Mean, Surly, Unduly Harsh?


Sometimes when we use certain words or phrases, we are accused of being mean, surly, unduly harsh, ad nauseam. We are given verses like Matthew 5:22, Matthew 5:44, Romans 12:17-20, Colossians 4:6, Titus 3:2, 1 Timothy 3:3, 2 Timothy 2:24-25, and James 3:10. We most certainly need to heed these verses. But when we use certain words or phrases, are we guilty of what our accusers charge?

Let us look at the Scriptures.

Psa 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, [there is] none that doeth good.

Psa 53:1 The fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: [there is] none that doeth good.

Psa 92:6 A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this.Psa 94:8 Understand, ye brutish among the people: and [ye] fools, when will ye be wise?

Psa 107:17 Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.

Was David mean, surly, or unduly harsh when he said these things? Did he violate the principles in Matthew 5:22, Matthew 5:44, Romans 12:17-20, Colossians 4:6, Titus 3:2, 1 Timothy 3:3, 2 Timothy 2:24-25, and James 3:10?

Psa 81:15 The haters of the LORD should have submitted themselves unto him: but their time should have endured for ever.

Was Asaph mean, surly, or unduly harsh when he said these things? Did he violate the principles in Matthew 5:22, Matthew 5:44, Romans 12:17-20, Colossians 4:6, Titus 3:2, 1 Timothy 3:3, 2 Timothy 2:24-25, and James 3:10?

Isa 19:11 Surely the princes of Zoan [are] fools, the counsel of the wise counsellors of Pharaoh is become brutish: how say ye unto Pharaoh, I [am] the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings?

Isa 56:10 His watchmen [are] blind: they are all ignorant, they [are] all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.

Isa 56:11 Yea, [they are] greedy dogs [which] can never have enough, and they [are] shepherds [that] cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.

Isa 57:3 But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore.


Was Isaiah mean, surly, or unduly harsh when he said these things? Did he violate the principles in Matthew 5:22, Matthew 5:44, Romans 12:17-20, Colossians 4:6, Titus 3:2, 1 Timothy 3:3, 2 Timothy 2:24-25, and James 3:10?

Jer 3:3 Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore's forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.

Jer 50:36 A sword [is] upon the liars; and they shall dote: a sword [is] upon her mighty men; and they shall be dismayed.


Was Jeremiah mean, surly, or unduly harsh when he said these things? Did he violate the principles in Matthew 5:22, Matthew 5:44, Romans 12:17-20, Colossians 4:6, Titus 3:2, 1 Timothy 3:3, 2 Timothy 2:24-25, and James 3:10?

Eze 16:28 Thou hast played the whore also with the Assyrians, because thou wast unsatiable; yea, thou hast played the harlot with them, and yet couldest not be satisfied.

Was Ezekiel mean, surly, or unduly harsh when he said these things? Did he violate the principles in Matthew 5:22, Matthew 5:44, Romans 12:17-20, Colossians 4:6, Titus 3:2, 1 Timothy 3:3, 2 Timothy 2:24-25, and James 3:10?

Mat 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Luk 3:7 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?


Was John the Baptist mean, unloving, surly, or unduly harsh when he said these things? Did he violate the principles in Matthew 5:22, Matthew 5:44, Romans 12:17-20, Colossians 4:6, Titus 3:2, 1 Timothy 3:3, 2 Timothy 2:24-25, and James 3:10?

Rom 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

1Co 15:36 [Thou] fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:

Gal 1:8-9 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Gal 5:12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you.

1Ti 1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

Heb 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.


Was Paul mean, surly, or unduly harsh when he said these things? Did he violate the principles in Matthew 5:22, Matthew 5:44, Romans 12:17-20, Colossians 4:6, Titus 3:2, 1 Timothy 3:3, 2 Timothy 2:24-25, and James 3:10?

Jam 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Was James mean, surly, or unduly harsh when he said these things? Did he violate the principles in Matthew 5:22, Matthew 5:44, Romans 12:17-20, Colossians 4:6, Titus 3:2, 1 Timothy 3:3, 2 Timothy 2:24-25, and James 3:10?

