What Does the Bible Say About Name Calling?

Randy, a frequent contributor to this blog, recently had an email exchange with Johnny Robertson where Johnny wrote:

the real test for you guys is to get someone to trot this dumb stuff out in person
we get emails from all over the country and you giggleing little girls are much the same. Unl;ess you are willing to stand beside your doctrine (which you actually dont have a formal doctrine just a Bob Lawson type “I am against everything but cannot affirm any”) then dont flatter yourself thinking we are answering you on tv

Now, typos and spelling errors aside (It’s “giggling“, by the way, Johnny), this got me to thinking about a Christian being involved in “name calling”.

“giggleing little girls”

Did Johnny Robertson really call us “giggleing little girls” because we have a blog that discusses his (and the other Church of Christ preachers’) teachings?

Well, Johnny hosts a program that is called “What Does the Bible Say?”, and so let’s see what the Bible say about the subject of name-calling. Specifically, let’s ask the question: would Jesus use an expression like “giggleing little girls” when faced with opposition?

Now, we know that Jesus called people names. But why did he do this? What was He trying to prove by entering into this practice? Was He setting a precedent for us – giving us an excuse to call people who get on our “last nerve” – “You fool, hypocrite, or serpent!” (or “giggleing little girls”)? Being the Omniscient God that He is, He infallibly knows what is in man. And so, it stands to reason that Jesus knows when people are sincere or phonies.

Throughout Matthew 23, we find Him renouncing the Pharisees – using various derogatory names. Let’s look at the names that come out of Matthew 23:

  • hypocrites” – Matt 23:15
  • child of hell” – Matt 23:15
  • blind guides” – Matt 23:16
  • fools” – Matt 23:17
  • whited sepulchres” – Matt 23:27
  • full of… iniquity” – Matt 23:28
  • serpents” & “generation of vipers” – Matt 23:33
  • murderers” – Matt 23:34

Now, as I read these verses, and knowing what I know about Jesus, the conclusion I draw is that in calling these religious leaders all these names, the Lord Jesus did not react in anger or malice toward those who opposed Him. Instead, He declared their true character in hopes that they would come face-to-face with the truth about themselves and repent.

So, the big question a person needs to ask of themselves when they use name-calling as a tool, is this: Are you responding out of anger or malice, or compassion? Is your intent to shine a mirror and expose a person’s true character, or to make yourself feel better with “one-upmanship”? Are you hopeful that the person will repent as a result of your use of the name-calling technique, or could you care less? And the biggie – do you suppose that you have the same ability to know a person’s heart as Jesus did to even attempt name-calling?
I would encourage Johnny to think through these questions.


giggling little girls


6 thoughts on “What Does the Bible Say About Name Calling?

  1. lol. Thanks Nathan for the laugh…with the pictures at the end. Great Job!

    It’s a shame they will not do as they preach; they stay on the preachers here for not wanting to discuss things and even invite them to email them and blog them–and when they don’t they are quick to call them cowards and other names. We are just asking for a two sided conversation for all to see…Johnny, you have no problem emailing me, so why not let everyone join the conversation?

  2. I have two more emails from Johnny, he doesnt seem to mind HIDING BEHIND THE WALLS, maybe he should call his show BTW.

    From Johnny: making a line out our enemies and counting them does not amke you any closer to the truth Randy.
    It also does not bring you any nearer exposing us than what you have done so far.
    I will still say Jason did a great job teaching against denominations. He has great ability to outline and march his points along. He held attention and was a student and great researcher. I miss him very much.
    Where you get your information about control who knows.
    And soooo what if people in the church in other states have a say in whether or not they will send money or not. What does that prove? It proves what we said all along… autonomy! No headquarters
    boy you are doing great
    hope you enjoy the company of all our enemies. If you are ever in need call on them.

    I hope all this is giving you as much fulfillment as the work we do is to us. If soooo you are a happppppy man.
    thanks for that spell check!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. I love how Johnny is wanting to expose my past problems to my dad and people I work with. I will tell everyone here, I was a heavy drinker for 20 years and have done many things in my past besides drinking… stealing, gambling, drugs and just so Johnny knows, I have shared this all with my Dad already and my friends at work. My friends at work who are sinners were there to help me and its ashame Johnny a so-called preacher would stoop to this level. I hope every Christian isnt like Johnny and thank God He can forgive my sins and not bring them up…its such a shame Johnny cant. I am aslo thankful that all church of Christ preachers do not act like this…I know there are many who do not hold a persons past against them.

    From Johnny Robertson: Randy, you forgot name calling in sarcasm
    An Introduction to the History of History, by James T. Shotwell;
    1 Kings 18:27
    27 And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.

    I see you still aren’t able to come forward out the shadows like a man (thus the little girl remark)
    let this settle in your mind
    maybe we start informing your friends at work and your dad… of all your behaviors and stories
    no we will just settle for on air Man like behavior where we take on all comers in front

    Randy do you know what the bible says about “dark” undercover?
    look it up

  4. Program after program, I’ve listened to Johnny, Norm and James berate local pastors for not being willing to talk with them, either in the comfort of their own churches, or on the television broadcasts.

    All we are doing is extending them the same offer, here on our blog! Come on, men! We aren’t Biblical scholars, or preachers, or Seminary professors! We’re just folks who are trying to continue the conversations you start on your program.

    Now, Johnny has taken the time to write Randy at least twice to discuss his thoughts on this blog. We would sincerely LOVE it if he would come and do that here. I mean, why not?

    After all, doesn’t 1 Peter 3:15 say:

    “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”

    Johnny, I’m asking you for a reason for the hope that is in you.

    And, like Proverbs 25:9 entreats:

    “Debate thy cause with thy neighbor [himself]; and discover not a secret to another:”

    So, let’s debate here, neighbor!

    That’s all we’re asking. If we seem to have made it a bit personal, we apologize for any offense. If we’ve been a bit smart alecky on occasion, that was possibly out of line. But, we just want to talk about what you teach! Come join us!

  5. Pingback: An Open Letter to Johnny Robertson « Answering the Church of Christ

  6. Mt 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
    33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

    Why is it that all the denominations in the Danville area are ashamed to answer questions about their doctrine or discuss the bible?

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