21 May 2010

Not yet. We're getting there.

by Phil Johnson

've had a few things to say in recent years about preachers who translate the gospel into profanity in the name of "contextualization." If you're one of those who think I have exaggerated the problem or been too shrill in pointing it out, have a look here.



That's Sam D. Kim, founding and senior pastor of 180 Church, a Manhattan-based missional community. His specialty, and the trademark of 180 Church, is (in Sam Kim's own words) "effed-up theology." Watch his sermon, and pay close attention around the 8-minute mark, where he says he got a nod of approval for this type of "contextualization" from an elite group of "theologians and professors" at a Lausanne meeting in Dallas.

"Do you actually use the [f-]word?" they asked.

"Not yet. We're getting there," he told them.

Tragically, it looks like some of our Young, Restless brethren are moving that direction at breakneck speed. Here's what 180 Church's current ad campaign looks like:



Now, here's the thing: Sam Kim apparently understands the gospel. He has a Bible and refers to it now and again. So why does he think it necessary to exegete pop culture and translate the gospel message into gratuitous profanity? Why doesn't he preach the Word of God undiluted and on its own terms?

See, I think this whole approach to ministry reflects a fatal lack of confidence in the power of the gospel itself. If we really believed the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, why would we think it necessary to dress the message in such shabby rags?

Phil's signature

119 comments:

Chris said...

The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation, not swear words.

Not that God can't use swear words to bring someone to the Gospel, but I believe it's unnecessary, as you do.

Let's just preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, without the additions.

The Damer said...

The shock pastors don't seem to realize that they are obscuring the Gospel not clarifying it.

Other than that he doesn't seem too bad. It does appear from their website that he made his wife a pastor. I wonder what that's all about.

gymbrall said...

Now, here's the thing: Sam Kim apparently understands the gospel. He has a Bible and refers to it now and again. So why does he think it necessary to exegete pop culture and translate the gospel message into gratuitous profanity? Why doesn't he preach the Word of God undiluted and on its own terms?

See, I think this whole approach to ministry reflects a fatal lack of confidence in the power of the gospel itself. If we really believed the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, why would we think it necessary to dress the message in such shabby rags?


And at some point, and I'm not going to say that this is necessarily that point, the answer to this question becomes, I have no reason (major, literal emphasis on the word REASON) to believe that this person truly knows and loves Jesus Christ.

I don't want that to come across any more judgemental than I think we are commanded to be, but I do think that its true. A person who does not believe the Gospel has power, does not believe Jesus Christ has power. A person who does not believe the gospel has power in a different way from the power that a well marketed idea has, does not believe in Jesus Christ.

sean patrick said...

As someone who tends to think TeamPyro overstates the case against contextualization from time to time, I agree with this wholeheartedly.

I'm 27. When talking about the Gospel I speak the language of my peers, explain things so my friends understand, make application our/their lives, use cultural references where appropriate, etc.... but this is way too much. Simply a case of trying too hard, and even condescending if you don't believe people can grasp these concepts without going this far. You think less of your audience, and less of Romans 1:16, as you mention.

Pooka said...

Is saying stuff like "Holy #$@&" actually holy?

The profanity preachers seem to have missed something in the reverence and holiness section of God's Word.

Sure, you can preach the Gospel in any language. Cussin' and spitting and hatin' and dissin' isn't a language, it's a demonstration of a messed up heart that is not aligned with the right perspective of God.

It's not enough to say "Christ didn't cuss." These guys need to gather that we're presenting a Holy, Infinite Sovereign who isn't down with this stuff.

Word Verification: defilita those who Defile message by uttering words which have no part in said message.

Zaphon said...

Those in the evanglical movement have tried almost everything else, and without lasting results. This is the trend du jour. Cuz our "Jesus' needs to be bad-we need to be REPESENTIN' our Jesus.

That's why I would never fit in to the trend...I'm not cool enough.

Zaph

John said...

I think there is a huge difference between strong language and crass language. I say this because the gospel already includes very, very strong language. The Bible tells us that we are already damned to hell by God, and are desperately wicked at heart. When we co-opt the crass language of society we are
1) mitigating the strength of this Biblical language, and
2) creating (intentionally or otherwise) a climate where sin and rebellion is casual.

In Sammy's case, this can be seen in his use of the "eff" word. This word refers to the act of cleaving, and transforms it into an act of domination and humiliation. It then uses this understanding of the act to describe a hopeless and undesirable situation. This language sets the whole message into a context of a false worldview, and one in which perversion of God's good gifts and natural order is normal and casual.

Didn't someone once say that the power of life and death is in the tongue?

Louise said...

Yes...and in Corinth of old, some were saying "Jesus is accursed," and everyone said "Wow...that's is profound!"

Apples and Oranges? I don't think so...

1 Cor 12:3 - "Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking in the Spirit of God says, 'Jesus is accursed;..."

These crafters of smut-evangelism should be warned: "And I say to you, that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the day of judgment." (Matt 12:36). Are their words "of the Spirit?" The Lord truly knows, but if young, inexperienced, unproven professors of Jesus are the leading voices for contemporary evangelism, Christianity in western culture has become vacuous!

Christopher said...

Here is my question, and Lord help me if I sound a bit too post modern here: I am an English teacher and love to look at how words evolve or even devolve in society. For example, calling someone an "idiot" did not always have bad connotations.

So, again, here is my question: Are there actual cuss words? Or do we just have a list of words that people decided we should not say? Growing up, in my house, I could not call someone a liar, they were "telling a story". I have other friends who could not say "shut-up" and still others who could not say "stupid".

However, I also had those friends who could "cuss", dropping what I could consider verbal bombs every which way, but in their home it was fine. It seems that language is a constantly evolving thing, thus cuss words evolve with it...maybe?

Anyway, I am open to rebuke and correction if any have it to offer.

witness said...

One day about 15 years ago I heard this on the radio...

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ~Philippians 2:9-11

After I heard that I was saved. Somehow I don't think we need to "ratchet up" the language anymore than what God has done. I think the sort of language being discussed here misses the point of how exalted the name and person of Christ Jesus really is.

Do we really need to attach that sort of language to the name of our LORD? Should we even want to?

Sven Pook said...

Great point Phil;

Tailoring the Gospel to fit the society around you does not rely on the power of God, but relies on the strength of the preacher.

Ask Willow Creek how that worked out for them.

Gregg said...

I agree 100%, when we change the gospel, improve the gospel, alter the gospel, or as you say, "dress it up in rags." we demonstrate loudly and clearly that we have no confidence in its power to do its job.

That Crazy Christian said...

I got about 45 seconds into that video and had to shut it off. I frankly don't get why people are attracted to that sort of thing. Put aside the dribble coming out of the man's mouth, the presentation itself would have rendered even the best of messages almost worthless.

I'm not one to say that you have to be in a suit and tie, standing behind a pulpit, with a camera on a single angle and have almost no inflection or passion. No, but there is a line that can be, and often is, crossed with these types of preachers.

My point is that even their presentation (along with WHAT they're actually saying) is a giant show or a game. Why? Because it has to be. God isn't in this stuff and they have to make it appealing through other means.

What a shame that we have a generation that finds it appealing.

Also, I'm getting really tired of the "Young, Restless, Reformed" label/group/identity/whatever. It's annoying. Can't we just call ourselves Christians and be done with it?

Both of my points above serve to illustrate a larger point and a foundational principles in my life. That is, that we as Christians are too caught up in the trappings of being a particular type of Christian, rather than actually being slaves to our God and King.

Glorify Him. Forget yourself, your little group, and your little style (all of that will come naturally anyway). It's ultimately meaningless. Be what He wants you to be, and nothing more.

thatcrazychristian.blogspot.com

Morris Brooks said...

Does he really know and understand the gospel? Really? Has he truly experienced its power for Himself? I wonder.

Matt said...

as if, there's this whole unreached people group who won't hear the gospel unless we turn on the profanity...really...

Rob said...

Tim Keller manages to reach New Yorkers without resorting to profanity. I don't follow the logic that says you have to use toilet language to somehow engage the culture. And what about those non-believers in the culture who are turned off by profanity?
This doesn't make any sense

Solameanie said...

I would say that I'm aghast, but after a while, being aghast becomes passe. I'm getting to the point where I'm thinking gentle reasoning, pleading, biblical remonstrances and even sharp rebukes aren't getting the message across to these clowns. I even doubt that a good, hard pop to the head wouldn't do any good, as tempting as it is to deliver one.

I'm ashamed of them. Truly.

Josh said...

James 3:8-10 - No man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.

Some might argue that James is only referring to actually cursing God, but would not anything that comes from our mouth that is intended to show our contempt for our circumstances trample on both the sovereignty and holiness of God.

When I say my situation is f'ed up am I not saying that I profane the Sovereign will of God.

When I curse I show contempt and the Bible says to put away all bitterness and anger.

Job talks about accepting both good and trouble from the Lord.

Michael the Archangel did not bring a railing accusation against Satan because he had serious respect for the Holiness of God and God's authority.

When God drew me unto Him, and removed the blindness He convicted me that foul language was something that was offensive. I feel as though we are wading in the sewers when we can draw from the fresh living stream of the Word of God.

Stefan said...

Sean used the word "condescending," and he may be on to something.

