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What Does the Bible Say About..A Minister Telling Others What Was Told Him In Confidence?

When you tell a pastor or minister that you're gay is that to be kept between you and him. Or can he tell people in his church or family or how ever he wants about it?


Whenever someone tells a minister something like that he should expect it to be held in confidence unless he gives permission to tell others. Any minister who takes something that he has heard in confidence and passes it on without permission is guilty of the sin of gossip. "Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD." (Leviticus 19:16) "A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter." (Proverbs 11:13) Besides that, there may be legal ramifications as well. The inviolability of confessional has become so much a part of American common law that a minister who passes on something told him in confidence may be legally liable for such an action. (A lawyer could advise better on that.) Legally or morally, a preacher or religious counselor should not pass on such information without permission. The only possible exception I can think of might be that he may have an obligation to pass the information on to the elders of a congregation (if the one who told him is a member), who are responsible for the souls of their flock. Even then, they should not let it go any farther.