rumor mill and you have to talk to people about those rumors because of the shame those rumors are bringing on Jesus Christ even when there is no truth to them.

Any small town ministers out there?  How do handly the rumor mill.


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Offline Bon Voyage

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I am living in a small town where everyone knows everyone for the first time in my life.  Can I be honest with you - I hate, I despise, I abhor the rumor mill.  I have seen first hand the way it is used to literally destroy people's lives.

Is there anything I hate worse than the rumor mill?  Maybe.  Maybe it is when your church gets a bad reputation in the community rumor mill and you have to talk to people about those rumors because of the shame those rumors are bringing on Jesus Christ even when there is no truth to them.

Any small town ministers out there?  How do handly the rumor mill.



My father spent over 18 years in one small town and is now on sabbatical.  The eldership at that congregation has really hurt the congregation by not dealing with the rumor mill.  Church discipline is badly needed.

Offline Jimbob

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I am living in a small town where everyone knows everyone for the first time in my life.  Can I be honest with you - I hate, I despise, I abhor the rumor mill.  I have seen first hand the way it is used to literally destroy people's lives.

Is there anything I hate worse than the rumor mill?  Maybe.  Maybe it is when your church gets a bad reputation in the community rumor mill and you have to talk to people about those rumors because of the shame those rumors are bringing on Jesus Christ even when there is no truth to them.

Any small town ministers out there?  How do handly the rumor mill.


Been there.  The only prescription I found was this:  be faithful and show the love of Christ with integrity.  There will still be rumors, and there will always be people ready & willing to believe them.  But, if your life pours water rather than fire on the rumors, they eventually are shown to be the rumor mongers they are.

It's a bit of the old "burning coals factor" and this insight from Peter:

"Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us." 1st Peter 2:12 NIV

It's the long view rather than the short view.  I've seen little that helps in the short term, because you just become a firefighter, constantly spending all your energies trying to contain every little rumor.  It's better to work on one's character (or the congregation's character) and let the life(ves) you live douse the rumors.

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Offline spurly

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Why do Christians seem to get so much joy out of participating in the rumor mill?  That's one of the things that really bugs me.

Offline spurly

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I am living in a small town where everyone knows everyone for the first time in my life.  Can I be honest with you - I hate, I despise, I abhor the rumor mill.  I have seen first hand the way it is used to literally destroy people's lives.

Is there anything I hate worse than the rumor mill?  Maybe.  Maybe it is when your church gets a bad reputation in the community rumor mill and you have to talk to people about those rumors because of the shame those rumors are bringing on Jesus Christ even when there is no truth to them.

Any small town ministers out there?  How do handly the rumor mill.



My father spent over 18 years in one small town and is now on sabbatical.  The eldership at that congregation has really hurt the congregation by not dealing with the rumor mill.  Church discipline is badly needed.

Are you referring to discipline for those who slander others and spread gossip?

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Offline Jimbob

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Why do Christians seem to get so much joy out of participating in the rumor mill?  That's one of the things that really bugs me.
I don't know; I share your bafflement. 

Offline Bon Voyage

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I am living in a small town where everyone knows everyone for the first time in my life.  Can I be honest with you - I hate, I despise, I abhor the rumor mill.  I have seen first hand the way it is used to literally destroy people's lives.

Is there anything I hate worse than the rumor mill?  Maybe.  Maybe it is when your church gets a bad reputation in the community rumor mill and you have to talk to people about those rumors because of the shame those rumors are bringing on Jesus Christ even when there is no truth to them.

Any small town ministers out there?  How do handly the rumor mill.



My father spent over 18 years in one small town and is now on sabbatical.  The eldership at that congregation has really hurt the congregation by not dealing with the rumor mill.  Church discipline is badly needed.

Are you referring to discipline for those who slander others and spread gossip?

Yes.  Specifically some were taking church business to the community.

Offline Jimmy

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Why do Christians seem to get so much joy out of participating in the rumor mill?  That's one of the things that really bugs me.

Because we are still human and we still sin.

