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Does calling someone a "moron" or "idiot" constitute murder?


speerjp1
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Murderer at Heart  

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  1. 1. Does calling someone an "idiot" or a "moron" make a person a "murderer at heart?"



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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I occasionally listen to Wretched Radio with Todd Friel. I enjoy a lot of things about the radio program and I especially like "Witness Wednesdays" because he spends time evangelizing the lost. I do not listen to the entire program, but I listen to their podcast which is just one segment of the program called "Segment of the Day." Todd Friel uses the Way of the Master's popular "good person test" when witnessing, which is fine, but one thing he has done several times concerns me and I wanted to get some input from the forums on it.

If you can, find their podcast from Dec. 22, 2010 and listen to the first few minutes of it. You will hear Mr. Friel tell a young man that if he has ever called someone a "moron" or "idiot" he is a "murderer at heart." I have heard him do this several times.

The most well known New Testament teachings on the subject can be found in Matthew 5:21-26 and 1 John 3:15 although the Bible as a whole has much to say about murder.

The whole thing seems to have been recently popularized by the Way of the Master's "Good Person Test." However, I have never heard any of WOTM's witnessing tools or resources make the claim that calling someone an "idiot" or "moron" constitutes murder. They tend to stick with the biblical phrasing of "angry with his brother without a cause" or "whosoever hateth his brother" as being prerequisites to being condemned in any way as a "murderer at heart."

What do you think? Is Todd Friel stretching it a bit, or is my understanding of what constitutes a "murderer at heart" too limited?

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I would think most often the use of such terms wouldn't constitute heart murder. Unless those terms were used with hatred, at which point they could be a matter of heart murder, I would say the general use of those terms would not meet that definition.

True enough, Scripture says we should not call others "fool" and we know we shall be judged for every idle word, yet I don't believe the use of such terms as moron or idiot, unless used with hatred, would fit under committing murder at heart.

Much better to stick with the actual biblical definitions which are clear, as Way of the Master teaching does, than to stretch things. This especially when such a stretching is totally unneeded.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

What an idiotic, imbecilic, moronic, stupid, nonsensical, politically correct thing to say.

But all kidding aside, if we set out to harm with the tongue then isn't it wrong? Why did God put it in a pool of water?

James 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.

James 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

James 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

What an idiotic, imbecilic, moronic, stupid, nonsensical, politically correct thing to say.

But all kidding aside, if we set out to harm with the tongue then isn't it wrong? Why did God put it in a pool of water?

James 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.

James 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

James 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.


Those are great verses from James on the tongue. They demonstrate that great damage can be done with the tongue whether it is on purpose or by accident. That is why it must be crucified with all of our other members daily and given over to the use of Godly purposes and not for our own purposes.

(I may be missing something: what do you mean by, "why did God put it in a pool of water?" :icon_smile: )
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
You will hear Mr. Friel tell a young man that if he has ever called someone a "moron" or "idiot" he is a "murderer at heart." I have heard him do this several times.

The most well known New Testament teachings on the subject can be found in Matthew 5:21-26 and 1 John 3:15 although the Bible as a whole has much to say about murder.

What do you think? Is Todd Friel stretching it a bit, or is my understanding of what constitutes a "murderer at heart" too limited?

I think Mr Friel is in error in this area and is infecting the minds of those who listen to him and believe him. When a person thinks they can commit murder with their words they will be in a sorry and confused state.

I don't believe that one can commit "heart murder" or "heart adultery" during this Church Age, I believe these will be crimes one can be guilty of during the coming Millennial kingdom when Jesus Christ is down here ruling and reigning, that is the the 'kingdom doctrine' Jesus was teaching in Mathew 5, see the following example:


Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. 21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.


Also, the passages you mention from Matt 5 & 1 John 3 concern behaviour towards "your brother", so Mr Friel is wrong to generalize that to "someone" or anyone.
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I think Mr Friel is in error in this area and is infecting the minds of those who listen to him and believe him. When a person thinks they can commit murder with their words they will be in a sorry and confused state.

I don't believe that one can commit "heart murder" or "heart adultery" during this Church Age, I believe these will be crimes one can be guilty of during the coming Millennial kingdom when Jesus Christ is down here ruling and reigning, that is the the 'kingdom doctrine' Jesus was teaching in Mathew 5, see the following example:


Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. 21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.


Also, the passages you mention from Matt 5 & 1 John 3 concern behaviour towards "your brother", so Mr Friel is wrong to generalize that to "someone" or anyone.


You are right in that the passages I had mentioned are speaking specifically about our relationship with our "brothers" and that does indeed change the dynamic of the warnings Christ was issuing.

However, your premise that it is impossible to "commit 'heart murder' or 'heart adultery'" is invalid based on the passage you cited. Jesus never claimed that one could actually outwardly commit any sin simply thinking about it or dwelling upon it. It is clear, though, that his instructions during the sermon on the mount are not descriptive of how the kingdom of heaven will be, but rather examples of how human righteous never had and never would be sufficient for a man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus Christ was informing all men for all time that committing a sin in one's heart causes one to be guilty of that sin in God's eyes regardless of whether or not the sin is ever committed physically. It seems that people have always had the ability to sin in their hearts without actually committing the sin outwardly and physically; that is the essence of Christ's discourse: that the scribes and Pharisees were sinning in their hearts and were just as guilty before God as though they had been performing those acts of iniquity openly and physically.

