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Old Nov 4, '10, 11:26 pm
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Holly3278 Holly3278 is offline
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Default Re: Is calling someone a "fool" really a sin?

Well, I don't think it's a mortal sin but at the least, it is being uncharitable. Also, you have to realize that back during Bible times, being called a fool was akin to being called something that you would be banned for posting on here!
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Old Nov 5, '10, 5:34 am
Hiskid1973 Hiskid1973 is offline
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Default Re: Is calling someone a "fool" really a sin?

What ever you call the type of sin, it's a condition of the heart..One that's operating in the fleshly realm rather living in the Spirit...Choices, every day we have choices to choose life or live in the flesh...One results in collecting ash while the other gold/silver..
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Old Nov 18, '10, 6:21 am
Katrinka Yobotz Katrinka Yobotz is offline
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Default Re: Is calling someone a "fool" really a sin?

"Fool" is frequently found in the Old Testament, referring to unbelievers. But there are also some occurrences in the New Testament, as well.

1 Corinthians 3:18
There is no room for self-delusion. Any one of you who thinks he is wise by worldly standards must learn to be a fool in order to be really wise.

1 Corinthians 4:10
Here we are, fools for Christ's sake, while you are the clever ones in Christ; we are weak, while you are strong; you are honored, while we are disgraced.

2 Corinthians 11:21
I say it to your shame; perhaps we have been too weak. Whatever bold claims anyone makes -- now I am talking as a fool -- I can make them too.

2 Corinthians 12:11
I have turned into a fool, but you forced me to it. It is you that should have been commending me; those super-apostles had no advantage over me, even if I am nothing at all.

But these should be particularly thought-provoking:

Luke 11:40
Fools! Did not He who made the outside make the inside too?

Luke 12:20
But God said to him, "Fool! This very night the demand will be made for your soul; and this hoard of yours, whose will it be then?"

Matthew 23:17
Fools and blind! For which is of greater value, the gold or the Temple that makes the gold sacred?

1 Peter 2:15
It is God's will that by your good deeds you should silence the ignorant talk of fools.

James 2:20
Fool! Would you not like to know that faith without deeds is useless?
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Old Nov 18, '10, 11:17 am
germangreek germangreek is offline
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Default Re: Is calling someone a "fool" really a sin?

In English, it would be an insult and a (possibly venial) violation of the fifth commandment. Some people are not very intelligent, and some people don't have much common sense, and "fool" is probably an adequate description of such people. It is probably rare that one would actually need to give public voice to that judgement of another's intellectual capacities, and one would be sinning then because one should just stay silent.

In the Bible, though, "fool" translates "rakah", which contrasts with "wise". The wise man is the one who has studied the Scriptures and strives to conform his life to its teaching. The fool is one who avoids studying so as to avoid knowing the moral demands on him. "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'" Used in this way, the way Jesus understood when He condemned calling your brother a fool, we mean that the brother is a wilfully ignorant sinner under condemnation. This is making a judgement about his moral state, which we should never do.

We might need to correct sin, or for the purposes of instruction to point out that someone's behavior is sinful, but calling the person a "fool" makes a determination about the disposition of his soul, which only God can do.
The purpose of an open mind, like that of an open mouth, is to close it on something to solid. GK Chesterton
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Old Nov 18, '10, 8:42 pm
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PetersKeys PetersKeys is offline
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Default Re: Is calling someone a "fool" really a sin?

Originally Posted by MarianD View Post
Let's be honest, not-too-bright people surround all of us. Is calling someone an "idiot" (or "fool" like Jesus said) a sin, in the context of "Why did you act so stupid?" or "She's an idiot for getting that question wrong"? Or was that just a response to Pharisee customs and not a universal law?

Keep in mind I'm not talking about calling someone with a disability an "idiot". That's obviously immoral.
I don't know about calling another person a fool. but the bible calls people who don't believe in God as fools. "The fool says in his heart, there is no God". Other verses state that a fool despises wisdom and rebuke, while a wise man welcomes it.

Now as far as calling other BROTHERS(other christians) a fool, Jesus condemns such actions.

Even as he walks along the road, the fool lacks sense and shows everyone how stupid he is. - Ecclesiastes 10:3
the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its preeminent authority.- St. Irenaeus
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Old Dec 14, '10, 8:12 am
czechestowa czechestowa is offline
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Default Re: Is calling someone a "fool" really a sin?

Yes its a difficult one. and its something I have thought about too.Maybe if you were to give a practical example people could comment on it. If I could propose an example If someone started jumping onto the bonnet of a car and started hanging out of the wipers while the car was driving along. maybe calling someone a fool lets the person of the hook and the person using the word is using a get out clause not addressing the situation properly and addressing the real needs of the offender properly. where the situation requires more wisdom courage and love than is being offered by the person using the word fool. It requires prayer and the help of the holy spirit. Thanks for bringing the topic up.
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Old Dec 14, '10, 5:56 pm
germangreek germangreek is offline
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Default Re: Is calling someone a "fool" really a sin?

The Hebrew word usually translated into "fool" in our English translations does not have the same meaning as the modern English word "fool", at least as it is commonly used today. The Biblical word had a strong moral element, connoting that the one so described has wilfully kept himself ignorant, particularly in the moral realm, because he wants to be free to sin. It is an apt description, actually, of much of modern Western society. But to call someone a fool, in that sense, is to make a serious moral accusation about the person, one that only God is obliged to make.
We almost always use "fool" to refer to someone who makes stupid decisions or behaves in a silly way (when not appropriate). This usage, if not accurate, is an insult and a violation of the fifth commandment but probably usually venial. If the appelation is accurate but not necessary to be given, I would guess it is also venial. I don't think it is the usage Jesus was condemning as worthy of the fires of Gehenna, but still indicates a thought best kept to oneself (or not had at all!).
The purpose of an open mind, like that of an open mouth, is to close it on something to solid. GK Chesterton
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Old Dec 18, '10, 3:48 pm
Elizabeth502 Elizabeth502 is offline
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Default Re: Is calling someone a "fool" really a sin?

Originally Posted by Trishie View Post
I think you will find that Jesus meant the contempt that can underlie condemning another as a does show a degree of judgement to call someone stupid and it can undermine their self image, if not our perception of another person.

It was the unloving contemptuous meaning held in the words sometimes that Jesus was censuring. He teaching is all about 'Love", "Charity"

It isn't charitable to call another person a fool, but you can acknowledge that the person has made a foolish mistake (in your perception, and in view of the consequences).

A direct insult -- not a joke or a playful comment, but a clear insult delivered in contempt and/or anger -- is a sin. Depending on the severity of it (if abusive, if extreme, if very public -- thus stripping your brother/sister of their due dignity in the presence of others), I consider it a serious sin. I try to think of it as verbal weaponry. So for example, if you are calling someone, in disgust, a demeaning body part, that is not only insulting, it is objectifying the other person and disregarding his or her wholeness. Thus, vulgarity adds to the offense, as being an offense against the dignity of the human person.

There are so many offensive insults delivered casually in the public square these days; it's amazing how little shame people have and how little respect they have for fellow human beings.

Perhaps that's not what the OP was referring to. I elaborated because I see profane insults as such a common occurrence these days. Jesus condemned that as verbal violence.
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Old Dec 21, '10, 8:45 am
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Default Re: Is calling someone a "fool" really a sin?

If it is, poor Mr. T
If you're scared that you don't matter
If you're lost and need to be found
If you're looking for a Savior
All you gotta do is turn around

-Matt Maher's "Turn Around"
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