My experience of the way intercultural interaction works (just normal interaction apart from evangelism, but the same may apply to evangelism) is that you are respected more by someone from another culture when you (a) show respect to that person's culture, but (b) also remain true to yourself and your own values, and not visibly selling out your identity by pretending to be someone you're not or believe something you don't.

Johnny Dialectic said...

this whole approach to ministry reflects a fatal lack of confidence in the power of the gospel itself

Exactly. And these hipsters are making the same mistake the "seeker sensitives" made. The language is just another "gimmick" to get people's attention.

It is also prideful. Kim says that this "effed up theology" was "created by 180."

Alarms going off.

bp said...

Pooka, what's truely sad is that while probably most evangelicals will agree with you (that mixing profanity in with a gospel message is a demonstration of a messed-up heart and an irreverance for God), many of those same would have no qualms about plunking down 10 bucks to watch a movie with, not only a steady stream of F words, but with frequent and strong derogatory uses of our Lord's name as well.

My guess is that (ironically) this ever-increasing desensitization is a big part of the reason why this is seeping into the church in the first place.

jimkang said...

This is an embarrassment to all Asian-American pastors that are faithfully preaching a high view of God and a high view of Scripture, with a sense of reverence.

Brad Williams said...

I am trying to figure out why people would do this.

At best, it seems that this sort of language is meant to convey that the evangelist is "one of the people." That is, he will be taken more seriously if he can drop the occassional f-bomb. Get past a stereo-type of Christians, I guess.

I certainly don't need to drop f-bombs to shock lost people, or at least weird them out. If your Christianity isn't shocking or weird, then you don't know enough lost people. I have a friend from college who writes soft-porn. I mean, come on. The reality is that I'm the weird one in that conversation because I don't go there.

And you know, those guys like me as a sort of eccentric. It's so odd. If they drop an expletive in my presence, they usually apologize, which is weird. I hate that because they seem to have the idea that pornography, cussing, tight skirts, and etc., do to Christians what water did to the wicked witch.

My point is that not cussing, not oogling girls, not going to certain movies, these things put us at odds with the world, like third eye weird. And I rejoice in that, I don't feel defensive about it at all. I am unashamed of my worldy lameness. And if I can stay in that relationship long enough, uncompromised and loving, then I can demonstrate a more excellent way.

Because Jesus is more excellent than f-bombs. My wife is more wonderful than porn. My children need a father who doesn't oogle other women, not because I'm legalistic, but because she really is the best and most satisfying. How do I know that? Because God gave her to me. I have all of these things, all of this joy, because of King Jesus.

So no, I do not cuss. Not because cussing makes me melt. And no, I do not look at porn, not because I'm a prude. I avoid these things because they cheapen that which is real and lasting and beautiful. I avoid these things for the same reason girls dream of a beautiful wedding dress on their special day instead of ripped jeans and flannel shirts.

That's why pastors ought to quit cussing. They were made for higher speech; they were born to speak of more excellent majesties and not gutter vulgarities.

Christopher said...

I would really like to know what makes a word a cuss word? Is it just the culture around us that makes it a cuss word? See my post earlier to see what I mean. Thanks.

Frank Turk said...

Without defending the subject of this post, I have a dear brother in Christ who is transplanted from NJ to the south who would say that it is impossible in some parts of NJ to even say, "How are ya?" sincerely without the f-bomb. I honestly know what he is saying -- and I want to believe that he and I are both wrong about that.

I will assume that we are -- because we are outnumbered, and because we are outnumbered for principled reasons and not merely because of what some have called prudery or victorian morals.

That said, even if we are not wrong, the question is not, "can this be a means of speaking between friends." The question is, "is this the language of the Gospel and of reconciliation, or is it an embrace of the lowest forms of colloquial speech when the Gospel is a much more serious matter than this mode of discourse conveys?"

See: these guys would not speak this way to a human judge or a police officer. They would not speak this way to a teacher in a classroom. They would not speak this way to their mother-in-law. But they would speak this way to strangers and the lost?

Doesn't it show disrespect to speak this way to those with whom you are unfamiliar? It's it impolite and coarse to say that to any Joe on the street? If some stranger said that to your wife or your daughter in the Mall, wouldn't you see red?

Even if the paradigm that in some familiar contexts this word and this mode of speech is seen as a form of comaraderie, it's not for all contexts and all people. If we admit that, talking about f-bomb theology or f-bomb people etc. is simply a contextual fail.

As a guy who is prone to this language anyway, and really fights a daily battle to keep it out of my mouth, I have a very hard time believing that this pastor and his church do not see the mistake they are making.

Frank Turk said...

Christopher:

If I told you want I thought as soon as I read your comment, you would immediately know what a cuss word is, and why it is considered impolite and vulgar.

Don't be coy.

ZSB said...

"Wil Smith don't have to cuss in his raps to sell records. Well, I do."

witness said...

I would really like to know what makes a word a cuss word?

I guess whatever pops into your head when you hear it. So then, even it is not offensive to me, I am still responsible for what pops into your head when I use it...

ala Romans 14 that is.

Mike Riccardi said...

This is ridiculous. Nobody worth listening to is going to argue with it.

But how is this not simply the logical end of a missional philosophy of ministry?

Pooka said...

What part of
but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
Are we missing?
I don't think I'm taking this verse out of context here.

Would I, as a father, admit my children, with their simple, clean faith, to hear this man proclaim the "@*#&'d upness of the world?" And then take them home to watch G-rated movies, read A-beka books, and claim that Christians are to live holy, exemplary lives?

And if we're to be like that, innocent and faithful like children, does it do justice to the imagery if a preacher violates the purity of the church(I mean beautiful purity, like that of The Bride Of Christ)?

I think there's no way to pare down the meaning of these words and the impact of the vulgar attempts to meet the culture where it's at into a statement "that's where they're at. The F-bomb doesn't mean what it used to mean." Right. It's a total corruption and that’s not going to change. Presenting a sermon series as “Victorious Secrets” with curvy silhouette for the logo is just as bad (just sayin’).

If we’re in Christ, we need to cut this mess out. We need to search our own culture-corrupted ways of thinking (Romans 12:1-2) and be unafraid (like Team Pyro!) to call a foul-mouth a foul-mouth and further demonstrate that such foulness is a perversion of the Gospel.

Wow, longest comment I've written. Hope that made sense and kept in context.

Christopher said...

@Frank Turk: I ask the question, Frank, not to be coy, but as genuine intellectual inquiry here. Please DO NOT assume the worst of someone who you do not even know, it does not seem very fair.

My question was merely one of historical significance (in my eyes at least, sorry if you did not take it that way). Words change, period. If (insert cuss word here) is not inappropriate fifteen years from now is it still wrong to use it from the pulpit? Or does it, at that point, become another word to use? I am not defending cussing at all, but my reason for not liking has more to do with a love for language...I find it lazy and thoughtless, but that is a big step from saying something is inherently wrong.

Now, if we want to say that it is wrong because it blurs the line between the Church and the World, fine. That is not just cussing though. If we want to say that this pastor was wrong for trying to fit in with the World, then that is a matter of the heart. He wants the wrong things. But as far as saying he is sinning in his language, I am not ready to say that. A sin is a sin yesterday, today and tomorrow. If (insert cuss word here) is wrong today, it has always been wrong to say it and will always be wrong to say it. Just my honest opinion, not being coy.

J Wragg said...

On those who defend their use of vulgar or questionable language...
(1) Why do they set limits upon their children and children's closest friends?
(2) Why do they ardently defend a practice so easily replaced with an endless array of alternative words?
(3) Why do they limit themselves in various contexts?
(4) Why is potential confusion (as these comment threads reveal) not enough to deter them from exercising this "freedom"?
(5) Why do they not defend the biblical principle of sacrificial love with equal passion?

For these and several other conundrums I remain perplexed as to the use of, and facination with, vulgarity on the part of Christians. A simple study of our American heritage will reveal clearer distinctions across social classes (though not all words are of equal question). Christians shouldn’t be the one's pushing the envelope of sensibility, on any "gray" issue (the precise points being made in Romans 14 and Ephesians 5:3-20, to say nothing of 1 Peter 2:12,16; 3:16-17). We are to live "excellent" lives, able at the very least to defend our behavior with biblical clarity. If our only defense is a sophomoric "there's no verse that says I can't"...then we should admit to being ignorant and unsophisticated, get out of the leadership of ministry, and let more mature believers lead us into effective gospel ministry.

Tim Bertolet said...

Serious question: I would assume that it is still correct and acceptable in Biblical thinking to use the word damn and damnation, despite its colloquial use as a cuss word for unwholesome filthy talk?

Here's my thought:
So this guy's rationale is probably something like 'well we speak about being wretches and 'damned' and needing grace... why not translate that into something contemporary.'

But isn't the problem that damn, damnation and wretch have a range of meaning that can be used to convey right things and a range of meaning that can be used for filth. But the range of meaning behind the f-word has always been to refer unwholesome immoralities. So he equivocates on the f-word trying to bring new meaning to it to appeal and be edgy.

So too Frank's point, you could speak respectful to your mother or a judge about damn and certain things being damnable. But even the hardened construction worker or sailor wouldn't use the f-word in their mother's presence to try to talk about something serious and to be feared.

