In This Election Season, Do Not Malign!

Posted on August 25, 2020

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By David Ettinger

Déjà vu?
Hey, didn’t I just write this blog yesterday? Close, but not actually. Yesterday’s blog, “Beware of Reviling,” was based on 1 Peter 2:23. Today’s blog focuses on Titus 3:2.

So though this blog may be déjà vu in nature, I believe it is crucial for believers as the New Testament speaks often of this important topic.

The Word ‘Malign’
Let’s briefly look at this word before examining its setting and why it applies to this election season. In the NASB, Titus 3:2 reads: “to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.” Other Bible versions translate “to malign no one” as:

  • “To speak evil of no man” (KJV).
  • “to speak evil of no one” (ESV)
  • “to slander no one” (NIV).
  • “to slander no one” (HCSB).
  • “They must not slander” (NET).
  • “to speak evil of no one” (MEV).

The Greek word for “malign” is blasphémeó, from where, of course, we get the English word “blasphemy.” Definitions of blasphémeó include:

  • To speak profanely of sacred things.
  • To speak evil against.
  • To use abusive or scurrilous language about God or men.
  • To hurl abuse.

Have you maligned recently? It’s easy to know. Just look at these four definitions, and if you can check one or more, you’ve maligned.

The Context
What’s really crucial in the apostle Paul’s command to not malign – or speak evil of – is the context.

Who is this book written to? Titus 1:4 tells us: “To Titus, my true child in a common faith.” Titus is a disciple of Paul. What does Titus do? Verse 5: “… I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you.” Titus was one of the spiritual leaders of the church in Crete, and he was to give them sound instruction into the Christian faith.

This included instructing the Cretans in the way they should behave, among which is:

Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men (3:1-2).

Not much explanation needed: Do this: Be subject to rulers and authorities (believers AND unbelievers). Be ready to do good things. Be peaceable. Be gentle. Show every consideration for ALL people. Is this how you live? Are you subject to government officials? Are you considerate of ALL people, politicians included.

Don’t do this: Malign – or speak evil – of anyone. Do you malign politicians? Do you want harm to come upon them? If you’re hemming hawing, consider that the above passage can’t be any clearer.

Applying It
This does not mean you can’t abhor what politicians stand for. I hate the platform of the Democratic Party as much of it is satanic, particularly its promotion of abortion, approval of all sexual lifestyles, and its anti-Christian worldview.

But this does not mean I hate Joe Biden and Kamala Harris; Nancy Pelosi and “the Squad”; and liberal mayors who have allowed protestors to wreak havoc upon once-beautiful cities.

The Bible tells us specifically to NOT malign them. Yes, hate what they support and abhor what they stand for, but don’t speak evil of them as human beings. Rather, pray for them. Pray not that they become conservatives, but that they come to a saving faith of the Lord Jesus.

When Christians malign, we cheapen ourselves. But when we pray for those we oppose, we do the work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who “came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15).

This is a time when emotions run high, and too many of us let our emotions control us. The Lord, however, would have us rise above our emotions and aspire to live godly and obedient lives, including NOT maligning those whose beliefs we abhor.

May we seek to do God’s will beginning today!