Christian Negging?

A comic from XKCD got me talking about “negging,” the trick of using put-downs to lower a person’s self confidence so they will be more vulnerable and seek your approval. It’s associated with “pick-up artists” attempting to seduce women.

The use of insults, no matter how subtle, in order to attract someone seems counter-intuitive. Nevertheless, I’ve been told it works under certain circumstances. Which makes me think about Christianity in general and Calvinism is specific.

Is this negging?

Your wickedness makes you as it were heavy as lead, and to tend downwards with great weight and pressure towards hell; and if God should let you go, you would immediately sink and swiftly descend and plunge into the bottomless gulf, and your healthy constitution, and your own care and prudence, and best contrivance, and all your righteousness, would have no more influence to uphold you and keep you out of hell, than a spider’s web would have to stop a falling rock.

Granted, negging is subtle, and this is anything but subtle. Still, to me the principle seems similar: damage someone’s sense of self worth so that they turn to you for comfort.

One of the basic principles of Reformed Christianity is that all of us are horrible sinners who completely deserve to burn in hell for eternity. But wait, God is merciful! Turn to him, or rather to his representative, and do what we tell you.

Is this the same as negging, or am I off track?

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