Offline spurly

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Why do Christians seem to get so much joy out of participating in the rumor mill?  That's one of the things that really bugs me.

Because we are still human and we still sin.

I think it is more along the lines that they rationalize it by saying:  "I am not committing the big sins.  I am not committing adultery.  I'm not embezzling.  I'm not killing someone."  But they don't stop to realize that with their words they are killing their brother or sister in Christ and they are ruining the reputation of the body of Christ.

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Offline zoonance

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Aren't rumors sometimes disquised as "prayer requests"?

Offline spurly

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Aren't rumors sometimes disquised as "prayer requests"?

Unfortunately.  And when it occurs in the assembly, the person in charge needs to nip it in the bud immediately.

Offline internationalelf

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Why do Christians seem to get so much joy out of participating in the rumor mill?  That's one of the things that really bugs me.

Because we are still human and we still sin.

I think it is more along the lines that they rationalize it by saying:  "I am not committing the big sins.  I am not committing adultery.  I'm not embezzling.  I'm not killing someone."  But they don't stop to realize that with their words they are killing their brother or sister in Christ and they are ruining the reputation of the body of Christ.


Rumor spreaders actually believe that they are performing a service. it's tied in with the idea some Christians have that the best way to show the love of Christ is by pointing out the sins in other peoples' lives. They lack the patience to leave this for the Holy Spirit to do, so they take it into their own hands and make it their business.

Offline janine

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Why do Christians seem to get so much joy out of participating in the rumor mill?  That's one of the things that really bugs me.
I don't know; I share your bafflement. 
A good, high-quality, juicy gossip session is like heroin.  That's why.  Being a Christian does not stop you from thoroughly enjoying a thing that feels good.  It's not something that automatically shows it evil true effects right away.  It takes discernment, and an interest in maintaining one's holiness, and a sweet heart, to sidestep gossip and (hopefully) help quash it.

Offline sopranette

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I live in a small town, so yes, I know what you mean. Probaably happens in big town churches, too.  I don't know.

love,

Sopranette

Offline rrawd

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I am living in a small town where everyone knows everyone for the first time in my life.  Can I be honest with you - I hate, I despise, I abhor the rumor mill.  I have seen first hand the way it is used to literally destroy people's lives.

Is there anything I hate worse than the rumor mill?  Maybe.  Maybe it is when your church gets a bad reputation in the community rumor mill and you have to talk to people about those rumors because of the shame those rumors are bringing on Jesus Christ even when there is no truth to them.

Any small town ministers out there?  How do handly the rumor mill.


     I live in a small down east town in maine. The rumors are bad here as well. It is never an easy thing to deal with. I have even went to the extent of changing what my sermon was going to be to ones on gossiping. well I can truely say I feel your pain. I pray and pray. God gave them free will though and I try and can not change the whole town. Just show them the Love Christ would show them thats the best you can do.

Offline Jimbob

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I live in a small town, so yes, I know what you mean. Probaably happens in big town churches, too.  I don't know.

love,

Sopranette
It happens wherever three+ people live.  I suppose it could happen in among just two, if one was schizophrenic.  ::pondering::

Offline Victorious

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Not a small town minister, but his wife and helpmate. 

The rumor mill is a definite inevitability in a small town and our church has been slandered by those who left because they didn't want to be held accountable to the pastor (or anyone else) in the ministry they were chosen to lead (in this case, our food bank.)  Some left with them after theywere told untruths.  The good news?  Eventually, the truth became known and NEW people from the town decided to attend and stand behind us.  The perpetrators are now exposed and the Lord is continuing to build His church with the faithful.

How did my husband handle it?  He told the congregation that we were being slandered in town and then told them the facts.  The one who began the rumors made the mistake of writing a letter that incriminated her and he discussed this only with his two deacons and the treasurer.

What to do?  I can't stress more that your church should PRAY.  Pray that God would bring all facts to light.  Pray for your congregation that they will not be blinded by the lies.  Pray for those who are doing this and ask God to intervene. 

ex cathedra

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John 15:18

The World Hates the Disciples
 18"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first

Matthew 26:59
The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death


Matthew 27:37
Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.


