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.