Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (AENT)
Ephesians 5:4 Neither obscenities nor words of foolishness, or of division, or of falsehood, which are not useful; but instead of these, thanksgiving. (AENT)
James 1:26 And if anyone thinks that he worships Elohim and does not subdue his tongue, but his heart deceives him; his worship is desolate. (AENT)
Titus 1:16 And they profess that they know Elohim, but in their works they deny him; and they are odious and disobedient and to every good work reprobates. (AENT)
There seems to be an epidemic of God's people participating in vicious gossip. In Hebrew it's called lashon hara, which means "evil tongue."
What constitutes lashon hara? Derogatory messages of any kind about another person; deliberately spreading falsehoods (or even things that may be true) in order to hurt someone's reputation without employing any attempts to correct or improve a negative situation. Lashon hara can be spread in many ways including face-to-face conversation, letters, telephone, email and on "social media" sites such as Facebook.
What is disturbing is that so many Believers are choosing to engage in this sinful activity! Facebook, for instance, hosts thousands who love to post Bible verses and come across as "holy/set apart" ambassadors for YHWH; while at the same time, they engage in the spreading of vicious gossip, usually about our country's leaders. It isn't "bad" to have an opinion about the government or a particular leader; what's "bad" is when something that leader may (or may not) have done is being used against him/her and ultimately "twisted into a lie" in hopes of making others believe the lie.
Scripture is replete with verses commanding us to "obey our leaders" (i.e., Hebrews 13:7, Romans 13:1-5 and Titus 3:1) - BUT these verses are referring to Torah observant leaders; not pagans/those who ignore God and the Bible. (In Acts 5:29 we are reminded to obey God rather than men.) HOWEVER - this does NOT give us permission to go around slandering our leaders, be they "believers" or not!
We are in the world, but not "of it" and unfortunately, we must learn to deal with it - not like the heathens do, but according to YHWH's Torah. God's people are to be holy/set apart, "taking every thought captive" (2 Corinthians 10:5). Deliberately spreading vicious rumors about someone (whether or not there's any truth to them is irrelevant), is NOT pleasing to YHWH...in part, because we are to be His ambassadors, constantly trying to reach others for Him. How you can reach the lost if you're out there being vicious and behaving in a carnal manner?
Matthew 12:34 "Generation of vipers! How are you able to speak good things, you who are evil? For the mouth speaks from the fullness of the heart. 35. A good man brings forth good from his good treasures, and the evil man brings evil from his evil treasure. 36. I say to you for every vain word that the sons of men speak, they will give an account of it in the day of judgment. 37. For by your words you will be made righteous, and by your words you will be condemned." (AENT, See also Deut. 32:21)
There is no scripture commanding us to slander others with vicious gossip. We are to "rebuke them sharply that they may be sound in the faith" (Leviticus 19:17, Titus 1:13, 1 Timothy 5:20); we are to "warn a divisive person once, then a second time, and after that, have nothing more to do with him" (Titus 3:10); we are to "beware of" and "stand distant from" those who refuse to follow YHWH's commands (Romans 16:17-18) and we are to do the following:
2 Timothy 2:15 Do all you can to present yourself to Elohim as someone worthy of his approval, as a worker with no need to be ashamed, because he deals straightforwardly with the Word of the Truth. 16 But keep away from godless babbling, for those who engage in it will only become more ungodly, 17 and their teaching will eat away at people like gangrene. (CJB)
We are to turn godless people over to God; not become their judge and jury. Certainly, we can approach them with HIS Truth; but if they refuse, let them go and leave them alone. HE will deal with them in HIS timing! (See Matthew 12:36, 2 Peter 3:10-13, Romans 2:16, etc.) PRAY for them in hopes they will some day see YHWH's Truth; don't malign them; that's not your job!