This preacher's theology of grace might be right in that we are wretches but his use of language violates things like Eph. 4:29

DJP said...

Odd, in all these discussions, I never realized I had a "testimony" on the issue.

As an unbeliever, I had a very foul mouth. It was still foul when the Holy Spirit began convicting me of sin.

What was happening was that, the more I got to know myself, the more sin and misery and ugliness I saw.

Once he'd won my trust, I began telling my new Christian friend Gregg about this. His response made me feel he was a real guy, not a pastiche of bumper-sticker cliches like most Christians seemed to be.

Only I didn't use those words (sin, misery, ugliness) to describe what I found inside. I used obscenities.

Did Gregg convince me he was "real" by using the same language? Not once. He said "trash," as I recall. And I knew he knew what I was talking about.

That he didn't dive into the linguistic gutter with me didn't matter a tick.

Weeks said...

I'm looking at 1 Timothy 3:1-7, trying to reconcile this behavior with the prescription for the traits of an Elder in the church. Am I wrong in thinking this might behavior might draw reproach? That it might be harmful to one's reputation, and show a lack of self-control? Then there's the need for gentleness in an Elder, and I fail to see anything gentle about this sort of language.

Speaking here with full knowledge that my own language, particularly my internal dialogue, is peppered with filth. Still, I wouldn't say such things from the pulpit, even if I had to limit myself to a manuscript. What part of this behavior glorifies God or brings them closer to Him?

Sven Pook said...

The posts are coming faster than I can read them :)

My question is: Are we to assimilate ourselves into the world around us and be like them?
Or:
Are we to be different from the world around us?

Before salvation (wow, that was 16 years ago, now) I was a classic vulgarian. My language was filled with the F-bomb. However, I did not make a conscience decision to change this, it was something that happened naturally over the course of spending time in the Word.

I recently noticed that instead of using the term, "My God," I have been saying, "My goodness." Was the term, "My God," vulgar? Perhaps in the context that I used it before salvation it was. I repeat; didn't make a decision to stop using it, or the F-Bomb, it just happened.

I'm not sure if this is something God worked in my life, or the result of the different peer set that surrounds me. Today, though, foul language offends me . . . perhaps it is merely because I am a father now, I honestly do not know.

A good friend of mine often points out that when you walk through an orchard, you don't hear the trees grunting and groaning in an attempt to force the fruit out . . . it happens naturally. John 15, anyone?

What I do believe is that, as I wrote before, tailoring our message to fit the culture is a reliance on man.

J Wragg said...

I can tell you this...either this guy will one day hyprocritically prevent his young children from using the same such language, or I wouldn't want my grandchildren to grow up in his children's ministry.

Matt said...

In the words of Paul, "I have determined to know nothing (not pop culture, tv, music, swear words) among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified"

Jesus himself said, "You do not believe, because you are not my sheep. My sheep hear my voice (the Word of God); and I know them, and they follow me: and I give them eternal life; and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand"

The unadulterated Gospel, the Word of God, is the power of God unto salvation b/c it is He who saves. His sheep hear His voice as it is spoken, not as it is packaged up in some contextualized version.

Praise be to our Lord for His Powerful Word!

His Grace
Matt

Brian said...

Wow some of the stuff on here is ridiculous. To say because a man uses certain words that most people find offensive (and I am not defending him) he is not saved? Show me where the "f word" is wrong using Scripture. I don't use it nor would I advocate using it in a sermon and I think the guy is going too far but don't question his salvation. That's effed up. ;)Come on...

J Wragg said...

C'mon...isn't it about time you just admit it?! You use evangelism/outreach as the "front" so you can justify all the questionable lifestyle habits you already enjoy.

You like to hear yourself speak vulgar words that older generations consider "offensive," because it makes you feel powerful and daring, and you're already bitter at those whose morals are "tighter."
You like to laugh at the filthy, sensual humor of this world, and you dare anyone to conclude from this that you don't love Jesus!
You like to carouse with the young, more wild-side of culture because you don't see why Christians should miss the fun. So, you determined to call it an "evangelisitic" enterprise.

Just admit it...you like to do these things, and you're not about to give them up simply because older, probably wiser, and definitely more experienced believers say such things are dangerous!

Phil Johnson said...

Christopher:

I think your question is a good one, and it comes up every time we discuss this subject.

I've been doing some research on the history of taboo words, and I can tell you that every culture has them, and everyone in any given culture knows certain words are off-limits and deemed filthy, even if they can't give a rational reason why.

To make things even more confusing, usually there are synonyms of the taboo words that are considered perfectly polite. And there are always unwritten rules delineating the relative offensiveness of the taboo words. So among the inappropriate words, there are always some deemed worse than others.

Paul forbade the use of filthy or obscene expressions (Ephesians 5:4), but he didn't make a list of which words he was talking about because he didn't need to. Any proper mother in that culture knew which words were inappropriate, just like in our culture today.

In fact, according to one researcher, the languages of Paul's day had hundreds of taboo words; whereas modern English has only about two or three dozen.

Rarely if ever do taboo words work their way into polite conversation and become perfectly acceptable. It usually works the other way; and especially in a culture like ours, where the police-persons of political correctness keep declaring once-acceptable terms inappropriate.

I plan one day to write a post on this issue, with full documentation. But let me make just one point here:

When Paul said he became all things to all men in order to win some (1 Corinthians 9), he was saying he tried to avoid breaking taboos, not that he indulged in dirty-talk and crass behavior in order to contextualize his message for the inhabitants of his culture's dark side.

Mike Riccardi said...

C'mon...isn't it about time you just admit it?! You use evangelism/outreach as the "front" so you can justify all the questionable lifestyle habits you already enjoy.

There it is. Nail on the head. Thanks J Wragg.

donsands said...

Listening to this guy is a waste of mind power for me. He doesn't encourage, convict, or edify.

He barely talks about the Scriptures. he knows a lot of TV.

I turned him off after 16 minutes. That was tough watching and listening.

I thank our Lord for giving His Church gifts in good pastor-teachers and evangelists (Eph. 4).

The genuine pastors, after God's own heart (Jer. 3:15), are easily know by the Lord's sheep.

I suppose a young lamb could stray and wander from the fold when he hears the gospel mixed in with all the vain words, but as he grows in the Word, and on the Word, he will long for the Word; he will be hungry for the Word, and will be thirsty for the Holy Spirit, and the human-centered words will have little meaning for the heart of the true child of Jesus Christ as he recognizes the wartered down words from men and women in the pulpit, who shouldn't be in the pulpit.

And I know there's a lot more to it. But Jesus did say:

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd."

Morris Brooks said...

Brian,

His salvation should be questioned.

#1 According to II Peter 1:5 the first thing to be supplied by us in our faith (because the Holy Spirit has brought this to us at salvation) is moral excellence/virtue.

#2 Titus 1:15-16 To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is purd, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.

#3 I Corinthians 5:12-13 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church (assumes a positive answer)? But those who are outside God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.

#4 Why judge/make distinctions? One, to keep the church pure. Two, to correct and/or bring to salvation. It is not to look down upon them.

So, yes, I question his salvation, not to throw rocks, but to emphasize that this kind of behavior and the thinking that goes with it smacks of the flesh, and according to Romans 8:5-6 the mind set on the flesh is death. We should not be giving free passes to those who name the name of Christ, who act in ways that deny Him...PERIOD.

stratagem said...

Mr. Kim is implying "we Christians are just like you are" and maybe even implying "this message is just like any other."

But it isn't. We are being redeemed and sanctified, and the Gospel message is superior to the run-of-the-mill message, because it is God's message.

Jessica said...

I think 2 Timothy 4:3 discusses this directly. Truth be told, I advocated this type of ministry for a while. Okay, not to this extent but fairly close. I did it because I truly believed that God didn't care how we reached our youth just as long as we were spreading the Good News. I have quickly changed my mind as my faith in Christ has increased. Transforming the church to fit people instead of transforming sinners with Christ is a flawed strategy. Thank you for sharing!

Morris Brooks said...

Last sentence should read..those who name the name of Christ and then act in ways that deny Him...PERIOD.

Kim said...

Well, isn't he a rather annoying fellow.

He makes me think of a 13-something boy who gets out of Mommy's reach and finally gets to say those bad words she's been forbidding him from, and he's gleefully repeating them.

C. J. Olsen said...

@Christopher

I didn't get the sense that you were being coy. The meaning of language has organic properties, but this does not make it purely relative.

The decision to assign meaning to a word is not a simple contextual/majorative act.

A perfect example of this is the word "sin". No matter what age you live in it carries a static meaning (otherwise there is no need to judge).

I think attempts to redefine impure speech reveal the bigger issues at hand.

Mike Leake said...

I am sure that my question is due to my ignorance more than anything else. But, I am still trying to find the connection between this guy (who I am not familiar with) and the "Young, Restless, brethren..."

Frank Turk said...

Here we go.


| @Frank Turk: I ask the question,
| Frank, not to be coy, but as genuine
| intellectual inquiry here. Please DO
| NOT assume the worst of someone
| who you do not even know, it does
| not seem very fair.

Aha. So telling you that you are “coy” is “assuming the worst”. Can we also assume, then, since you have pointed it out that it is also somewhat offensive? I mean: why give the song-and-dance here if you weren’t offended? Why point it out?

