Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Genius of Name-Calling

You pretty well know that your winning the argument, when the other side starts calling you names.  That's when the discussion has descended to the elementary school playground.   Name-calling is where it was going to end, when they had nothing to start with.  I'm a Calvinist in those "debates," because it is premeditated that you're going to win.  In fact, mark it down as a "W."

Name-calling characterizes the scoffer.  And scoffing is characteristic of an unbeliever.  2 Peter 3 says that scoffers are walking after their own lust.  Lust isn't an argument.  Wanting it your way doesn't convince anyone.  So you scoff.

The genius of name-calling is it works.  It's first the false bravado of the weak, keeping the other weak with the tribe.  It's gangster method for sake of intimidation.  Understand the name-calling represents either laziness or low intelligence.  It is carnal convenience.  You don't think or you don't feel like it.

You'll see a recent example in an exploding comment thread, best manifested by the word "ketchup."  Yes. "ketchup."  Professing adults used "ketchup" (here, here, and here).  Shame on them. (You'll see that "ketchup" is gone in the links, thanks to the moderators! :-D)


Isaac Szijjarto said...

Good Day, Pastor,

May I please inquire as to the context of the name-calling and what's going on with the ketchup insults? I don't think I have ever heard of people insulting each other by referring to them as ketchup, and so, this is a new one for me.

That said, I agree that ad-homs are evidence of someone losing an argument.

Isaac S.


Reading this post made me think of how you were smeared over at Remonstrans: not a "competent reader", "simple-minded" and "one strange bird" who "look[s] foolish". Quite persuasive, no?

It's always disappointing to the spectators when one of the contestants in a great match-up doesn't engage and forfeits.

I don't agree with all of your positions but there is no doubt God has given you a sound mind and you use it.

Bless you brother,
John Gardner

Evidently, it is ok over there to attempt to score points at the expense of mentally and physically handicapped children.

Aaron Blumer said...

Name calling... well, I used to have students who called me Mr Bummer and Mr Boomer etc.
Tried, but I couldn't manage to get offended. I'm pretty sure Lance doesn't much care about Ketchup either.
But at any rate, some cleanup has occurred.

Dave Barnhart said...

I don't mind you calling us out on this. It shouldn't have been allowed. In truth, though, I had already moderated the original comment and the two following posts when I found out about your reference here.

Though you are unlikely to believe it, my comment about the uses of ketchup had nothing to do with my views on Lance Ketchum. I wasn't even thinking about the original name calling when I responded to the other post about ketchup on eggs. I should have been thinking more as a moderator than just as a respondent to someone else. Thank you for the correction.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thanks John, Isaac, Aaron, and David.

I'll probably just remove the post in a few days, since it's taken care of.

Isaac, someone was playing with the name Ketcham. Aaron gave examples of what people can do with a name. I think Bro. Ketcham is a 60 plus year old man that shouldn't have other adults calling him ketchup. What's ironic is that this the kind of thing, I would think, they said they hated about fundamentalism.

Anonymous said...

Bro. Vandenburg,

Personally, I'm not ready to give up on all name-calling. At times a well-chosen insult or crudity can say all that needs to be said, and not necessarily about the one saying it. For example, I think Paul's "whited wall" comment in Acts 23:3 is quite effective; and his "liars, evil beasts, slow bellies" statement in Titus 1:12 communicates much in few words. We can say the same for Peter's "brute beast" slur in 2 Pet. 2:12 and his implication that all modernists are "adulterers," "cursed," "mad," "dogs," and "pigs" (2 Pet. 2:14-22).

I for one would hate to see all name-calling band. It would impoverish argument and leave us with a sanitized wit and one religiously-correct color. People can get carried away, of course; and that needs to be corrected. But banning every pun, slur, and insult is, well, an insult. Besides, if we have to ban all "inferior talk," we'll have to ban much of Scripture.

T. Pennock

Kent Brandenburg said...

Bro. Pennochio,

I think your argument is good. And I take your balance of biblical name-calling into strong consideration and believe it is true. I was having fun with your name, to your face though, and not to say that you're comment is untruthful.

Kent Brandenburg said...


One more thing. I think we can differentiate sheer name-calling from the stuff you're talking about.

Isaac Szijjarto said...

Good Day, Brethren,

Pastor Brandenburg, I appreciate the clarification whereby I concur: "ketchup" would thus be just a cheap shot against that particular brother's last name and I would thus second your objection thereof.

Concerning name calling, I think there's a world of difference between what occurred in Matthew 23 and cheap shots such as this "ketchup" thing; and indeed, I find the irony of a New Evangelical calling a separatist a name to be amusing.

Isaac S.

Anonymous said...

Bro. Kent,

The play on my name is the kind of witticism I find helpful. If indeed I were lying,and you wanted to say as much,"Pennockio" would have done it for you. Some may take umbrage as such an "offense." But, as James says, "in many things we offend all."


Kent Brandenburg said...

And I try to follow James to the "T."

George Calvas said...

In biblical open air preaching you better be able at appropriate times to call out drunkards, whores, liars, sodomites and all other sort of evil. You must put the sinner in his place so that he is recognized by God for what he is when he is rebuked of his sin, that it is not righteous and that judgment is coming against him.

In this nation of rebellious and proud individuals, the gospel has little to no affect until sin is exposed specifically and in general. Then proper understanding of repentance can be preached and the remedy of "faith in God through the Lord Jesus Christ" can be understood.

In the same light, putting someone in there place by insulting them is appropriate and needful if done with biblical wisdom. Unfortunately, in these last days, carnality, ignorance and foolishness in Christianity is the norm instead of the exception.

Dan Knezacek said...


What an excellent discussion. I'd recommend that you don't delete it, simply because the arguments presented are well thought out.

Each one of you has been civil, and thoughtful. This is the type of discussion that is missing these days with Internet anonymity.

It is a conversation that is needed. Thanks so much for posting it.

Well done gentlemen!

God bless,

Dan Knezacek