Isaiah 55:6 Seek ADONAI while he is available, call on him while he is still nearby. 7 Let the wicked person abandon his way and the evil person his thoughts; let him return to ADONAI, and he will have mercy on him; let him return to our God, for he will freely forgive.(CJB)
People who deliberately commit gossip and run others down are NOT on God's Path; they are hypocrites, espousing God out of one side of their mouths while spewing evil out of the other. They get some kind of perverted joy out of putting others down:
Matthew 15:8 "This people honor me with their lips, but their heart is very far from me." 9. And they revere me in vain, while they teach the doctrines of the commandments of the sons of men. (AENT)
Romans 1:28 In other words, since they have not considered God worth knowing, God has given them up to worthless ways of thinking; so that they do improper things. 29 They are filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and vice; stuffed with jealousy, murder, quarreling, dishonesty and ill-will; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God; they are insolent, arrogant and boastful; they plan evil schemes; they disobey their parents; 31 they are brainless, faithless, heartless and ruthless. 32 They know well enough God's righteous decree that people who do such things deserve to die; yet not only do they keep doing them, but they applaud others who do the same. (CJB)
Some people jump on the "gossip bandwagon" because they want to be noticed. Those who sit around gleefully forwarding pictures or videos (which are usually FAKES that were changed by some vicious person) depicting our President or some other leader doing something "bad", are guilty of being just like the Pharisees of old, who liked to "be seen and heard" and revered by all (see Matthew 23:1-5).
But they are hypocrites, sitting in judgment of whomever they are gossiping about! Instead of going to the "offending" person to set things right and/or help that person find their way to YHWH's Path, they sit at their computers to bash others. Is that what Y'shua would do? Or would He employ the Matthew 18:15-17 method?
Matthew 18:15 And if your brother with you is at fault, go rebuke him, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16. And if he does not listen to you, take with you one or two others, because of the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word is established. 17. And if he will also not listen to them, tell the congregation. And if he will also not listen to the congregation, let him be to you like a tax collector and like a heathen. (AENT)
Matthew 7:3 And why do you see the twig that is in the eye of your brother, and you not observe the beam that is in your eye? 4. Or how do you say to your brother, Allow me to remove the twig from your eye, and behold a beam is in your eye? 5. Hypocrite! First remove the beam from your eye, and then decide for yourself to remove the twig from the eye of your brother. (AENT)
People, we MUST stop the nonsense! We must either get ourselves "right" with YHWH, or stop pretending we belong to Him!
1 Peter 1:15 But you be Set Apart in all your conduct, as he is Set Apart who has called you. 16. Because it is written: Be you Kadosh (holy) even as I am Kadosh. (AENT)
Romans 12:9 Let not your love be full of deceit: but be haters of evil things and adherers to good things. 10. Be affectionate to your brothers: and love one another. Be foremost in honoring one another. 11. Be active and not slothful. Be fervent in spirit. Be laborers for our Master (Y'shua). (AENT)
Just because someone is not your "brother" (a believer) is not an excuse to sit around bashing them! Here's what Scripture tells us to do:
Matthew 10:14 And whoever does not receive you, and does not hear your words, when you depart from the house, or from that village, shake off the dust from your feet. (AENT)
Luke 9:5 If the people in the town will not welcome you, go outside the town and shake their dust off of your feet. This will be a warning to them."
1 John 4:4 But you children are of Elohim; and you have overcome them, because greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world. 5. And they are of the world: therefore they speak from the world, and the world hears them. 6. But we are of Elohim; and he that knows Elohim, hears us; and he that is not of Elohim, hears us not. By this, we know the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of error. (AENT)
1 Timothy 4:6 If you will elucidate these things on your Brothers, you will be a good minister of Y'shua the Mashiyach, being educated in the language of the faith and in the good doctrine which you have been taught. 7. But the silly tales of old women, forsake, and occupy yourself with righteousness. 8. For exercising the body is profitable a little while; but righteousness is every way profitable and has promise of the life of the present time and of that to come. 9. This is a faithful saying and worthy of reception. 10. For on this account we toil and suffer reproach because we trust in the living Elohim who is the life-giver of all men, especially of the believers. 11. These things teach and point out. (AENT)