We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Name Calling?

As noted on my last post, I visit and comment on other blogs, as well as responding to comments made on my blog.  

There are times when a false teacher refuses correction, and there are times when one must be publicly identified for what he is so as to let people know these teachers are not to be trusted, that they don’t represent the true Faith of Christianity, etc.

Now, there have been times, when dealing with particularly aggressive false teachers, when I have resorted to labeling them according to their teachings.  For this I have been called “unloving,” and “un-Christlike.”  

With one particular virulent false teaching which could very well lead people astray, I cited against the false teacher - who is well known for his equivocation, sophistry, misrepresentation, as well as bold eisegesis of Scripture - the following statement:  “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?”  The individual then claimed I was making an ad hominem attack.  However, this was not true, because all of his arguments and assertions were responded to numerous times by numerous other Christians on the blog, and therefore this final rebuke was necessary.  After all, this is citing Paul’s charge against the sorcerer Elymas in Acts 13:10, because Elymas opposed him and was trying to turn the proconsul from the faith.  And this is exactly what our false teacher was doing - opposing our teaching of the truth, and trying to turn people to his false belief system.

So is it “un-Christlike” to call someone names to describe their behavior and teaching?  Well, what do we see in Scripture?  John the Baptist called the Pharisees and Sadducees “vipers.”  Jesus also called them “vipers,” and he also very often called them “hypocrites.”  In fact, Jesus also called them “wicked,” “adulterous,” “sons of hell” (Matt. 23:15), “blind guides,” “blind men,” “white-washed tombs,” and even “snakes.”  Additionally, for those who didn’t believe Him, Jesus said they were “foolish” and that they were of their father the devil (John 8:44).

In Acts, when talking to the unbelieving Jews, Stephen called them “stiff-necked people,” and said they had “uncircumscribed hearts and ears.”  Paul called the false teachers “savage wolves.”

In Galatians, Paul said false teachers were to be “eternally condemned” (or cursed, or anathema - depending on the translation) - and that is very harsh!

Finally, Peter called false teachers, “bold arrogant people.”

So, if we use a word to describe the false teachers and their teachings, is it really “name-calling” and “un-Christlike”?  Not at all - it is really just putting a warning label on them so the sheep won’t drink of their poison!


Joe said...

Some have become so culturally sensitive that they cannot accept the real teachings of Scripture. We can call people names as long as the names are nasty and vile, but to call them what they really are has become unacceptable. don't you sometimes just feel like shouting, "Arrrrrrg!"

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


bereangal said...

True religion is not a series of guesses at truth, but “we speak what we do know, and testify what we have seen.” That which your experience has proved to you, that which you have clearly seen to be the word of God, that which the Spirit beareth witness to in your consciousness, that hold you with iron grasp.
Charles Spurgeon

Be encouraged Glenn Lin in BC

ali said...

Dark days are ahead for the true believers - we must be about our Father' business. Speaking the truth in love. Preaching the word; being instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Keep up the good work.

Happy New Year to you and yours.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Thank you Lin and Ali for your encouragement. Sometimes it is very disheartening when Christians just refuse discernment.

Ali, thank you also for your good work with your blog. It is one of the first I read daily.

Happy New Year to you and yours, too!

Anonymous said...

Well said! It is always right to call a wolf a wolf. As you referenced, Matthew 23, Jesus wasn't hesitant to label false teachers exactly what they were! Likewise with Christ's disciples boldness.

If they hate you, Glenn, it's because they hated Him first.

Happy New Year to you and your family!


Anonymous said...

Don't know if you've seen this quote. I don't think Orwell was talking about the church when he said this, but it fits. "The further a society drifts from the truth the more it will hate those who speak it."

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


Oh, yes, I've heard this one. I use it quite regularly in my political discussions.