Today, Scripture and points are shared on name-calling and offensive words used by Christians when witnessing to others.  Early church believers were first called “Christians” (“little Christ-s”) in Antioch as an expression of mocking and scorn.  The process of spreading the Gospel, then and now, is one of drawing believers by displaying beauty, humility, love, and wisdom generated from the Spirit of GOD, and is not about persuading unbelievers.  Properly understood, when performing the work of the church, Christians are endowed with legitimate authority from GOD to admonish, correct, scold, and use sharpness among those committed to Christ, who already are within the body of believers.  Interpersonal and secular exchanges that are not guided through the Holy Spirit occur on a level of selfish interaction, and may include displays of ungodly attitudes and conduct such as anger, confrontation, mocking, scorn, temper, swearing, and verbal abuse.  Like all feeling persons when they are attacked and provoked, Christians may respond moved by emotion rather than with doctrine, principle, or reason.  Consider the following and the points appearing below:  1st Corinthians 5:  9-13, King James Version (KJV):  9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:  10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.  11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.  12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?  13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.  The fighter at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “1, 3 DimethyloOzelah” (Level 1 with 81 points, a member since November 25, 2014) posted the following:

Christians! Which do you find more offensive? Some who calls you “deluded” or someone who says you are “ignorant”?

Both of which many would regard as appropriate terms to describe the types of people who believe in the kinds of things that Christianity teaches such as virgin births, human sacrifice, resurrection, miracles, talking snakes and donkeys, god, the devil etc.

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing:  the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.  (John 6:  63, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Answer a Fool? (06/04/2015); Not Yet Delivered From Racism? (12/21/2014); Racism Is Not From GOD (12/22/2014); About Deluding Yourself?  (09/22/2014); Delusions and Revelation (09/23/2014); The Bible and Stupid People? (07/17/2013); Destroying Justice? (07/18/2013)

“1, 3 DimethyloOzelah”, what you seem to be speaking of we used to label “name-calling” as children, and being adults we label as “invective” (abusive or violent language used to attack, blame, or denounce somebody—Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.).  As kids we learned on the playground that “being called out of your name” (i.e., addressed or spoken about using some phrase or word other than the name you were given by your parents) could suddenly appear as a challenge, a cut, a deliberate insult, a jab, or “put down.”  We found name-calling could hurt our feelings, make us angry, and overwhelm us with frustration.  Generally, we sought to arm ourselves in the war of words with “comebacks”, and began to develop “style”.  You learned to recognize your opening, pace yourself (wait for it), use good timing, and make strong delivery (thrust home!).  More than this, you learned to reply with a false appearance of disinterest and indifference (it’s water off a duck’s back), nonchalance (cool), and wit common to those two grade levels above yours.  Thus, early battles could be turned in your favor by answering smartly with the secret weapon of rhyme until all became masters of “ Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!”

When we finally began to reflect upon the words of the rhyme, we also began to realize that what we say to others as well as what we say to ourselves without speaking aloud (discursive thought) does have great power, can do great damage, or can be used to build up, edify and inspire.  What, when, where, and how we speak can determine the duration, substance and value of our finite life experience.  Though we chaffed at home when forbidden to say the word “hate” (not only as an expletive, even in casual conversation), we quickly understood that we were to nourish a peculiar consciousness within ourselves.  We correctly sensed that our self-esteem and equality as persons were being addressed, and we were being further armored against all name-calling, racial slurs, and language to disparage, intimidate, or heap scorn upon us  (e.g., black, colored, darkie, dummy, Hebe, fool, pickaninny, punk, sissy, Spick, whore).

While growing up, older siblings often indulged name-calling as a form of correction for younger children.  Their parents, adult caretakers, and their peer group repeatedly used warnings, threats, name-calling, and appeals to pride in order to “call out your best” as well as to energize, motivate and spur alertness, attention to detail, competitive spirit, diligence, renewed effort, enthusiasm, careful listening, obedience, and thoroughness.  Unfortunately, the seeds also were introduced and sown that could yield a harvest of anger, bitterness, distrust, division, family breakdown, resentment, and separation.

When sharing ones faith and spiritual beliefs, individuals are little different than siblings or nations that pursue their own agendas for productivity.  Where a nation’s goals include building and preserving sound and lasting relationships for mutual benefit, cooperation, peace and shared survival, it is wise to avoid accusations, name-calling and the many inflammatory devices that break-off dialog, communication and exchange by continuing conflict and unpleasantness.  To truly achieve a legitimate purpose, both the speakers and hearers must be committed to making necessary changes that may only come to light as they maintain an ongoing process of sharing, learning, respect and growth.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended.  Consider the following points from the Bible that are relied upon by many Christian believers:

(1.)  Proverbs 18:  20-21, King James Version (KJV):  20 A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.  21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue:  and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

(2.)  Proverbs 9:  6-10, KJV:  6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.  7 He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame:  and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.  8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee:  rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.  9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser:  teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.  10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:  and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

(3.)  Proverbs 26:  17, KJV:  17 He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.

(4.)  Proverbs 26:  4-5, KJV:  4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.  5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

(5.)  Matthew 12:  35-37, KJV:  35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things:  and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.  36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Some count verses such as these to be nuggets of truth from a higher mind and regard them no fit substitute for the full pay load.  Even so, as you reflect, may you find this fragment to be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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