It seems to me that this is the foundational issue that answers your question in the first place: the basis of communicating things offensively. If you grasp that issue – and apparently, you know when you are offended, so at least we have that place to start building the rest of the case up – then you can grasp why the word in question is offensive.

| My question was merely one of
| historical significance (in my eyes at
| least, sorry if you did not take it
| that way).

Un-huh. It always is. Especially when it comes up here at TeamPyro.

| Words change, period. If
| (insert cuss word here) is not
| inappropriate fifteen years from now
| is it still wrong to use it from the
| pulpit?

It’s odd that you think language evolves that quickly, or that the level of offense we are talking about here is that fleeting.

What if the word in question has not been an inoffensive word in 100 years? I mean: what we’re talking about here is a word which has been in use since 1503 (thanks, m-w.com), and is defined as a vulgar and/or obscene word.

What if? What if the word in question has not been anything but vulgar in the last 5 generations, and that today it is simply a populist fad to be vulgar?

Let’s talk about what we’re talking about and not about some science fiction scenario in which the language changes faster than it can be identified in dictionaries.
[more]

Frank Turk said...

[con't]
| Or does it, at that point,
| become another word to use? I am
| not defending cussing at all, but my
| reason for not liking has more to do
| with a love for language...I find it
| lazy and thoughtless, but that is a
| big step from saying something is
| inherently wrong.

That’s an interesting position. It’s purely a linguistic interest.

Let me suggest that it is not for a “love of language” that we refrain from using vulgarities: it is for a love of the image of God in other men, and for a love of men individually. If you used that word in a court room toward a judge, you’d be warned about contempt the first time, and fined or jailed the second time.

It is completely ingenuous to say, “I don’t really know what it means to be vulgar,” when one can take offense at being accused of being “coy”. It is simply wanting to miss the point – which is that language does not just express propositions, but also emotions, motives, and relational issues like respect and dignity.

| Now, if we want to say that it is
| wrong because it blurs the line
| between the Church and the World,
| fine. That is not just cussing though.

I agree. However, while it is not “just” found in cussing, it is found explicitly and specifically in cussing. To say otherwise is, well, imprecise at best.

| If we want to say that this pastor
| was wrong for trying to fit in with
| the World, then that is a matter of
| the heart. He wants the wrong
| things. But as far as saying he is
| sinning in his language, I am not
| ready to say that.

Then I suggest you have not read the book of James very closely.

| A sin is a sin
| yesterday, today and tomorrow. If
| (insert cuss word here) is wrong
| today, it has always been wrong to
| say it and will always be wrong to
| say it. Just my honest opinion, not
| being coy.

If you can find a point in the history of the use of the word in question when it was just a word like “potato” or “toilet” or “run” or “blink” – a word not vulgar in the least – then this talk about love of language and the transient nature of words not being able to measure up as a sin can get some traction.

The key reason I am on about this, btw, is that this is a besetting sin for me – it’s one which I picked up as a lost person when I was 9 and here, 36 years later, and 20 years into my sanctification, I am still tormented by. Those words are always ready to come out – and I must actively reconsider what I am going to say because if I don’t, I will say them.

Pretending that this struggle is one which is, at best, of taste and faddishness is, in fact, ignoring sin and coddling it. This is a hard fight, and it speaks to what kind of people we are – both by how we use these words and how we expect others to use them. Fronting up a disinterested face to discuss the matter is no help to those with the problem we are discussing.

Frank Turk said...

Brian asked:

Show me where the "f word" is wrong using Scripture.

Since you asked, Brian, here's a short list --

Eph 5:3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.
Please tell me you think that this word, as used in the poster, refers to pure sexual relations. It will make the rest of the discussion much simpler.

James 3:6-12 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. 7For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.Please tell me you think that word is used as a blessing and not a curse upon those things it is referring to -- a vulgar curse. That will also make this discussion much easier.

That is more than enough to disqualify the use of this word as sin. If we need more, we can wander through the book of Proverbs.

Passing By said...

Don't be so coy, Frank. Tell us what you really think!

BrettR said...

The f-bomb gets dropped around me early and often everyday in my line of work (roofing industry). It is a work void of power. It will be used every way except in front of a customer. They will say it over lunch but not in front of their mother. It is a word that has a vast lexical meaning, so much so that when I hear it, it goes right by me like the graffiti on the sides of subway cars. But if I hear "wretched," that makes me stop and think. It is offensive in every right way. It sounds like something terrible. It is synonymous vomiting.

Therefore, how is trading out "wretch" with "f-ed up" effective?

For most in this culture (keepin' it real?), being "f-ed up" can be fixed with a couple aspirin and a long nap. There's no sleeping of wretched.

So which word really packs more heat?

Using words that wouldn't be said in decent company is no way to point to an empty grave.

Mary Elizabeth Tyler said...

I say we resurrect George Carlin and let him give us his list of what constitutes the most offensive words in the English language. He would make a great preacher, if you compare him with this person. He is/was a comedian, so right there he qualifies for the pulpit now-days, and he had a penchant toward some of the most vulgar words known to man.

The following is a partial review I wrote for another blog (nothing professional) concerning a sermon that R.C. Sproul did about the glory of God, which many of these people seem to forget. What I wrote does NOT matter, but it is the genius of Sproul that does.


"He speaks, in the video, about God’s glory being weighty, heavy, majestic, and points out the word gravitas, which in Latin means gravity. He says that many lack a sense of majesty, augustness, and gravity of God’s glory. He then asks the question, “Is our worship light, treated casually, too informal (I have added a few of these words), or is it weighty?” R.C. points out that Augustine said that our worship of God should be marked by a deep sense of God’s gravity and solemnity (something to that effect). Not that we are to walk around with SOUR FACES, it is not to be a gravity of severity, but a coming into the presence of God with a “POSTURE OF HONOR.” He says that when we come into the house of the Lord, into His awesome presence, we should ask ourselves two questions, “Who is God, and who are we?”

Here is the part of R.C.’s speech/sermon that brings it all home. He vaguely mentions how the church clamors for entertainment, and how many have tried to beef up worship with worldly entertainments (this is the gist of what he is saying, not exact verbiage), so to counter this desire for man’s need for something other than God’s holiness, he points out the following.

In all the accounts of the Old Testament saints, when they had an encounter with God, the responses were varied, some passed out, some cried, some were smitten with awe, some leaped for joy, and some trembled in fear, but then he stated, that in all such encounters with God, not ONCE, upon being confronted with His glory, and His holiness, were people BORED!"

I agree with Phil. Vulgarity is not to be once named among the saints.

Michael said...

If we do it right, the gospel is going to be offensive anyway. If I want to listen to potty mouth, I'll go to the local pub and keep my ears open while I have a beer or two. At least I won't doubt the source.

Christopher said...

@Frank: I did not take offense at the words you used, if that makes any sense. I took offense at what you were saying behind them. It sound like you thought I was being disingenuous and a purposeful pot stirrer, which was not true.

I won't delve into a response to your response too much since Phil gave a great answer a couple of hours ago (thanks by the way!), but I will say this. Yeah, some words do change that quickly. I mean, ask fifth graders at work with "gay" means and they will definitely let you know!

Yes, I do have a love for language, it is how we communicate and, no, I do not want people to be vulgar, of course. But that whole thing goes to the heart of my question, which you do not need to answer, I will just repeat: Why is it seen a vulgar? That was the only question I was asking. That is it.

No one (not me at least) is trying to put up a front in anyway. It was a simple question, which I think of often, that is it. I am sorry it is a besetting sin for you, and I not trying to hinder anyone's fight against that in the slightest, so this will be the last time I comment on the topic, unless someone says something directly to me.

@Phi: I look forward to the post about your findings on taboo words. I would love to see it!

Christopher said...

@Frank: Shoot! Forgot to actually finish the thought from the first paragraph...

If, however, I do not know what "coy" means, then I completely lose any "offense" at it what so ever. In fact, someone could use a word in such a way that it does seem obscene to some, yet not to the person who says it or various parts of their audience. Okay...NOW I am done.

Grigs said...

To say this is an example of the type of contextualisation talked about by the YRR folk is a gross misrepresentation. That is the equivalent of comparing you to Benny Hinn or John Haggee because you 3 are dispys.

Stefan said...

Christopher:

I love language too, and I know the word in question has a long history, probably dating back to Anglo-Saxon roots.

But nevertheless, it is a vulgar word. Maybe not in some abstract, absolute, philosophical sense; but words have meanings and connotations, and that word in particular.

I've used it—more liberally in the past, before I was saved. But I never used it in the office, and I would never use it in writing.

And sometimes, I catch myself muttering the word under my breath, and hate myself for it when I do that.

At any rate, it is still considered a vulgarity in this society, and not just by fuddy-duddy Christians. One wouldn't use it in a term paper, or (as others have said) in a court of law. And say what one will about the mainstream media, but newspapers, magazines, and TV networks manage to convey information and opinions without resorting to that word, and cause a scandal when they do.

Shouldn't we as Christians hold ourselves to at least the moral standard of mainstream society—which in this day and age is a very low standard to begin with?

Sir Brass said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason said...

