"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, emphasis mine)
1. abuse, vilify, vituperate, berate, disparage.
Reviling dominates our debates, our blogs and comment threads, much of our humor and entertainment, and most of what passes for our news media. Our ears itch to hear our opponents mocked and disparaged, abused, berated, and vilified. Reviling has taken over our rhetoric. Like the chariot races and gladiator matches of ancient days, abusive language make our hearts pound with excitement while deafening our ears to the cries of the gentle. It hardens our hearts. It turns us into bullies, or it bullies us into subjection. I truly wish I could say I was speaking only of the culture of the "world," but the truth of the matter is, reviling has permeated "Christian" culture and public behavior. It's a smack-down world and we want smack-down leaders who can take down the opposition with savor and flourish. We prefer arrogance to meekness. In a world of bullies we want bullies to lead us and make us feel safe and our position sound. Don't mess with us, we'll take you down!
Yet the Scripture tells us that revilers will not enter the kingdom of heaven....
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control, gentleness; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." (Galatians 5:22-24 emphasis mine)
May God grant us repentance.