Thursday, August 30, 2012


"Calumniate"___"a verb which means to make false or malicious statements about__a synonym for defame, malign, slander."

"Calumniator"___ "a noun that refers to the person who makes false and/or malicious statements."

How we use words is a serious matter it seems to me. A word can reveal a value we are placing on whatever it is to which or to whom we are referring. It can show an emotion, judgment, or a predisposition toward putting a person down with ridicule or shame. It is this kind of put down words that I believe are unfortunately characterizing our discussion in the realm of theology, politics or even our society itself. We are reaping a whirlwind of coarseness that is even spilling over into our pulpits and churches. It is certainly prevalent in the political atmosphere we are currently seeing.  I may be referring to a tone as much as words__but the end result is we are becoming "Calumniators"__which is an oxymoron when used with the word Christian.

I have thought along these lines after reading several comment sections of some blogs I've read the past several months__both theological and political__which reveal an anger and maliciousness that is disheartening. It would be wise for us as Christians to never forget that we are going to face__ in some fashion someday__ our words. The "give account for every idle word"  [Matt. 12:36]  is of enough significance that perhaps a guard is needed by all Christians in our present day more than anytime I can remember. Words for us are to be used to speak the truth and are always to be spoken in love and graciousness.

It is a given that we have problems that do need to be corrected and we have people who need to be confronted often times. The Scriptures themselves give us guidance and even illustrations that these times will present themselves. No one is denying that fact. But it is that scriptural guidance on the method of doing the confronting that is being often forgotten or disregarded it seems to me. 

But it isn't so much the idea of offense that is our problem. Matthew 18:15-17 is pretty clear as to our procedure when personal offense takes place. I'm not saying that this biblical instruction is followed as it should be, but I am saying that at least it's clear what SHOULD be done by the offended party when both are believers.

I'm speaking more of the debate about theological non-essentials [non-salvation] and even political positions on cultural and societal issues. The words we use in these areas are as important as the positions themselves. I'm concerned about the use of language/words that are used to asperse one another [ to slander or defame someone's character] because of a difference of opinion on issues. To use our words in such a way is a serious matter it would seem to me. Words spoken "with grace and seasoned with salt" seem to be far from us in the present climate both in society, which I can understand, and in the Church, which I do not understand.

It is the put down remarks and words about someone else's character that I believe are clogging the Internet__especially on blogs__and are more representative of the world system than they are the Kingdom of God. The end result is we can become Calumniators__which is an oxymoron when used with the word "Christian"__or even "minister."

May God deliver us from this devastating atmosphere and restore us to being people of the Spirit who is Himself corrective__even confrontational__but always gentle and gracious. Just my thoughts on what I perceive to be a very present danger.

Paul B.


Aussie John said...


Well said! So relevant!

You're spot on with your description," more representative of the world system than they are the Kingdom of God", and the current importance of the matter.

Something that has stuck in my mind for several years now,and is occasionally repeated in one form or another, is the fact that the gift of God's grace has a fruit of many flavors.

The fruit is called GRACIOUSNESS, and its many are flavors described in Galatians 5:22.

Another word for it is benignancy, which is often used to describe the kind and warm courtesy, pleasant and beneficial attitude of a king towards his subjects.

Yours and my King is exactly that, and much more,towards us, I'm sure you will agree!

How can recipients of His grace be otherwise towards each other?

Bob Cleveland said...

In light of Ephesians 4:31: ” Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” .. your post is absolutely dead-on.

That's not an offhand remark Paul tossed out for us there, that's a command from God Himself. How on earth so many believers seem to ignore it, I just don't know.

Paul Burleson said...

Aussie J, Bob,

You both are asking the right questions.

"How can recipients of His grace be otherwise towards each other?"

"That's not an offhand remark [Eph. 4:31] Paul tossed out for us there, that's a command from God Himself. How on earth so many believers seem to ignore it."

I wish all of us would be honest with the answers. Changes in our words and tone would follow. Good stuff gentleman.

Bobby Brown said...

Thanks Paul a much need word. I will pass it on to my friends.

Bobby Brown

Paul Burleson said...


Thanks. Give my best to all your "friends."

[All, Bobby and I share an appreciation for a group of business men he teaches regularly in Wichita Falls Tx.]