Friday, November 25, 2005

Biblical Name Calling

I'm not the kind of guy who likes to call others names.

I'd like to think it was because of my spirituality, but probably a big part is personality. Strong language just isn't my thing. I know what people say about satire, but a whole lot of the time it just doesn't seem nice.

The problem of course is that I sometimes substitute my definition of what's nice with the Bible's definition of what's loving.

I'm not advocating going out of our way to call other people names, but I do think we have to be careful not to automatically equate using strong language with being unloving.

It certainly can be unloving and a whole lot of the time it is, but it isn't always. It can't be.

Because Jesus did.

How's "Get behind me, Satan."

I don't know about you but if someone called me Satan, I'd be a little bit offended.

It was Jesus, sure.

It was a pretty serious moment, I've got that.

There was a whole lot on the line, yes.

I've never found myself in a situation like that, I know.

But, listen using strong language can't automatically be unloving because here we see Jesus used it.

So did Paul.

"Look out for the dogs, the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh..."

Or how about my personal favorite, Galatians 5:12, "I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves."


And don't forget, that sentence was inspired by God.

Being the sinners we are, we often use the Bible to rationalize away our being just plain mean. On the other hand, being the sinners we are, we need to be careful that we don't use the Bible to rationalize away a warped understanding of what it means to be nice.

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