The reason for the insufficiency of their righteousness was not because of what they were or were not doing or whether they were committing sin outwardly or inwardly. The reason their righteousness fell short was because it was their own righteousness.

That is why the key phrase in that portion of the sermon on the mount is when Jesus says, "... except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."

Our righteousness must be Christ's righteousness. That is the only way it can ever exceed that of the Pharisees and the only way we could ever hope to gain entrance into the kingdom of heaven.

Until then, we have an advocate with the Father for all sins, be they inward or outward, known or hidden.

Praise the Lord! Edited by speerjp1
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

If you are going to teach this stuff to the Body of Christ then you need to be VERY careful how you do it, for you can sow much confusion. Jesus was teaching a spiritual principle about committing murder with words and adultery with thoughts, and this needs to be clarified as spiritual and not doctrinal for the Christian.

Matthew chapters 5-7 will be applicable doctrinally during the 1000 year reign of Christ, this is when the "kingdom of heaven" will come down to this earth, so if a man does lust after a woman in his heart or call his brother a fool he will be judged immediately as an adulterer or murderer regardless of not committing the act, this is how strict the law will be during the Millennial reign of Christ. As I showed earlier, the man who calls his brother a fool will be in danger of going to hell, but this is not the case doctrinally today with the Christian.


Too many preachers today are wrongly labeling Christians as adulterers and murderers because they are teaching passages of scripture as doctrine which are not applicable to the Body of Christ. By all means preach against these sins, but don't confuse God's people by telling them they are guilty of committing them through words or thoughts, that will apply in the future Millennial kingdom when Christ is here on earth, and the Church will be alongside Him ruling and reigning.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist



You are right in that the passages I had mentioned are speaking specifically about our relationship with our "brothers" and that does indeed change the dynamic of the warnings Christ was issuing.

However, your premise that it is impossible to "commit 'heart murder' or 'heart adultery'" is invalid based on the passage you cited. Jesus never claimed that one could actually outwardly commit any sin simply thinking about it or dwelling upon it. It is clear, though, that his instructions during the sermon on the mount are not descriptive of how the kingdom of heaven will be, but rather examples of how human righteous never had and never would be sufficient for a man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus Christ was informing all men for all time that committing a sin in one's heart causes one to be guilty of that sin in God's eyes regardless of whether or not the sin is ever committed physically. It seems that people have always had the ability to sin in their hearts without actually committing the sin outwardly and physically; that is the essence of Christ's discourse: that the scribes and Pharisees were sinning in their hearts and were just as guilty before God as though they had been performing those acts of iniquity openly and physically.

The reason for the insufficiency of their righteousness was not because of what they were or were not doing or whether they were committing sin outwardly or inwardly. The reason their righteousness fell short was because it was their own righteousness.

That is why the key phrase in that portion of the sermon on the mount is when Jesus says, "... except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."

Our righteousness must be Christ's righteousness. That is the only way it can ever exceed that of the Pharisees and the only way we could ever hope to gain entrance into the kingdom of heaven.

Until then, we have an advocate with the Father for all sins, be they inward or outward, known or hidden.

Praise the Lord!



Agreed.

There is way to many people using words such as idiot & or moron when speaking to someone they disagree with, and now many Christians have picked up on it, so sad.


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  • 2 months later...

I occasionally listen to Wretched Radio with Todd Friel. I enjoy a lot of things about the radio program and I especially like "Witness Wednesdays" because he spends time evangelizing the lost. I do not listen to the entire program, but I listen to their podcast which is just one segment of the program called "Segment of the Day." Todd Friel uses the Way of the Master's popular "good person test" when witnessing, which is fine, but one thing he has done several times concerns me and I wanted to get some input from the forums on it.

If you can, find their podcast from Dec. 22, 2010 and listen to the first few minutes of it. You will hear Mr. Friel tell a young man that if he has ever called someone a "moron" or "idiot" he is a "murderer at heart." I have heard him do this several times.

The most well known New Testament teachings on the subject can be found in Matthew 5:21-26 and 1 John 3:15 although the Bible as a whole has much to say about murder.

The whole thing seems to have been recently popularized by the Way of the Master's "Good Person Test." However, I have never heard any of WOTM's witnessing tools or resources make the claim that calling someone an "idiot" or "moron" constitutes murder. They tend to stick with the biblical phrasing of "angry with his brother without a cause" or "whosoever hateth his brother" as being prerequisites to being condemned in any way as a "murderer at heart."

What do you think? Is Todd Friel stretching it a bit, or is my understanding of what constitutes a "murderer at heart" too limited?


I like Todd. I think he's a fine preacher, a good radio show host, and a nice guy. Although I don't really have a personal relationship with him, we've talked via email several times and he has shared my testimony on the air.