1 John 5:4
for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.

Offline ruby

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I know first hand what rumors and backbiting can do to a church.  Our family is currently in between assignments because rumors and backbiting in our last church made it necessary for us to leave.  You must nip it in the bud.  Backbiting is wicked and sinful behavior and it is warned against several times in Scripture (Ps 15:3; 25:23; Rom 1:30).  It is one of the ways that the enemy attacks the church with intent to destroy.  Matthew 18:15-18 gives the guidelines for discipline, resolution and restoration.  Galatians 6:1-3 tells us how we should approach fellow believers whom have erred.

When the church refuses to be disciplined and refuses to follow proper guidelines for resolution and restoration, it may be time to separate from them.  Roman 16:17-18 talks about the importance of knowing doctrine and when things are happening against that which you know to be right, you must avoid them.  My husband often says "when you know the normal; the abnormal stands out".  Know the Word and that which go against the Word will be clear to you.

The decision to leave a ministry should only come after much prayer and after it is apparent that sound Biblical advice is being rejected.  Jesus preached that sometimes it is necessary to shake the dust of your feet and move on (Matt 10:14; Mark 6:11 and Luke 9:5).  The Bible even records a time when Paul and Barnabas shook the dust from their feet as a testimony against the non believers that would not receive them (Acts 13:48-51).

It is perhaps one of the most difficult things to deal with in a church ... that rumor mill, or as the Bible calls it "backbiting".  I am thankful that God gives us the Bible to help us to know how to deal with this sinful behavior and how to nip it in the bud.

Offline ruby

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Why do Christians seem to get so much joy out of participating in the rumor mill?  That's one of the things that really bugs me.
I don't know; I share your bafflement. 
I think it is because we all have an issue with pride and we fall into temptation because our flesh feeds on pride. We practice the rule :If you ain't part of the problem and you ain't part of the solution, then you don't need to know. Sometimes you just need to say (in meekness) that you really do not want to discuss "fill in the blank here" because it has nothing to do with you.  If someone is insulted or "offended" by that, well then we are back to the "pride" thing aren't we?
« Last Edit: Sun May 17, 2009 - 17:32:38 by ruby »

Offline walker starr

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I am not a minister but I , as a teenager , spent four years in a town with a population of 3
300 people and seven churches, (also) I think seven rumor mills. It was the most miserable seven years of my life.  The entire town knew at all times what we were doing even when we were not doing it and never did do it,what ever 'it' was.  So while I can neither share your experience nor help you with it, I can and do emphasise.  GOD Bless. ::smile::

Fem2009

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Why do Christians seem to get so much joy out of participating in the rumor mill?  That's one of the things that really bugs me.

Me too. I've observed this. Especially among women.

Offline phoebe

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Why do Christians seem to get so much joy out of participating in the rumor mill?  That's one of the things that really bugs me.

Lucado said something like: when fisherman don't fish, they fight. I think it works the same with the rumor mill. When fisherman don't fish, they talk about other fisherman who are fishing.

We have always been in small towns and small churches. I love them dearly. But this is one for the "negative" side of the positive-negative columns.


[didn't realize we were digging up stuff from the "old days".]

Fem2009

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I live in a small town, so yes, I know what you mean. Probaably happens in big town churches, too.  I don't know.

love,

Sopranette
It happens wherever three+ people live.  I suppose it could happen in among just two, if one was schizophrenic.  ::pondering::
::applause::


Fem2009

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I know first hand what rumors and backbiting can do to a church.  Our family is currently in between assignments because rumors and backbiting in our last church made it necessary for us to leave.  You must nip it in the bud.  Backbiting is wicked and sinful behavior and it is warned against several times in Scripture (Ps 15:3; 25:23; Rom 1:30).  It is one of the ways that the enemy attacks the church with intent to destroy.  Matthew 18:15-18 gives the guidelines for discipline, resolution and restoration.  Galatians 6:1-3 tells us how we should approach fellow believers whom have erred.

