A lot of my friends talk about various persons, especially church leaders, through the internet. If I am "talking" about people in chat rooms or through emails, is this still considered gossip?

Gossip is no less gossip just because it is electronic. In a sense, internet gossip or slander may actually be worse than garden-variety gossip, since it spreads so quickly. Reputations, like trust, are built slowly over a period of years. Slander, often false or at most containing half-truths, can destroy a reputation in seconds. All Christians are bound to honor the principles of Ephesians 4 (the whole chapter, verses 1-32). Moreover, there are libel laws. To slander another person is un-Christian, but it may also be illegal. If church workers (they are trying to serve in extremely high pressure positions) are slandered, it is only a matter of time before one of them, 1 Corinthians 6 notwithstanding, brings a lawsuit against his detractor(s). It is the responsibility of trustees and church boards to protect the employees of the church, not just to look out for the interests of the members.

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