"But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth." (Col 3:8 ESV)
___________________________
"Obscene talk" (Greek - aischrologia)

** The standard NT Greek lexicon, BDAG defines it this way "speech of a kind that is generally considered in poor taste, obscene speech, dirty talk . . . Obscene expressions would also be used to flavor derogatory remarks ; hence the rendering scurrilous talk, Col 3:8"

** Some translations render it "abusive speech" however, Moulton and Milligan in The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament observe that "[t]he adjective is generally associated with foul or filthy rather than abusive speaking in Col. 3:8."

Sir Brass said...

Ugh, I wish the interface allowed poster edits. I deleted my comment b/c I accidentally left out a key word. So, here it is again, but correct this time:

Phil said: "See, I think this whole approach to ministry reflects a fatal lack of confidence in the power of the gospel itself. If we really believed the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, why would we think it necessary to dress the message in such shabby rags?"

I'm not sure I agree entirely. I think it reflects instead a fatal lack of biblical maturity that is required by Scripture to be present in the elders and deacons.

I think it's not necessarily a lack of confidence in the gospel being the power of God unto salvation, but a lack of maturity to not try and still sound like everyone else (NYers are stereotyped as ardent profanity-users for a reason, I think).

Where we do agree on whole-heartedly is that such speech ought not to be uttered by the saints (I've still got work left to do in that area... my tongue still slips at times, especially at certain heated or tense moments where my safety could be in jeopardy), let alone used so freely in the pulpit.

Brian said...

***Mike Leake***

...makes a great point that has been overlooked...

@ Frank: you really didn't prove anything. The "f word" is not listed in Scripture as wrong to say. Remember that whole Sola Scriptura thing?

Mike Riccardi said...

To say this is an example of the type of contextualisation talked about by the YRR folk is a gross misrepresentation.

I don't hear folks talk about "types of contextualization" at all. All I hear is "contextualization" and "missional" and "engage and redeem culture." What I'd love to know is how this kind of thing is inconsistent with the contextualization / missional philosophy of ministry.

Sure, those who subscribe such a philosophy wouldn't advocate this kind of thing. Nobody with a sound mind would. But this is simply their philosophy of ministry carried to its logical end, albeit extreme.

Phil Johnson said...

BrettR:

Good to know there's a roofer among our readers. My dad was a roofing contractor and I worked my way through college by working on roofing crews every summer, semester break, and spring break.

I've never been a cusser, but I learned all the words from hearing the conversation of my fellow roofers. In fact, I became so accustomed to HEARING the vocabulary that (sad to say) those words are still sometimes on the tip of my mind.

For anyone who has ever truly struggled to keep a pure mind and clean lips, there should be no question what Paul was talking about in Colossians 3:8 and Ephesians 5:4.

And anyone who truly can't figure out why it's wrong to contextualize the gospel by translating it into cusswords, or anyone who is truly mystified about whether it's possible to drop a lot of f-bombs in a Christ-honoring way needs to go back and learn the first principles of grace.

Lilian said...

What I want to know is... where's the apostrophe?

Things must be pretty dire if we have to resort to profanities and expletives as*cough*marketing*cough* evangelistic strategies. Isn't this just more mindless gimmickry? Authenticity has become one if those meaningless buzz words.

I thought we're supposed to be in the world but are not of it.

Coram Deo said...

"I have not much patience with a certain class of Christians nowadays who will hear anybody preach so long as they can say, "He is very clever, a fine preacher, a man of genius, a born orator." Is cleverness to make false doctrine palatable? Why, sirs, to me the ability of a man who preaches error is my sorrow rather than my admiration.

I cannot endure false doctrine, however neatly it may be put before me. Would you have me eat poisoned meat because the dish is of the choicest ware? It makes me indignant when I hear another gospel put before the people with enticing words, by men who would fain make merchandise of souls; and I marvel at those who have soft words for such deceivers.

"That is your bigotry," says one. Call it so if you like, but it is the bigotry of the loving John who wrote—"If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

I would to God we had all more of such decision, for the lack of it is depriving our religious life of its backbone and substituting for honest manliness a mass of the tremulous jelly of mutual flattery.

He who does not hate the false does not love the true; and he to whom it is all the same whether it be God's word or man's, is himself unrenewed at heart. Oh, if some of you were like your fathers you would not have tolerated in this age the wagon loads of trash under which the gospel has been of late buried by ministers of your own choosing. You would have hurled out of your pulpits the men who are enemies to the fundamental doctrines of your churches, and yet are crafty enough to become your pastors and undermine the faith of a fickle and superficial generation."
—C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

Well said, Chuck. Well said.

In Christ,
CD

Rob Bailey said...

Frank, I have some extra lisinopril if you need it.

Jessica said...

I looked for a Contact Us button but couldn't find it so I'll leave my note here: I'm taking the day to thank all the people who have blogs that challenge me to think about my faith. So thank you! It's so wonderful that I have the opportunity to get "church like" inspiration every day from the convenience of my computer. Thank you for all you to do spread the Good News!

7drizzles7 said...

Contextualisation is the half brother of works based righteousness...where by we think we can give God a hand to prop him up without using the Bible but using the limp sleight of hand called culture.Soon youth pastors and sunday school kids will be exegiting purpose driven profanity.No pan intended Rick.

Gov98 said...

See, I think this whole approach to ministry reflects a fatal lack of confidence in the power of the gospel itself. If we really believed the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, why would we think it necessary to dress the message in such shabby rags?

The weird thing for me...I read this and I agree.

Yet, the first thought that came to my mind is that ultimately God is the one who chose to "put" the message in such shabby rags.

(2 Corinthians 4:7)

Culturely it's inappropriate to use such filthy language in my culture. In Acts Paul speaks about how he had not offended the traditions of the fathers. Acts 28:17

At some level if Kim is a stumbling block offense woe unto him unto and into all manner. However, if in the New York, downtown manhattan culture the language is no longer obscene but is common language, well...I'm not in manhattan.

It's hard to believe, but as a putative teacher, Kim's judgment is to be far greater if he sins against the Gospel. After all...to his own master he stands or falls.

It's wrong for me, and its wrong for my culture, that makes the answer easy for me (if we known what to do and we do not do it, it is sin.) If it is genuinely different in manhattan, well to his master he stands or falls.

And as long as the gospel he is preaching is the gospel of Jesus Christ, then perhaps I seperate from her for the affect on my testimony, and yet he may still be a slave of the same master.

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John said...

Whoa, Riccardi, put the breaks on. You are conflating a whole lot of terms there. I think we need to be careful what words we use and how we use them. N.T. Wright calls himself an evangelical, and most everybody on this blog disagrees with him, but that doesn't mean that we trash the term evangelical. I'm only saying this because it is really easy to create a straw-man around a term, and then reject the term. The problem is, it doesn't ever solve any problems, doctrinally or otherwise.

SteveFB said...

J Wragg belts one out of the park...

Rob said:

"Tim Keller manages to reach New Yorkers without resorting to profanity."

Tim Keller, you or I could not reach our wallets in our pockets if God did not ordain that we would be able to do so. Let's give credit in the ONLY place it is due. Tim Keller might "reach", i.e. attract, many people every week, but the reaching that is going on is God sovereignly regenerating a dead sinner and bringing them to faith in Christ. Everyone else, no matter what they are hearing, are either being fed the truth in the process of God saving them or in the process of God hardening their hearts so that they might continue storing up wrath against the Day of wrath.

As far as Mr. Fancy-Jacket in the video, his whole problem is not how he is going to faithfully communicate the Gospel; his problem is that, according to what he told some "theologians" at a conference, he hasn't figured out how to acclimate his people to the use of the actual F-word.

Poor, deluded idiot (according to Wikipedia, "someone who acts in a self-defeating or significantly counterproductive way"). When the latest my-pastor-is-waaay-more-relevant-than-yours fad has gone away, he will be a shell of an abandoned side-show attraction, and he'll have to go back to verse-by-verse, regular-old sermons just to keep the lights on.

Mike Riccardi said...

Doesn't seem like the brakes are needed, John. While "we" are being careful about what words we use, can "we" also be careful to answer people's questions?

Caison said...

Let's let the Word do the talking. Ephesians 5:1-21 (NET)
Therefore, be imitators of God as dearly loved children and live in love, just as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God. But among you there must not be either sexual immorality, impurity of any kind, or greed, as these are not fitting for the saints. Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting – all of which are out of character – but rather thanksgiving. For you can be confident of this one thing: that no person who is immoral, impure, or greedy (such a person is an idolater) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let nobody deceive you with empty words, for because of these things God’s wrath comes on the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them, for you were at one time darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light – for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth – trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For the things they do in secret are shameful even to mention. But all things being exposed by the light are made evident. For everything made evident is light, and for this reason it says:“Awake, O sleeper! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you!” Therefore be very careful how you live – not as unwise but as wise taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil. For this reason do not be foolish, but be wise by understanding what the Lord’s will is. And do not get drunk with wine, which is debauchery, but be filled by the Spirit,speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music in your hearts to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for each other in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ

Chris said...

