On Calling Names

Foy E. Wallace, Jr.

Calling names of false teachers and their aids, and sympathizers is neither undignified nor discourteous, because Paul did it  and he was courteous, dignified and, educated. He said: "Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world." It was hard on Demas for Paul to say that publicly. He should have taken that up with Demas privately! Again, he said that Hymenaeus and Phyletus had shipwrecked their faith and were overthrowing the faith of others by their theory of the resurrection and he wrote it down in the New Testament (a rather dignified book) that he had turned those brethren of his over to Satan. He clashed with Barnabas upon one occasion and withstood Peter to his face and rebuked him publicly. Neither incident ruined the church, nor marred the dignity, of the New Testament. He further said that Alexander the coppersmith did him much evil and declared that the Lord would reward him for what he did. Paul did not seem to covet the kind of reward he intimated Alexander would get. He told a perverter of the truth one time that he was full of guile and villainy, called him a son of the devil, and asked him to quit perverting the way of the Lord. When a paper develops better manners than the New Testament and a preacher becomes more dignified than the apostles, neither is worth anything to the defense of the truth nor to the cause of Christ.

December 2, 1971