Name-calling

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  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 2,636

    @Wolfgang posted:

    I see no unloving way in telling the truth. DO you want to argue Jesus' very emphatic name calling was unloving because he did not speak the truth in love ???

    I've spent nearly 40 years in ministry pursuing ways to speak the truth in love, so I'm impressed that you see "no unloving way" to tell the truth.

    I didn't object to Jesus' name-calling. In my view, as I have noted at least twice in this exchange, conduct-based name-calling is qualitatively better than character-based name-calling. Jesus' word to the Pharisees and other religious leaders was conduct-based.

    By the way, the expression "speaking the truth" in Eph 4:15, from the context is rather "being truthful" ("a truthful conduct", => "being honest"!), as also NASB 95 mentions in a note ("or holding to or being truthful in" (also found in Luther 2017, 1984, 1912, 1545 - translating "let us be truthful, honest, upright in love"!)

    The writer of the Ephesians text makes a clear connection between love and how we are to speak the truth. I believe the way we speak should evidence a similar connection.


    Being dishonest, not upright are manifestations of not walking in love. Being honest, truthful, upright in both word and deed is walking in love. If I "behave in a situation as a stupid idiot", I actually "am in that situation a stupid idiot" and truthfully may be called that ... very simple. If someone points out that truth in either of those expressions, they are truthful and would be walking in love.

    And they would also be truthful were they to tell you that you were wrong to do this, that, or the other thing, without an allegation of your purported idiocy. Remember, the problem is NOT your idiocy; it's the specific mistakes you made. Idiocy is character. Mistakes are conduct.


    Trying "to be nice" or "not so harsh" or "not so direct" is irrelevant, and actually may be more harmful if it doesn't truthfully point out what is actually the case.

    Everything I know from Jesus who told us to identify the logs in our own eyes before we judge the specks in others' eyes, and from my years in ministry tells me that you're wrong to criticize being "nice" and "not so harsh" in the way we speak truth to others.


    AND FOR THE THIRD TIME: Earlier in this thread I asked you to comment on a Matthew 5 text. You still haven't responded to it, so here's the request yet again:

    What do you think Jesus meant to tell us about name-calling when he said this in the Sermon on the Mount?

    21 “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ 22 But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell. (Matthew 5.21-22, NLT; ESV: "whoever says, 'you fool!'" rather than "call someone an idiot")

  • And they would also be truthful were they to tell you that you were wrong to do this, that, or the other thing, without an allegation of your purported idiocy.

    My idiotic actions are my idiocy .... thus either way, one would be telling me that I am an idiot as proven by my idiotic words or actions.

    Remember, the problem is NOT your idiocy; it's the specific mistakes you made. Idiocy is character. Mistakes are conduct.

    False, what is on the person's inside is what is manifested on the outside ..... thus, wise actions are evidence of a wise character; stupid actions are evidence of stupidity character. Conduct is the outward evidence of the inside character ... no separation between the two as such.

    Character can be changed, just as conduct and actions can be changed ... actually, character change comes first, and changed conduct will follow. If conduct were changed but character would be the same, we would have hypocrisy and falsehood.

    "walking in love" is not the same as "being nice or talking nice" ... it does mean "being honest and upright".

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 2,636

    @Wolfgang posted:

    My idiotic actions are my idiocy .... thus either way, one would be telling me that I am an idiot as proven by my idiotic words or actions.

    I hope you have experienced as much personal growth from your view that you are what you do and say as I have found in my view that I am a person - a child of God - who makes and speaks mistakes, but who is not the mistakes I make.


    False, what is on the person's inside is what is manifested on the outside ..... thus, wise actions are evidence of a wise character; stupid actions are evidence of stupidity character. Conduct is the outward evidence of the inside character ... no separation between the two as such.

    The outcome of your viewpoint, in my view, is that your character is subject to frequent - daily? hourly? minute-to-minute? - transformation. When you do the right thing, yours is a virtuous, principled, laudable character... until you make a mistake, or even worse, something others might consider "idiotic," at which time your character takes a nosedive... until you do a right thing again, at which time your character rebounds to respectability... until.... You seem to believe that God made us with characters so fragile and malleable that none of us should have confidence in our core selves since such confidence is destined for humiliation the next time we make a mistake or do something "idiotic."

    And by the way, who decides whether you're an "idiot"? You or the observer who tells you that you're an idiot? If I tell you that what you just posted was idiotic, does that make you an "idiot"? Do I have license from you to so assess your character, or do you have to approve judgments of your idiocy offered by others? And finally, are you an "idiot" for as long as I or any other judge of your character believes you're an "idiot," or at some point do our judgments expire, hence restoring your character to good standing? Who has the final say as to whether you're an "idiot"?


    Character can be changed, just as conduct and actions can be changed ... actually, character change comes first, and changed conduct will follow. If conduct were changed but character would be the same, we would have hypocrisy and falsehood.

    If, as you've previously claimed, "[t]he ideas propagated portray and display the person .... If someone calls my ideas "idiotic and stupid" then they are in fact calling me 'idiot and stupid', because my words are mine, come from me, show my character, my personality, etc." then how can a person's conduct change, but not his or her character? If words and actions define character - and that has been your view in our exchange - how is it possible for conduct to change, but not character?


    AND FOR THE FOURTH TIME: Earlier in this thread I asked you to comment on a Matthew 5 text. You still haven't responded to it, so here's the request yet again:

    What do you think Jesus meant to tell us about name-calling when he said this in the Sermon on the Mount?

    21 “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ 22 But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell. (Matthew 5.21-22, NLT; ESV: "whoever says, 'you fool!'" rather than "call someone an idiot")


  • What do you think Jesus meant to tell us about name-calling when he said this in the Sermon on the Mount?

    21 “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ 22 But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell. (Matthew 5.21-22, NLT; ESV: "whoever says, 'you fool!'" rather than "call someone an idiot")

    Was Jesus cursing those fellows whom he called whited sepulchers and thereby putting himself in danger of the fire of hell? Or was "telling it as it is" not the same as "cursing"? I think, the obvious answer is that Jesus' telling the truth was not the same as cursing.

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 2,636

    @Wolfgang posted:

    Was Jesus cursing those fellows whom he called whited sepulchers and thereby putting himself in danger of the fire of hell? Or was "telling it as it is" not the same as "cursing"? I think, the obvious answer is that Jesus' telling the truth was not the same as cursing.

    As best as I can decipher it from your post, you believe that what Jesus meant to tell us about name-calling (which is the question I asked you) was that "telling the truth is not the same as cursing." In the Matthew 5 text I quoted, however, name-calling (i.e. calling someone an "idiot") and cursing people are distinct activities. So I must ask you again: What did Jesus mean to tell us about name-calling when he said those who call people idiots "are in danger of bring brought before the court"?


    As for the content of your response, I don't think Jesus was cursing the religious leaders when he called them hypocrites and white-washed tombs, two conduct-, not character-based, names. In common usage, "idiot" is about character, not conduct. Jesus must have thought differently about "idiot," too, given that he singled-out that name in the Matthew 5 advisory I cited.

  • byGeorgebyGeorge Posts: 194

    There is no new thing under the sun.

  • two conduct-, not character-based, names. In common usage, "idiot" is about character, not conduct. Jesus must have thought differently about "idiot," too, given that he singled-out that name in the Matthew 5 advisory I cited.

    Does character determine conduct ?? Cp. "out of the heart the mouth speaks" ....

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