Oh, the depths to which unabashed and arrogant apostasy can reach in this evil age! The fact that this Mr. Kim's delusion, as Steve rightfully describes it, was received so well by a pack of hell-bound, unregenerate atheists masquerading as theologians abroad should be of no surprise when we consider this man's gutter mouth as merely the tip of a much larger spiritual iceberg--a sad and dark spiritual condition that dominates not only this poor soul, but countless others within evangelicalism today. For that matter, Mr. Kim himself is merely one man amidst the much larger postmodern downgrade against Truth. His making his wife into a "pastor" is simply more of the tip of that iceberg being revealed. That blasphemy has become a virtue among so-called "Christians" in our postmodern age of hijacked words and definitional reversals really shouldn't surprise us, either.

Barbara said...

"How do we determine what is a cuss word?"

That was my argument and justification for my vocabulary for a large part of my adult life. Then I was granted the gift of a testimony about it too - and that, even, according to the Scriptures.

dede said...

1 Peter 1:14-16 (King James Version)
14As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
15But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

There is NO justification for using foul, abhorrent, abominable, base, contaminated, despicable, detestable, disgraceful, dishonorable, egregious, fetid, filthy, gross, hateful, heinous, horrid, icky, impure, infamous, iniquitous, loathsome, malodorous, mucky, nasty, nauseating, nefarious, noisome, notorious, offensive, pigpen, polluted, putrid, raunchy*, repellent, repulsive, revolting, rotten, scandalous, shameful, stinking, sullied, tainted, unclean, vicious, vile, wicked.

i apologize for copy & pasting all the synonyms for the word foul but as one can see that cuss words are just that.

i was raised with a dad who talked like a "sailor" and drank like one too almost 24/7. i didn't always know what they meant yet i had a keen idea they weren't very nice. but God cleaned up his foul mouth after he was saved sometime later...never heard him cuss again, praise God!

my husband and i are raising three boys and although some may think we are living in a bubble, which we don't, my husband and i do NOT allow cussing in our home. we tell them that using cuss words is taking the lazy way out of using the rich vocabulary God has given us to help us communicate in an intelligent way.

this also brings to mind a friend who uses 90% cuss words in her communication. does that mean that i should condesend to her level to communicate something back to her....i state a resounding NO WAY!

in conclusion based on 1 Peter 1: 14-16 this pastor is WRONG and is DESECRATING the Word of God!!!

thanks for letting sound off hear!

gospelandgrace said...

I think that what this really comes down to is that Mr. Kim has an extremely low view of God and His Son. How else could he use such language to describe the glorious work of God in redeeming sinful man (note that ability to describe man without profanity Mr. Kim).

He also elevates man, unregenerate man, why else would he chose their language instead of God's adjectives?

I think that this is the problem of the entire "missional" and "emergent" movements. In the immortal words of J B Phillips, their God is too small.

You know, I too am in a professions where vulgarity and profanity can be common - the US Army. Like Phil, I hear the words often and sadly too often they come to the forefront of my mind as well. But when I speak to my fellow soldiers about Christ and the Gospel, the use of "their common words" serve only to alienate me, why? Even unbelievers who cuss expect far more of those who represent the Creator God of the universe. Sadly, because their God is so small, the missional/emergent types refuse to get it. Are they simply looking for a way to "justify" their rebellious choice of language.

Pray for them that they would repent of their sin and glorify God with their lips and lives.

...me said...

Perhaps when Sam finds his way to Isaiah Chapter 6 he will do a 180...

Chris said...

Dede:

Great and appropriate list! You cannot exhaust enough adjectives for this abhorrent practice. Also, those who are quick to defend it are rather thick, needing to have it explained to them over and over with plenty of word alternatives.

Drew said...
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Caison said...

Drew, you have a point about people calling this man names, but as far as his message goes it doesn't matter who it speaks to if it's unbiblical. The Scriptures are not only concerned with what you are doing, but also how and why you are doing them (see Mt. 6 and Eph.5). I think the point of everyone's frustration, when we see people trying to reach others like this, is not that they are trying to reach people but it can be summarized by Chris' first comment. The power is in the GOSPEL and not in trying to make the gospel relevant to people. How does one make something relevant that seems foolish to unsaved people? WE don't the Holy Spirit does. This man and every man trying to gussy up the gospel of Jesus Christ are trying to do what only the Holy Spirit can and therefore should repent of any such efforts. May God grant us all the grace to be vessels for Him to use and none of us to be people who sweat and toil for new fangled nonsense.

Chris said...

Drew:

Oh, how could I have been so foolish? Of course, the "New Yorker lifestyle" is certainly more important than conforming to scripture. Mr. Kim "relates" to you for obvious reasons, as you both draw your words from the same gutter. Guess what, there are true believers in New York who couldn't "relate" to you two for a second...for obvious reasons. Drew, I don't think you are a "horrible" Christian; I'm convinced you are clearly not a Christian at all.

Drew said...

So the gospel is reaching people from the gutter like me? That sounds pretty successful to me. Thank you Mr. Pharisee =)

Chris said...

And no, I'm not making a judgment based on language alone. The foul language you and Mr. Kim use is just the tip of the iceberg. I'm making my judgment based upon your carnal, postmodern prioritization of cultural relevance over truth and seeking to please man before God. Embracing this "missional" nonsense speaks volumes, as the term is yet another postmodern hijacking of a very legitimate term (i.e. missionary). People like Mr. Kim don't call what they do missionary work because of the very clear factors such true evangelistic work involves. Just call it "missional" and indulge in whatever carnal interests tickle your fancy. Just change the name and redefine--that's the new postmodern hermeneutic!

Chris said...

If the gospel ever reaches you, you'll know what I'm saying...and agree.

Mary Elizabeth Tyler said...

Gospellandgrace said: “I think that what this really comes down to is that Mr. Kim has an extremely low view of God and His Son.”

You hit the nail on the head, glg. This is exactly R.C. Sproul’s point in my post above. As Sproul quoted: "He says that many lack a sense of majesty, augustness, and gravity of God’s glory. He then asks the question, “Is our worship light, treated casually, too informal (I have added a few of these words), or is it weighty?” R.C. points out that Augustine said that our worship of God should be marked by a deep sense of God’s gravity and solemnity (something to that effect). Not that we are to walk around with SOUR FACES, it is not to be a gravity of severity, but a coming into the presence of God with a “POSTURE OF HONOR.”

Sproul is saying, in essence, we must come into the presense God with awe and reverence, not only in the church setting, but in our private time, as well. If we loose the sense of God’s holiness, majesty and glory, we tend to treat God, and the pulpit, as equal to man and his depravity.

God then becomes NOT something “set apart” (which is the definition of holiness) but becomes commonplace, banal, and trite. He then becomes our “bud” and not the divine being and Holy one that He is.

Lack of reverence for God is a sure sign that there has not been a change in the person’s heart. When you love God you care about His glory, His holiness, His precious name, and you do not want anyone, including yourself, to defile or besmirch His character. Why do you think we hate our sin so much, including vulgarity? One guess!

We don’t need vulgarity in the pulpit to be relevant to our depraved natures, that only feeds our sickness; what we do need is God lifted up and respected and honored and given our highest worship and praise with ONLY those honorable words fit for a true and holy King.

donsands said...

"As someone who actually has been listening to these sermons on YouTube for quite a while, the messages are relevant to me and speak to me." Drew

And your comments are the fruit?


The people here are not self-righteous my friend. Yet you are judging hearts you shouldn't. I'm not saying all the comments are perfect, and there is a degree of self-righteousness in all of us. But chill down a little bit bro.


If you want to discuss using foul words then discuss as a Christian with righteousness, and with "the fruit of the Spirit [which] is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."

Also, wisdom is defined by our Lord as this:

"Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace." James 3:13-19

Have a blessed evening Drew

Drew said...
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DJP said...

Blog rules posted in the sidebar even apply to snarky libertines, Drew.

That's two clear violations in one thread. A third gets you a permanent ban.

Douglas said...

Why the asterisks? If this is acceptable behavior, then asterisks are not necessary. If they are necessary, then the church excludes the people for whom the asterisks are needed.

So who is his theology for? Certainly not my 6 year old son who needs the gospel just as much as a foul mouthed sinner needs the gospel. Resorting to such juvenile tactics is a total lack of faith in the power of the gospel of Christ, where Pharisees and harlots, the elderly or the child can here the same message and be saved.

Mr. B. said...

Hi!

My name is Matt. I am a member of 180 Church. I have known Pastor Sam (Kim) for over 6 years now. I find a lot of what has been said here much more offensive than anything he has ever said. Most of the comments here are said out of plain ignorance of the man and his heart for chaning lives. In fact, my life has be significantly changed thanks to the ministries he's started.

I grew up in a Christian home. My grandfather is a retired Baptist minister who mostly preached in rural Maine.

I was born on Manhattan and raised on Staten Island. I became an Eagle Scout. I joined the Army in 2004. I am not int he National Gaurd working as a Federal Technician at a local armory on Staten Island.

I've been there and done that. Yay.

How are most of you different than the very people you seem to be preaching against?

What does it gain you to decimate a man's character without knowing him? No, you don't know him from watching (part of) on sermon.

This is a man I've had dinner with. Did you know that he doesn't cuss around me? Did you knowhe doesn't cus at his wife or son? Did you know that he loves basketball (especially Micheal Jordan)? Or sushi?

Nope. I guess not.

