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Why Defining Gossip Matters in the Church’s Response to Abuse

posted on April 21, 2021

Kate Shellnutt of Christianity Today writes, “Christians are right to heed scriptural warnings about gossip, secrets, and lies. Yet the American church has also seen a pattern of leaders referencing such teachings to silence and discredit victims and whistleblowers.” Some Christians leaders and organizations have tried to prevent members and employees from speaking out about abuse or misconduct, accusing them of “spreading rumors” or “false allegations.” Stephen Witmer, a Massachusetts pastor, said, “We’ve seen, particularly in the past several years, powerful people able to harm others—sometimes over the course of many years—and get away with it, in part because the victims were isolated and unaware of each other, in part because the organization protected its leaders from appropriate criticism.”

Read at Christianity Today