Now that having been said, I think he does sometimes go a little overboard in his definitions. Not wrong, necessarily, just a little too aggressive. For example, I also disgaree with the way he defines coveting as any desire to have anything, whereas my understanding of the word would be not merely wanting something, but a jealousy that comes from being unsatisfied with God's provision (i.e. "That's not fair! I've been faithful! I should be the one God blessed with a new car, not that guy!").

In Todd's defense, he has acknowledged that he does this and has explained that the reason he does it is because he doesn't always know where the line is, so rather than crossing the line and dishonoring God, it's better just to stay as far away from the line as possible which, when put that way, I respect.

"Idiot" and "moron" are clinical medical terms, so I'm not sure I agree with him using them as examples, but I get his point that when used outside of a medical context, they're often an indication of hatred or unjust anger.

On a side note, older shows are available through Living Waters' website. I prefer the "phone fishing" of the older shows, when Trish, Aaron, Tony, et al, would go out on the street and witness. When Todd does it on Witness Wednesdays, it seems like every encounter is the same.
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  • 1 month later...

What do you think? Is Todd Friel stretching it a bit, or is my understanding of what constitutes a "murderer at heart" too limited?


We all have a "too limited" view of sin in general!
My neighbor says... "well if I were to kill you, and no one saw me, such that there were no witnesses and I didn't leave any evidence for example, then I wouldn't go to jail. I couldn't be convicted of a crime without evidence!

O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. (Matthew 12:34)
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. (Luke 6:45)
For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. (Matthew 12:37)

Sin is committed in the heart first and foremost. All of our sin begins there. If the outward deed of sin was all there was, then an outward payment (legal sacrifice in the OT) would satisfy the guilt and judgment and death that the wage of sin earned. The problem has always been that a simple covering or atonement for sin, by the priest on the altar, has never satisfied the eternal payment required for crimes against the Eternal God.

God knows each-and-every-thing. God created all things. God knows all things intimately or absolutely thoroughly. Nothing, absolutely positively guaranteed--> nothing <- is hidden from Him at all in any way. He is totally perfect, with utter complete and magnificent incomprehensible perfection! He knows your every thought, even before you think them, He knows everything that personally and well.

The act of sin, is an outward manifestation of what already occurred in the heart. The Law was given to display and manifest this fact.

Eve was deceived in the Garden before she ate of the fruit. The sin committed before eating the fruit. Not believing God, not trusting God. Thinking God has cut you out of the loop, you know, held something back from you that you deserve and need.
Satan might say it like this in todays terms "God ain't really all that! He is holding out on you so you won't get all you want and need. He doesn't really care about you He just doesn't want you to know as much as He does. He is just a Control freak! You are better than that! You deserve to be all you can be."


Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; (Isaiah 14:11-16)


So when we use the terms moron and idiot, to describe our fellow man, made in the image of God, by our loving and caring Creator who sent His only Begotten Son to suffer and die and take the punishment justly due to them/us upon Himself if they repent and believe... we are declaring our own importance above theirs. We self justify our position above theirs. Instead of spewing love and adoration, we spew hatred, and self importance. Did you die for that idiot and moron? no. Christ did. While they were yet sinners.

Murder of the heart, yes. Physical murder? yes. Why? Either Christ must die for them, or they will die without Christ for an eternity in hell under the wrath of God, what did you do to warn them? Were you too busy to care about how much more important you were? That is hatred pure and simple.
The wages of sin is death.

Until our view of God is raised as high as it should be, we will always devalue His Sacrifice, because we value our sin as more important and not really a big deal. Not as big a deal as it really is in Gods eyes.
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Only God can know if you commit "heart murder"....you can say "idiot" and not be hateful...or you can say "God bless you" and be full of hate and anger and bitterness.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Only God can know if you commit "heart murder"....you can say "idiot" and not be hateful...or you can say "God bless you" and be full of hate and anger and bitterness.

That's true!
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Only God can know if you commit "heart murder"....you can say "idiot" and not be hateful...or you can say "God bless you" and be full of hate and anger and bitterness.


I think this is right too and your conscience bears witness. The point is the heart not just the words used.

Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) (Romans 2:15)

You know because your conscience bugs you, or you try to shut it off and pretend it didn't really bug you that much. But God does indeed know.
Our problem is we create a god that will just overlook our lil ole' self. Which is Idolatry, and one sin made 2 just that easy. Well it really gets worse because once you self justify that sin, then you go on tell yourself a little white lie like, no one besides me and God knows, and God will forgive me.

And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good. (Joshua 24:19-20)

For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, (Hebrews 10:26) (all scripture needs context to help you understand clearly and right now is a good time to read the whole section)

God won't forgive you. He can't, He is perfectly Just too. (Just as in Justice must be paid)

Your sin must be weighed in the balance, and if you are a Christian, God bloodied His Son instead of you, He paid for your little sin with His blood as He cried with a loud voice... (Mr 15:34)

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

Sin has an extremely eternally high price. It's remedy is stunningly costly!
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