You may critiscize his methods, but I will NOT stand by and let this uninformed mob tear a man, whom I love dearly, down.

To those who think he is hypocritical: Come. See. Learn.

Pastor Sam is neither concerned about your views or opinions on his preaching style, whatever labels you may attach to it. What drives this man to do things that offend you? What drives this man to risk ostracizing himself from the "Christian Community?" His love of the gospel; his love of his truth. No, you might not like it's packaging, but, so what? YOU are not the target of it. Why does this matter? Because you don't live in NYC. (For the record, 180 Church is based on Staten Island. The Manhattan campus is an outreach.) The target audience is generally the professionals, college students in the "elite" school, and also younger students from Middle to High School.

Come see the members. Ask for thier testimonies. If you have any doubt that 180 engenders real relationships with Jesus, then you are simply delusional. I live with these people I comune with them. I see Christ in these people. I see the truth unraveling thier imperfections and conforming their hearts to God's purpose, love and light.

Pastor Sam's messages, his LIFE and the way he lives it brings God's truth to the forefront of everything he does. His vision far exceeds any of yours.

I am one of those he has reached. I am one of those who GETS what he is saying. I don't really care HOW he says what he says, because HOW he says it has reached through my thick skull in a way that 28 years (I am almost 30 now, do the math) of "right and moral" Christianity had not been able to do.

So . . . what shall I hold to? 28 years of "righteousness" that never made me realize that I had "fallen short of the glory of God" and needed to be saved, or do I sitck with "what works?"

Pastor Sam's messages, his life, his programs, his vision (which I truly believe to be given to him by God) all point to God.

COntinued

Mr. B. said...

His messages aren't directed at your family. They aren't directed at your wife, your young children, yourself. He's preaching to jaded, world-weary, skeptical, depressed, purposeless New Yorkers. I don't understand why you all don't get that? Would I speak to someone 20 years old the same as I would a 4 year old? Would I speak to my grandmother the same way I speak to my friends? No. Communicating effectively is about having ideas and concepts reach the other party. If you tell most people in Manhattan, "You have fallen short of the glory of God," they'll walk away from you with a puzzled and concerned look on their face, ready to dial 911 or spray your face with mace. If you haven't experienced this, you may not believe it. I live here. I know.

I expect you to probably disregaurd this as someone who has been "duped" by his "outrageous, offenseive, base, misunderstood" teaching, but if you are THAT stuck on tearing a man down whom you've never met, I suspect you may never "get it." That's OK. You aren't the ones he's called to reach. You can't preach INTO the gutter, especially one as deep as the cesspool that is NYC.



Don't step in. You might get your pearly white robes dirty.

donsands said...

"He's preaching to jaded, world-weary, skeptical, depressed, purposeless New Yorkers. I don't understand why you all don't get that?" -B

That makes no sense. He should be preaching the Word to God's children. To encourage them, and edify them.

If Sam was an evangelist in "Pig-town", a portion of Baltimore City, where I have visited, or so many other communities that have no presence of a local church, then perhaps he could use foul words. But even then, he would have to sin, in order to share the love of Christ.

You really don't have to be like sinners to save sinners. In fact, this may may be a subtle ploy of Satan.

And for all you who are calling this blog "pearly white" and stuff like that, have you ever looked into who Phil Johnson is?

I would encourage you to see who this brother is. He is a fine pastor, teacher, and good brother in Christ.

wordsmith said...

Reader's Digest Version of Mr. B's comment:

Eph 5:4 and Col 3:8 are irrelevant and immaterial, since Mr. Kim is a cool dude with a sincere desire to reach the lost by being "missional."

...uh...okay, yeah, sure, uh-huh....

gospelandgrace said...

Mr. B, You said:
"If you tell most people in Manhattan, "You have fallen short of the glory of God," they'll walk away from you with a puzzled and concerned look on their face"
You know, I live in Oklahoma, what has been known in the past as the "Buckle of the Bible Belt" and you would get much the same reaction here as well. We are seeing here evidence of a generation that has no "biblical" heritage, this may even be a second generation that way. So the only difference between unbelievers in NYC and OKC is geography, their condition is the same. With that being said, I don't, in fact can't resort to the type of "evangelistic" methods as your pastor. To do so would bring about much ridicule and scorn from unbelievers who know enough to realize that type of behavior is not consistent with the proclaiming of a God who is infinitely holy. Instead it simply reinforces the stereotypes of churches being full of hypocrites.
A final note, I too am in the ARNG, AGR in fact (that means active duty for the non military readers) and even in that culture, the type of words and language your pastor advocates would not be acceptable, none that I know would accept a Chaplain speaking that way, even if it is their routine language patterns.

At the end of the day, scripture is clear, Eph 5:4 "And coarse and foolish talking or crude joking are not suitable, but rather giving thanks." Then there is 4:31 which says, "All bitterness, anger and wrath, insult and slander must be removed from you,..." Then again there is Col 3:8 "But now you must also put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth."
Do you get the pattern, we may hit our "reset button" and sin in one of these ways but to deliberately and willfully pursue them in the name of evangelism, that is simply treasonous rebellion against our Lord. I pray that your pastor sees the error of his actions and words, repent and then persist in presenting the gospel to NYC.

Stan McCullars said...

Mr. B,
...they'll walk away from you with a puzzled and concerned look on their face...

Like the people who walked away from Jesus after he spoke on several occasions?

Mr. B. said...

"And for all you who are calling this blog "pearly white" and stuff like that, have you ever looked into who Phil Johnson is?

I would encourage you to see who this brother is. He is a fine pastor, teacher, and good brother in Christ."

No, I don't know. If he is, I am fairly sure he DOES know how to rebuke a brother who is wayward. Picking Pastor Sam out, and putting it on ther internet for all to see doesn't exactly follow the procedure fairly clearly outlined in the Bible. (Go to the brother, then taking a witness or two.) THAT is NOT cool. It requires the acuser to GO TO that brother. This has not been done. None of you here have GONE TO him. He's not hard to get a hold of. You can email him. You can IM him. You can visit him. He's readily available on Facebook. If you're going to play by the rules, play by them.

You may not have to be like a sinner to save sinners, but you sure can't save people by looking down at them. How did God save us? By sending his Son DOWN to earth. He REACHED for us HERE. Where we ARE. I think it isn't a stretch that Jesus cussed at people, too. You may recall Him in the temple. You don't think what He said was considered a rebuke, and in the idiom of the time, He may have even been considered cursing those whos tables he overthrew and scattered? Did He not do that in his Father's house? (These are genuine questions, not snarky ones.)

So . . . "They shall know we are Christians by our love." Where is the love here? I don't see it or feel it. Since words are so important, where is the love? Stern rebukes ring hollow when they come from an unknown source. You do not know the man, so, how can you rebuke him? The internet makes it too easy for people to judge others simply because it removes a person from the situation they are criticizing.

I have heard people speak the Word of God with such vile and disdain that it has turned my stomach. Is that right? Is just saying the words what matters? Or is it HOW you say them that matters? Is it WHY you say what you say matters? I submit that it is ALL of those things.

To bring this into a context most of you might be more familiar with, here are the main themes of what Pastor Sam has been preaching for the 6+ years I've known him: "All have fallen short of the glory of God. You have been saved by Grace, not by works. Apart from God, you can do nothing. Living without God's purpose will lead to nothing. Life isn't about how great you are, it is about how great God is in your life. Jesus is the solution to all your problems. Jesus loves you. You need Jesus."

He throws in more scripture, too, but, that's really what he preaches in just about every sermon. Why? Because he's filled with the conviction to bring God's truth to this city, and eventually the world. This isn't a flash in the pan thing. This is his purpose, the vision given to him by God, his mission.

It has been mentioned that being "missional" is a bad thing. How is that possible? We are called to be soldiers in the army of God. If a soldier doesn't carry out his or her mission, that soldier is a very bad soldier, a danger to his comrades, and just really useless as a human, except possibly as cannon fodder. I'm not going to sit around and quote scripture back and forth. I'm not good at it, for one, and it never gets anywhere in these kinds of situation since both sides start trying to prove they are "right" instead of having a real conversation and figuring out hat God wants us to do in the situation, and NO, Jesus never said "Go forth and quote scripture at people." I'm pretty sure of that. He gave a command! (Two actually, and then "The Great Commission.")

Continued . . .

Mr. B. said...

And would someone please explain to me what Ephesians 5:4 and Colossians 3:8 have to do with unbelievers? As far as I'm aware, those were letters to groups of believers. Using them to say that you can cus around unbelievers is a bit of a stretch.

Then you come across Colossians 2:20-23. (See what I mean about this not really getting anywhere?)

I like this: "Reader's Digest version!"

A. You are impuning a man's reputation without first getting to know him, and finding out for yourselves whether or not this man is doing anything wrong. (One sermon on youtube is enough to convict a man of heresy?)
B. None of the commentors thusfar had (biblicly) sought out Pastor Sam if he has offended you.
C. Quoting scripture back and forth only makes people look like petty pharisees. (Yes, I know what it is useful for. However, I don't really get the point of the scriptures you are posting, and the attitude behind them is . . . not very . . . couth.)
D. Debating the HOW and not the WHAT and the WHY things are taught is taking out the more important parts of what is being taught.
E. The extra traffic to the church's website and youtube channel is much appreciated. Thank you very much for helping 180 Church reach more people that we otherwise would have been able to. (There's no such thing as bad publicity!)