2Pe 2:17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

Was Peter mean, surly, or unduly harsh when he said these things? Did he violate the principles in Matthew 5:22, Matthew 5:44, Romans 12:17-20, Colossians 4:6, Titus 3:2, 1 Timothy 3:3, 2 Timothy 2:24-25, and James 3:10?

Jud 1:12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds [they are] without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;

Jud 1:13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.


Was Jude mean, surly, or unduly harsh when he said these things? Did he violate the principles in Matthew 5:22, Matthew 5:44, Romans 12:17-20, Colossians 4:6, Titus 3:2, 1 Timothy 3:3, 2 Timothy 2:24-25, and James 3:10?

Mat 6:2 Therefore when thou doest [thine] alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Mat 6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites [are]: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Mat 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

Mat 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

Mat 15:7 [Ye] hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,

Mat 15:14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

Mat 16:3 And in the morning, [It will be] foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O [ye] hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not [discern] the signs of the times?

Mat 22:18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, [ye] hypocrites?

Mat 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in [yourselves], neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

Mat 23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

Mat 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

Mat 23:16 Woe unto you, [ye] blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!

Mat 23:17 [Ye] fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?

Mat 23:19 [Ye] fools and blind: for whether [is] greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?

Mat 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier [matters] of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

Mat 23:24 [Ye] blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

Mat 23:25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.

Mat 23:26 [Thou] blind Pharisee, cleanse first that [which is] within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

Mat 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead [men's] bones, and of all uncleanness.

Mat 23:29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,

Mat 23:33 [Ye] serpents, [ye] generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

Mar 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with [their] lips, but their heart is far from me.

Luk 6:42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.

Luk 11:40 [Ye] fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?

Luk 11:44 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over [them] are not aware [of them].

Luk 12:20 But God said unto him, [Thou] fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

Luk 12:56 [Ye] hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time?

Luk 13:15 The Lord then answered him, and said, [Thou] hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or [his] ass from the stall, and lead [him] away to watering?

Luk 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

Joh 8:44 Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Joh 8:55 Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.

Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:


Was Jesus Christ mean, surly, or unduly harsh when he said these things? Did he violate the principles in Matthew 5:22, Matthew 5:44, Romans 12:17-20, Colossians 4:6, Titus 3:2, 1 Timothy 3:3, 2 Timothy 2:24-25, and James 3:10?

Is it necessarily mean, surly, unduly harsh, in violation of the principles of Matthew 5:22, Matthew 5:44, Romans 12:17-20, Colossians 4:6, Titus 3:2, 1 Timothy 3:3, 2 Timothy 2:24-25, and James 3:10, to call people fools, dumb, whores, harlots, dogs, hypocrites, bastards, adulterers, brutes, God-haters, sons of adulterers, sons of whores, liars, blind, ignorant, vipers, serpents, sons of Satan?

And how about believers mocking unbelievers?

Look at what Elijah said to the prophets of Baal:

1Ki 18:27 And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he [is] a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, [or] peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.

Was Elijah mean, surly, or unduly harsh when he said these things? Did he violate the principles in Matthew 5:22, Matthew 5:44, Romans 12:17-20, Colossians 4:6, Titus 3:2, 1 Timothy 3:3, 2 Timothy 2:24-25, and James 3:10?

How about believers laughing at unbelievers?

Psa 52:1-7 Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God [endureth] continually. Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. Thou lovest evil more than good; [and] lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah. Thou lovest all devouring words, O [thou] deceitful tongue. God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of [thy] dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah. The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him: Lo, [this is] the man [that] made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, [and] strengthened himself in his wickedness.

When the righteous laugh at the wicked, is this necessarily mean, surly, unduly harsh, in violation of the principles of Matthew 5:22, Matthew 5:44, Romans 12:17-20, Colossians 4:6, Titus 3:2, 1 Timothy 3:3, 2 Timothy 2:24-25, and James 3:10?

May we, the people of God, conduct our lives, including our words, according to the Word of God. At times this includes mocking unbelievers. At times this includes laughing at unbelievers. At times this includes calling unbelievers fools, dumb, whores, harlots, dogs, hypocrites, bastards, adulterers, brutes, God-haters, sons of adulterers, sons of whores, liars, blind, ignorant, vipers, serpents, and sons of Satan.


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