When the church refuses to be disciplined and refuses to follow proper guidelines for resolution and restoration, it may be time to separate from them.  Roman 16:17-18 talks about the importance of knowing doctrine and when things are happening against that which you know to be right, you must avoid them.  My husband often says "when you know the normal; the abnormal stands out".  Know the Word and that which go against the Word will be clear to you.

The decision to leave a ministry should only come after much prayer and after it is apparent that sound Biblical advice is being rejected.  Jesus preached that sometimes it is necessary to shake the dust of your feet and move on (Matt 10:14; Mark 6:11 and Luke 9:5).  The Bible even records a time when Paul and Barnabas shook the dust from their feet as a testimony against the non believers that would not receive them (Acts 13:48-51).

It is perhaps one of the most difficult things to deal with in a church ... that rumor mill, or as the Bible calls it "backbiting".  I am thankful that God gives us the Bible to help us to know how to deal with this sinful behavior and how to nip it in the bud.


This is great, thanks!  ::tippinghat::

Offline Christian Commando

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I don't hate any of the "negatives", I work with them. When people spread negatives about the Church or myself, i do more out in the open to witness for Christ, to prove them wrong.

I use them as incentives to do more, openly in public to bring those gossiping, into a position to need to prove thier gossip to those they lied to.

When people have asked me whats going on behind closed doors others are questioning, I tell them to come to Church and find out for themselves.

This is why I was asked quite a few years ago, to be a Moderator on one of the Largest Prayer Sites on the internet. I don't see things as negative, but as incentives. I seek God to help me find ways to Glorify Him thru retorical remarks/actions against Him or me.

Do this and you'll be supprised, how God can turn the tide over to the "gossip chain" needing to defend thier gossip instead.

God Bless!!

Offline E-RPM SOFT COM

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Why do Christians seem to get so much joy out of participating in the rumor mill?  That's one of the things that really bugs me


« Last Edit: Tue Oct 13, 2009 - 11:10:33 by spurly »

Offline walker starr

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     Its simply the nature of human beings.

larry2

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"The Buck Stops Here" was a sign former President Trueman had on his desk. Can we apply that to our lives when tales, or even truth is passed our way? I will take the blame for things assigned to me, and not pass tales of others. You will be amazed how quickly the results of your not spreading the message given you will exclude you from future gossip being given to you.

Should we help spread the rumors that are sure to come, or will you show the love of Shem and Japheth who hid the nakedness of their father Noah in Genesis 9:20-23?

If you ever take notice, certain in the church have a given talent of spreading gossip by asking prayer for someone; we need to pray for Sister Soandso because her husband is cheating on her. Pray for Brother and Sister Whatchamacallit's daughter who is now pregnant. If they had prayed when they heard it, they possibly didn't think that was enough, and needed your prayer also; God must only listen to group prayer.

Brethren, we as ministers for God, whether a pastor, or a pew sitter can make insurmountable progress at quelling gossip if we don't participate in it. I never chastise anyone for bringing me something they think newsworthy; I just don't spread it myself. An assembly in love with the Lord, and not judging one another regardless of the size is a wondrous thing to behold.

Let's learn to practice taking the things we hear to the Lord and leaving them there.

My thoughts in Jesus' name - larry2







Offline lightshineon

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Why do Christians seem to get so much joy out of participating in the rumor mill?  That's one of the things that really bugs me.
I don't know; I share your bafflement. 

 Isn't there something about it in Proverbs 18:8? That is why, people do it. It is so, so, destructive.

Offline Victorious

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I am living in a small town where everyone knows everyone for the first time in my life.  Can I be honest with you - I hate, I despise, I abhor the rumor mill.  I have seen first hand the way it is used to literally destroy people's lives.

Is there anything I hate worse than the rumor mill?  Maybe.  Maybe it is when your church gets a bad reputation in the community rumor mill and you have to talk to people about those rumors because of the shame those rumors are bringing on Jesus Christ even when there is no truth to them.

Any small town ministers out there?  How do handle the rumor mill.