Mr. B. said...

Since we're in Colossians:

3:12-17

If what Pastor Sam is doing and saying is NOT of God, it will fail. Time will tell.

Colossians 4:2-6
Funny enough, 180 Church made a movie called "The Open Door" which is a testimony of one man and how this church and especially Pastor Sam had an influence on bringing Jesus to his life. This movie has been used on several college campuses in NYC (I don't know how many, I think at least three), and because of it, more conversation has started about Jesus in those campuses than there was ever possible before.

Again, time will tell if this is of God. Ten years from now, we won't be having this discussion.

Apologia said...

Not sure if anyone noticed, but, he gave the wrong reference just before he started his mild cussing rant around 6:30. He said that in Romans 3 Paul said that "all of our righteousnesses are as filthy rags".

Not surprised he doesn't know he made a tremendous error. This is not faithful Gospel preaching this is nigh unto abandonment of Gospel preaching.

donsands said...

"I think it isn't a stretch that Jesus cussed at people, too." -B


That's a bad mind set my friend. Take heed.

And the Scriptures teach us that there will be false disciples, teachers and prophets in the Church, and we need to be discerning, and note those who are not preaching the pure Word.

Sam is begining noted, which is Scriptural.

Is he a fasle teacher? I don't know. I don't think Phil is saying that.
But Sam is going agianst the Scriptures. I think that's clear.

You won't see it that way, and that's your privilege.

Preachers that are out on video, as Sam is, can be listened to, and then critiqued. There's nothing wrong with that. In fact it's good to do, knowing that Satan, the angel of light, will have his righteous servants trying to deceive and cause division.

Darby Livingston said...

I'm wondering what version of the Bible has Paul saying our righteousness is filthy rags in Romans 3.

I have noticed a trend among the edgier hip preachers to play as fast and loose with Scripture as they do with their anecdotes, and I think it's related to the cussing. First, cussing replaces verbal precision. Second, those who cuss have made the listener sovereign rather than God and it comes out as disrespectful to God in other ways, like not being precise with the words of Scripture.

Chris said...

What bugs me isn't the slightly veiled cursing, it's the fact that his context doesn't make any sense.

Theology is the study of God. So he's saying his study of God is @#!'d up.

Well, I'd agree with that. But that's not what he actually means.

And I wouldn't even include it with anthropology because it's not the 'study of...' man that he's saying is @#!'d up. It's the state of man.

If he wants to make sure people understand just how '#@!'d up' we are, maybe he could have simply explained what Isaiah 64:6 is actually saying alongside Leviticus 15:19, etc. since it's not simply a dirty towel Isaiah is referring to.

No cursing necessary and I think it drives the point home even better.

mike said...

"So . . . "They shall know we are Christians by our love." Where is the love here? I don't see it or feel it."

i hear this plenty, and am frustrated at the silliness.

Love the Lord God with all your heart soul mind and spirit, and love your neighbor as yourself.

how much this accepts that somehow it is all about us, not just diminishing God, and inflating humans, but actually reversing the two. And since we do not have a definition of the word, without the nature of God as reference, what arrogance to attempt to rework it now so that we can defend out pet poison.

Chuck said...

Mr B.,

While it may be true that the tone of some comments can be overboard, I would like to point out that Pastor Sam posted this on the internet. It's wide open public knowledge and therefore open to public critique. Matthew outlines personal issues. Sam has spoken contrary to Scripture, not against Phil; Matthew doesn't apply here. Don't like public critique? Don't post sermons on the web.

Chuck said...

BTW, I am rarely offended by strong language because I spent a good deal of time around foul-mouthed folks at my last job. So I understand that many people speak and communicate this way even on a day to day level even without meaning to be offensive. I can think of several guys who used the F-bomb for every part of speech not as an expletive, but simply (and I mean no insult to these guys) because they had a genuine lack of education and vocab.

HSAT, as a Christian I must understand the far-ranging effects of the Gospel message and the way it is communicated. If I know that the way I communicate (and not what I am trying to communicate) can and will offend other Christians, then I shouldn't say it because that is a Gospel issue. It is a Gospel issue precisely because the unity and love between myself and other believers is supposed model the unbelievable power of God's grace in reconciling sinners to Himself and to each other in Christ Jesus! It's not 'capitulating to fuddy-duddies'- it's taking the Gospel seriously and putting above my desire/temptation to be like this. FWIW, it'd be much more powerful and Gospel-communicating for a black guy and white guy (or an Arab and an American, or a Jew and a Samaritan) to purposely commit loving and supporting each other in Christ within the context of working/living amongst unbelievers than Sam's f-bombs could ever be.

Mike Riccardi said...

Forgive me for repeating myself, but I think Mr. B's comments offer a fantastic opportunity for light to be shed on how those advocating a "missional" philosophy of ministry misunderstand and misuse Acts 17 and 1 Corinthians 9.

Again, I recognize that a host of those who would dub themselves missional and spend time thinking about contextualizing the gospel would rightly reject this nonsense out of hand. But what I fail to see is how Mr. Kim's antics do not line up entirely with the principles touted by the missional/contextualization folks. They make the exact same arguments (e.g., this makes sense for his context, he's meeting people where they are, etc.), but just don't apply them as extremely as Kim and Mr. B do.

The difference between this and the conservative missional movement is one of degree, not nature. And that's bad.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones put it so well:

The glory of the gospel is that when the Church is absolutely different from the world, she invariably attracts it. It is then that the world is made to listen to her message, though it may hate it at first. That is how revival comes.

That must also be true of us as individuals. It should not be our ambition to be as much like everybody else as we can, though we happen to be Christian, but rather to be as different from everybody who is not a Christian as we can possibly be. Our ambition should be to be like Christ, the more like Him the better, and the more like Him we become, the more we shall be unlike everybody who is not a Christian
.

Amen.

donsands said...

"It is then that the world is made to listen to her message, though it may hate it at first. That is how revival comes." Mike

And the hatred is a fact, according to our Lord in John 15.

"They who wish to be exempt from persecutions must necessarily renounce Christ." -John Calvin (From Tabletalk)

reformed1 said...

I have read all of the comments posted up to the current time. I would like to thank Frank Turk for his honesty and transparency. I am a recovering vulgarian myself and appreciate hearing I am not alone once in a while.

I would also like to thank Brad Williams for your comments. I was challenged and convicted by the truth you spoke and am thankful for the Spirit of conviction and truth. Thanks for allowing yourself to be used to say it!

wordsmith said...

Good use of the "Pharisee" card - it's the Christian equivalent of Godwin's Law, it seems. Ad hominem is a sign of a weak argument.

"(...However, I don't really get the point of the scriptures you are posting..."

Eph 5:4 "Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking"

Col 3:8 "But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth"

The point of these Scriptures is so obtuse that you can't figure it out? Really? Or is it rather you don't like its implications?

Shouldn't believers in general, and pastors in particular, be held to a higher standard? Or is it perfectly acceptable for Christian workers to engage in filthiness and obscene talking? As categories, filth and obscenity are not that fluid.

"and the attitude behind them is . . . not very . . . couth.)"

...uh...you were saying something about "impuning" reputations without getting to know people first...pot...kettle....

Others have already mentioned it, but it bears repeating: Stuff put out for public consumption is fair game, and not subject to the reconciliation process alluded to in Mt 18, which deals with private offenses. (Paul acknowledges such a distinction in his treatment of Hymenaeus and Alexander, as well as his very public rebuke of Peter for his hypocrisy.)

Those that can't stand the heat ought to get out of the kitchen.

Morris Brooks said...

reformed1

Yes, the Holy Spirit does put a governor on our mouth. My point in wondering whether the gospel has taken hold here, especially with the glee that he take with his theology.

Morris

Michael said...

The biggest problem is that he thinks you can create theology.

He "created" his theology by contextualising a song.

Now some of you have said he gets it mostly right, but what would have happened if his favourite song was less theologically tight? I like to call it chinese whispers theology

When we go anywhere but the Bible for our theology we are going to get into trouble, particularly when we let our theology override clear commands of Scripture, such as James 3:10.

Michael Hutton

trogdor said...

Drew said: "So the gospel is reaching people from the gutter like me? That sounds pretty successful to me. Thank you Mr. Pharisee =)"

Sure is supposed to reach people in the gutter - and lift them out. A 'gospel' that leaves you in the gutter - more than that, encourages you to wallow in your gutterness - may be a wee bit different from the actual gospel (see Eph 4, 2 Peter, Jude, etc).

Mr B said:
"This is a man I've had dinner with. Did you know that he doesn't cuss around me? Did you knowhe doesn't cus at his wife or son?"

So you're saying he's more careful/respectful/upright in his mundane speech than when he is supposed to be preaching God's Word to the flock entrusted to his care? That is quite possibly the harshest accusation anyone in this thread has leveled against him.

Oh wait, you meant that in his defense? Wow. Just, wow.

Mr. B. said...

Woah! Lots of stuff here. I don't have time to absorb it all yet, but, there seems to be quite a lot of questions I want to ask! This should be interesting.