& Lashon Hara
The relating of the personal secrets of others without their express permission in this fellowship is not permitted. Talebearing dishonours the people in question, creates distrust, and weakens the fellowship. Posts containing personal details of people that they would not wish revealed in public will be censored.
Tale-bearing so very rapidly disintegrates into slander for which there are very serious consequences spiritually. Such can cause long-term or even permanent damages to relationships, precipitating domestic conflict, divorce and aborted romances. This is evil (1 Tit.5:13). Private, domestic relationships and their troubles (and all relationships have troubles) do not concern the public domain or even other concerned Christians (2 Thes.3:11) but the parties themselves and the pastoral counsel that has been appointed. Tale-bearing and slander put stumbling blocks before believers' and unbelievers' feet alike (Lev.19:16).
"You must not go up and down as a talebearer among your people" (Leviticus 19:16)
"A talebearer reveals secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit conceals the matter" (Proverbs 11:13)
"He that covers a transgression seeks love; but he that repeats a matter separates friends" (Proverbs 17:9)
"The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly" (Proverbs 18:8)
"Where no wood is, there the fire goes out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceases" (Proverbs 26:20)
This kind of activity is one of the hallmarks of the last days (2 Tim.3:1-3) and must be reproved and corrected by responsible Christians and especially those people in ministerial positions (1 Tim.3:11; Tit.2:1-5; 3 Jn.9-10). What tale-bearers and slanders actually do is to prevent themselves from inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven (Gal.5:19-21) and actually merits them being cut off (1 Cor.5:11; 6:9-10). Though they may pay lip service to authority they are not infrequently full of contempt for it (Jude 10-11, 14-16).
If you come into contact with tale-bearers and slanderers, it is your duty to ignore them and break off all contact after warning them that what they are doing is harmful and unchristian. Anybody who repeats private family matters to others, without their consent, in this community will be warned to desist. If they continue they will be excluded.
This community has previously (before detailed rules of conduct were established) witnessed such activities as well as their destructive effects. The mistrust and divisiveness which it breeds simply harms the Body of Messiah and reduces the sacred and holy into a soap opera for the entertainment of carnal man. We will not tolerate that here. Furthermore, those who take delight in such things, and who regard the private affairs of people as theatre or entertainment are not welcome here.
(From Talebearing, MLT Reception Discussion Group)
A woman repeated a bit of gossip about a neighbour. Within a few days the whole community knew the story. The person it concerned was deeply hurt and offended. Later the woman responsible for spreading the rumor learned that it was completely untrue. She was very sorry and went to a wise old sage to find out what she could do to repair the damage. "Go to the marketplace," he said, "and purchase a chicken, and have it killed. Then on your way home, pluck its feathers and drop them one by one along the road." Although surprised by this advice, the woman did what she was told.
The next day the wise man said, "Now go and collect all those feathers you dropped yesterday and bring them back to me."
The woman followed the same road, but to her dismay, the wind had blown the feathers all away. After searching for hours, she returned with only three in her hand. "You see," said the old sage, "it's easy to drop them, but it's impossible to get them back. So it is with gossip. It doesn't take much to spread a rumor, but once you do, you can never completely undo the wrong."
Lashon hara literally means, in Hebrew, "the evil tongue" and derives from the Torah which says:
To "stand against the life" is literally translated as "spilling blood with the tongue" which is why lashon hara or the "evil tongue" has always been equated with murder. For this reason, all forms of evil speech are forbidden by Scripture. But what is "evil speech"?
"You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbour: I am Yahweh" (Lev.19:16, NKJV).
Evil speech conists of negative comments both true and untrue. Lashon hara which contains fabrication or lies is specifically and additionally called motzi shem ra which literally means "putting out a bad name" and violates Leviticus 19:16. If motzi shem ra leads to the one abused by lashon hara being HATED this is called Rechilut. This has historically resulted in a great deal of bloodshed, hence the heineousness of the crime and why it is consistently equated with murder. The part of the passage which says, "[you] nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbour" renders the Hebrew, Lo tamod al dam re'eicha which literally translated is, "do not allow the shedding of the blood of your fellow (brother/sister)". Since this refers to the whole person, it can either be the literal shedding of blood (dahm) or it can be mental or emotional abuse too. Thus speaking evil of someone in public, whether it is true or not, constitutes either literal murder (if hatred leads to the taking of someone's life, or even suicide for that matter) or mental and/or emotional murder. For an example of how evil speech resulted in the destruction of a whole city (Nob), see 1 Samuel 21.
The prohibition of rechilut applies even if a person did not intend ill-will against someone else. Thus it is written:
"I will guard my ways, lest I sin with my tongue" (Ps.39:1, NKJV)
It is also written:
Notice that the seventh is "an abomination" to Yahweh ... the sowing of discord among friends. Those who do this are called rasha in Hebrew, meaning "an evil person"
"These six things Yahweh hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
1. A proud look,
2. A lying tongue,
3. Hands that shed innocent blood,
4. A heart that devises wicked plans,
5. Feet that are swift in running to evil,
6. A false witness who speaks lies,
7. And one who sows discord among brethren"
Those who habitually gossip and talebear are called ba'alei lashon hara or "masters of lashon hara". Because their behaviour (which has become so integral with their character) is so anti-social and destructive, their transgression is all the more severe because this leads to chilul Yahweh or "desecration of the Name of Yahweh":
What this means is that repetitive lashon hara leads to a state of mind and heart whereby the talebearer comes to rationalise away his behaviour that it leads to a rebellious manner, cutting themselves off from the good things of Yahweh around them. Scripture also testifies that such cut themselves off from the olam habah, or the world to come (see article on Talebearing above). Traditionally talebearing has always been associated with murder, adultery and idol worship, so severe a sin is it.
"You shall not profane My holy name (Yahweh), but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel. I am Yahweh who sanctifies you" (Lev.22:32, NKJV).
We are to be very careful even with publically-known information because of the nature of the sin of slander. Thus it is written:
We have a responsibility not to propagate the lashon hara of others but to firmly stand against it. Thus it is written:
"The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live" (Ezek.18:20-22, NKJV).
"You shall ... fear your Elohim: I am Yahweh" (Lev.19:14, NKJV).
Lashon hara not only can ruin the lives of those against whom it is directed but most definitely destroys the lives of those who use it. It is a satanic bacillus and must be stamped out of Messianic Israel because it can potentially harm or ruin everyone who comes into contact with it.
If you have been involved with lashon hara in any way, approach the peron or persons you have abused and make things right. And then ask Yahweh for His forgiveness, for blaspheming His Name and Holiness:
"Be holy, for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:16, NKJV).
This page was created on 1 May 2008
Last updated on 1 May 2008
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