Note: This post was born not because I have any particular grandparents in mind, but simply from the fact that so many young people are speaking to me about their rapes. I wish they could speak to you.
When our daughter was a teenager, I remember her coming to Tim and me in tears over what some peers of hers were talking about. Turns out one of the peers had just informed another, when my daughter was part of the conversation, that a teenager they both knew was pregnant outside of marriage. They were laughing over it. Laughing. It was very clear they didn’t care about the girl at all, but found the information quite juicy.
This is perhaps one of the most stark cases of gossip I’ve seen, and this is what came into my mind when I read John Piper’s recent post about gossip (link), in which he concludes, with Scripture, that gossip is idle talk about others engaged in by those who are “motivated by pride that loves the delicious feeling of being in the know” who are “indifferent to what the destructive effects may be.”He also observes that in many cases the gossiper actually maliciously desires a destructive effect.
I thought his presentation was Scriptural and sensible.
Recently a friend wrote to me about a church in which the well-meaning elders choose to believe anyone who claims to be repentant, even those who have been living a double life (such as a well-respected church person who turns out to be a secret abuser or adulterer). She said,
“They say they want to believe the best and take people at their word. They would rather err on the side of grace.”
I emphasized that their style of counseling is one that they called “Biblical” but I’m calling “nouthetic” since that was its original name and there are other styles of counseling that are equally Biblical and arguably more so.