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Gossip and Accusation Must Stop
Pastor’s Report – July 17, 1978
Gossip and Accusation Must Stop

Preface by God’s Apostle

by Herbert W. Armstrong

Perhaps the number one problem – yes and even the number one and most prevalent SIN in God’s Church today is careless GOSSIP and rumor spreading. Whether or not realized, it often becomes accusation and slander.

If a hostile student demonstration, such as organized and promoted by Communists, had appeared on the Ambassador Campus I would have made it my business to identify the leader, and get rid of him. Once such activity loses its leadership the followers disintegrate. It’s the same on our problem of rumors – especially those ugly rumors that discredit and accuse – actually, perhaps unrealized, a form of character assassination!

I fully realize that often this is mere carelessness – a sort of thinking through the mouth – with no deliberate intention to harm. But it does harm! And sometimes it is intended to harm!

The subject came up in a conversation with Dave Antion. At my request he has prepared the following memorandum on GOD’S LAW covering this subject.

This sort of thing must be stamped out of God’s Church. Our Leader and HEAD of the Church, Jesus Christ, is turning God’s Church around, though He uses His human servant in so doing.

However, because 1) we have perhaps carelessly neglected emphathic teaching on this subject, and 2) much of such gossip or rumor has probably been done carelessly without full realization of the seriousness or consequences of it, I decided to withhold direct and definite punitive correction or corrective action, until this thing has been emphasized by the ministry, and in print, before the membership.

First, therefore, I assign it to each of you to preach on this subject, and we will also try to reach the brethren through the GOOD NEWS. I realize that even many of us, including myself, may have been guilty of this through carelessness, thoughtlessness, or neglect. I have decided, therefore, that first we must put emphatic emphasis on this matter in teachings, sermons and articles.

But this is to be followed by DIRECT ACTION, seeking out the SOURCE – the one who started the rumor, false accusation or whatever, and then making an example of that person, if necessary, before the local Church or the whole Church. I feel that this is Christ’s way of stamping out this evil from God’s Church, and I act, therefore in His name.

Following is Mr. Antion’s memo to me on this subject. PLEASE BE SURE TO USE THIS AS SERMON MATERIAL.