Here's how we dealt with it -

My husband pastors a small church in a small community and we know how fast rumors spread and the damage they do.  It only takes one disgruntled, former member to stoke the fire and this has happened to us.  This person had been in charge of our food bank and decided she could do this MINUS the church.  She took it upon herself to appoint nonbelievers to help manage it and when my husband gave her a set of biblical rules to follow, she left the church.  She sent us a nasty letter, went out into the small community to do her damage.  It took a long time for the dust to settle, she decided to start her own auxiliary group in town - MINUS CHRIST, and took the weaker brethren with her.  Those who understood the situation stayed.

Now when we come across any kind of rumor, we make an announcement in church and clear it up.  Our members go out and when they hear the "dirt" are able to explain the events truthfully and put the gossip in his/her place.  The last one came from a person in our church who misunderstood what someone had said!  Someones lack of sleep turned into someone getting a divorce!  Remember that game when one person whispers something in another's ear and it turns out completely different at the end of the line? 

Satan will twist anything and everything to destroy pastors, churches, Christians, ESPECIALLY if you are actually following Him closely.  Our only defense is constant prayer for all and TRUTH.  I know its difficult, but that is our lot in the spiritual battle.  We are targets for the enemy and need to keep all things in the light.  In our church, we don't let the rumors continue and allow those who would prefer to believe lies to go their way.  Remember, God is in charge of your church and its membership.  Try to conciliate if you can, but don't let it get you down.  If you know that you haven't done anything wrong and that you are being attacked falsely, rejoice!  Sometimes He just does some "spring cleaning."

son of God

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But why is their heart this way? 

The heart hasn't been dealt with properly. 

A tree bears fruit of itself.

We follow as we are lead, or we leave, or we change the leadership.

The leadership is the problem, and it merely shows itself in many ways, on of which is the rumor mill.  Lived in Detroit.  Lived in small town breadbasket prairies.  The problem is the heart, no matter the issue, be it gossip, sexuality, addictions, abuse, leadership, etc..  They are all manifestations of the state of the heart.  What you have is what shines forth and what is born in your life.  As a leader, that is true of those under you, hence the injunction for leaders to have their own family in order, amongst other things.  Just as in raising children, get the heart, and you have the kid and all else falls into place.  Do this with the flock.  Few pastors there are who actually do this.  Raised with pastors.  Raised at a bible college.  Friends are pastors.  I've lead for a number of years now.  I see no exceptions to this, for it is impossible to hide the state of the heart.  Impossible.

Some have mentioned church discipline, or the lack of it.  Yes, that too, shows the state of the heart, for the leader who doesn't discipline, according to the Word, doesn't love the flock.  Period.  I find that almost all with vehemently disagree with that, but hey, scripture states this to be true, for who has a son and doesn't discipline him, it asks?  It then states that to not discipline is to not love.  The church has been raised on a perverted sense of love.  Just look at the general posts in which they negate so much of the Word by saying that God isn't that way, simply because He is love, and nothing else.  We have slit our own throats, and sad it is when few stand up and preach the gospel and the Word and the justice and punishment and damnation that God metes out.  We have a lopsided gospel, that is almost powerless -- just look at the church, with gossip being a tip on the iceberg that sinks the unsinkable titanic.

Deal with the heart.  And nothing else.  And all these things will be added unto you by Him.  Amen.

Offline Victorious

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Don't blame the leadership.  One can preach a sermon about it and the next thing you know, someone will go out and gossip about it! 

We have a lady in our church who recently gossiped about me.  I went to the pulpit, set the record straight, and she was livid!  However, the church now knows we will deal with it when we hear it.  She has curbed her tongue, to say the least.

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"those who sin, rebuke before all, that the rest may fear..."

I still blame the leadership.

"feed my sheep!"

Offline Victorious

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"those who sin, rebuke before all, that the rest may fear..."

I still blame the leadership.

"feed my sheep!"

I am pretty much in agreement with what you posted.  Had to read it a couple of times though.  Time for pastors to step up and put the truth first - not man's opinion - and, in love, act accordingly.

"those who sin, rebuke before all, that the rest may fear..."

I still blame the leadership.

"feed my sheep!"