Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Stop Calling People Names

“In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12 NRSV).

Another Scripture reads “Love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor” (Romans 12:10 NRSV).

Paul put it this way, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3 NRSV).

Before going into detail about today’s message, we would like to make our readers aware that the Lord Jesus Christ is using this website to teach us His ways. We are not in rivalry with others, nor are we interested in defending any doctrinal position. We do, however, rebuke error. The Lord said we must minister truth, correction and rebuke falsehood (2 Timothy 3:16; 4:2). Furthermore, through this ministry, we have witnessed many God-fearing people being transformed. Our admonition to you is this: if you do not despise truth, you too will experience a higher walk with God. To experience this, you need to adjust your attitude and be humble, which is the mark of a servant, and possesses the Kingdom of Heaven.

Nowadays, calling people names has almost gone unnoticed and this is a widespread practice. We are being deceived by the mass media, which often calls people names for behaviour they displayed. Brethren, the Lord is displeased with this practice, hence the warning through this article.

The Lord’s Anger

In the light of the above Scriptures, we are admonished to practice respect. Maybe we do accord respect people, but only to those in authority, while we disrespect and despise other people we consider inferior to us. Isn’t that true? We are especially rude and disrespectful towards members of our own family, and gentle and kind to certain people, so that we may enjoy their acceptance. How hypocritical! The Lord says: STOP this behaviour of impartiality (James 2:1-7; Colossians 3:25) and practice love and respect.

Recently, the Lord gave a serious message to a member of our ministry who was in the habit of calling other people by a certain name. The Lord gave her a sharp rebuke in an angry tone. Charis said when the Lord gave the message, she felt scared, because the Lord’s voice was very LOUD and it echoed seven (7) times.

Often, as the apostle James observed (see above Scripture), we despise the poor and those who are dependent on us. While Scripture teaches us to respect and honor those over us, it equally appeals to those in authority to exercise the same kind of honor and respect (Philemon 1:16). The apostle Paul reminded Philemon that he should show submission to Christ through respect and brotherly kindness to Onesimus, who was formerly his slave. In Christ Jesus we are brothers and sisters, and in Him we are equal (Galatians 2:6; 3:28).

As a further observation, I have seen this evil of impartiality being practiced in the church. This is at times done through the collection of tithes and offerings. The practice of many churches today is that members write their names on their tithes and offering envelopes (we do understand that there are valid cases where this information is required – in the USA, for example, for tax purpose). This is sometimes done under the pretext of “we need this information to pray for you.” This is an evil sinful practice, and this leads us to being partial and disrespectful towards those who do not tithe. I was a victim of this kind of practice - I could not tithe because I was not working. Does discriminatory behaviour in the church prove helpful? This practice defeats the very purpose we are called to avoid. The church is the pillar of truth and as such we should practice love and respect.

Honor Older People

While this is not part of our original teaching of name calling, I would like to mention this, especially to some of our youth and those brethren who despise the elderly. Despising older people is displeasing practice to the Lord. The Bible says: “You are to rise in the presence of the elderly and honor the old. Fear your God; I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:32 Holman CSB). This practice is very rare today. The Lord has repeatedly rebuked some members of our ministry for not respecting older people. In my culture, I was taught not to say “you” to older people, and instead, I repeat their name with a title of honor.

The Lord, who sees and knows everything once, ordered my wife and I to discipline one of our daughters with the rod of correction (spanking) for being rude. The Lord laid her heart and mind bare through Charis. It was revealed that she was swearing and was disrespectful in her heart. When we told her what the Lord said, she admitted everything. Being rude and disrespectful is an evil attitude, just like ungratefulness, and this is a Hell offence (Jude 1:16). Submit to the Holy Spirit and He will cause you to grow fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). Remember, there is no law against such things!

In conclusion, are you calling people names and insulting them and thinking this is not a HELL offence? Well consider this Scripture, “But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell” (Matthew 5:22b NIV).

Have you been rude and disrespectful to your children, spouse, the elderly, and others? Here is a Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Blessed grace and love to you in Christ,

Brother Glenn Van Rooyen.