Labels That Libel

By Larry Ray Hafley

In the New Testament, the faith of Christ was called “the sect of the Nazarenes” and was “every where spoken against” (Acts 24:5; 28:22). The apostles were labeled and libeled as “pestilent” fellows, “babblers,” and treasonous seditionists (Acts 17:7, 18). But they were not surprised. Jesus told them that since they reviled him they would also ridicule them (John 15:20).

Ironically, enemies of the cross accuse Christians of being “name callers,” while they spew their vile epithets all over us. Listen to the names that those who “don’t believe in name calling” call us!

“`Our religion’….has sometimes been named ‘Fundamentalism,’ `Mossbackism, Phariseeism, Sectarianism,’ `Non-Progressive-ism,’ `Literalism,’ ‘Legalism, Anti-ism,’ ‘A Book Religion.’

“It has sometimes been described as static, antiquated, fossilized, crystallized, hidebound, ossified, narrow, and individualistic. Some have said that it was begotten by egotism, conceived in bibliolatry, brought forth in ignorance, propagated in bigotry and its progeny the narrowest and bitterest of all sectarians.

“Outsiders have sometimes described us as preachers of union, but practitioners of division; holding the form of godliness, but not having the power; sticklers for the letter, but ignorant of the spirit; tithers of mint, anise and cummin, but neglecters of justice, mercy and faith, wranglers over non-essentials, but careless about fundamentals; loving ourselves, but despising others; professing Christianity, (but) practicing Phariseeism; anxious to proselyte, careless to convert; skillful theorists but bungling practitioners; great debaters, but little doers.”

The description above was made by H.L. Calhoun in February, 1929. After nearly seventy years, not much has changed! Is it too much to expect that those today who libel us with their labels could be a little more creative and inventive with their invective? They are using the same terms and expressions, which does not show much originality. As their fathers did, so do they. How about it, ye that loathe the Lord, if you are going to continue to make faces and call us names, why not come up with something we have not heard before? Since you cannot answer the arguments of truth, it will make you feel better, and, besides, I could use a good laugh.

Guardian of Truth XLI: 16 p. 19
August 21, 1997