Transcript from a chapel sermon at a Fundy U not far from you.
Young people, today I’d like to say a word or two to you today about gossip. Gossip is a blight upon our world, upon our country, and upon this very community of saints on our college campus. It is nothing short of an epidemic of evil.
Why, just today someone report to me that there’s a rumor going around that I only have marital relations with my wife on major holidays*. This is not true in any way shape or form. There are also plenty of minor holidays on the calendar as well. For example, today is Queen’s Night in the Netherlands and I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions about the significance of that.
But even worse than this sort of silly gossip are the repeating of news stories from the godless press about scandals involving indiscretions of our fellow fundamentalists. When a story breaks about a fellow fundamental Baptist who stands accused (or even convicted) of rape, murder, embezzlement, or public urination our response should simply be to stick our fingers in our collective ears and hum a happy little tune. My personal favorite for this is a little song called “If I don’t believe it, it didn’t happen la la la la la.” If you’d like, I would be happy to teach you the tune and lyrics.
You know, this entire topic reminds me of a story about a church next to a railroad tracks in Nazi Germany. The people inside the church would hear the cries of hapless folks being shipped by cattle car to meet their awful fate. And so to drown out those sad sounds, the congregation would raise its voice in song and sing as loudly as possible. I think that we can probably all agree, that’s simply a wonderful way to deal with such an tragic circumstance. After all, the folks inside that church didn’t know the specific details of every individual on those cars and for all we know some of them may have deserved to be there. It wasn’t their business to get involved.
In a similar way, we often lack 100% proof of any wrong doing regardless of how many witnesses are brought forward. No matter how damning the evidence may seem as long as it’s happening far away and we weren’t personally there it’s just none of our business and we should just try to do our best to block out the noise of crying children and wounded adults as best we can. I say to you all: just sing louder!
When someone comes to you with news that there is abuse in fundamentalism…sing louder!
When your best friend is expelled from this campus for some trifling crime…sing louder!
When justice, and mercy, and humility are rarely to be seen in any of the leadership or this any other fundamentalist institution…then sing the loudest of all!
So heed this message well. Do no allow one word of negativity to cross your lips. Unless the story of scandal is about some other so-called “Christian” college or church with whom we have no fellowship, of course. Then you’ll hear it preached from this very pulpit and none dare call it “gossip.”
Every head bowed, every eye closed…
*Actual rumor spread about real life Fundy U VP earning him the nickname of “Doc Holiday.”