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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Potty-mouth Postmodern Preachers

Having recently read an article from Christian Worldview Network that has prompted me to write about some of the vulgarity that I've seen in some modern churches.

I've attended churches where one of the pastoral staff says things like "Our motto could be, 'Our Church Doesn't S**k'" or FBC means "Fr**kin' Big Church". I've had people sitting next to me turn to me and say, "Can you say that in church?" Sadly, I guess some can.

When I spoke to the pastoral staff on several occasions, responses such as "Oh, that's just a difference in style" were the typical response.

Philippians 1:27 says "Only let your conversation be as it becomes the gospel of Christ..." Contrary to what people think the above examples are not becoming a Christian, let alone a pastor.

The article that I read said, "It's never just a word. Words have meaning because they convey ideas, and ideas have consequences. The moral squalor rampant in American popular culture today continually worsens because people in this country have slowly, over time, lost their capacity for moral outrage. All too often, that outrage and indignation is turned on those who actually have the guts to object to the filth. Narrow minded bigots. Blue-nosed fundamentalists. We have a right to watch this stuff. You don't like it? Don't watch it! Who cares about what your children have to hear and look at? Who cares about innocence anymore? What an outdated concept. This is America! Sadly, it really is America, and what the neighbor kids watch does have a direct impact on our own children."

I can testify to this in that I've been on the receiving end of being called narrow minded, etc. for sticking to and calling people out to biblical methods of morality.

The article goes on to say that, "Worse still, many emerging pastors today are embracing the idea that foul language is a great way to engage the culture. A recent church baptism training video (intended to look like an MTV farce) features a pastor in a pool, preparing for a baptism, when someone does a cannon ball right behind him. The church thought it would be funny to bleep out what the pastor says, as though he is cussing. When the church starts becoming like the culture to supposedly win people, nowadays that includes the use of foul language. On the Christian news blog that I publish, I cannot even link to some church sites due to their use of vulgar language and their promotion of Hollywood filth. I frequently have to delete comments from Christian readers who use words like "su***", and "cr**". Christians are joining the great stampede toward Gomorrah, and they justify it every step of the way. Those who oppose this kind of speech by believers are told to get over it.

I refuse to get over it. We are commanded in Scripture to be holy in our conversation, as that which becomes a child of God. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. If our conversation is peppered with vulgar and coarse speech, we have a serious heart problem that needs to be addressed. When we are made new in Christ, old things are passed away and all things are new. That includes our language. America's cultural darkness is worsening. Let the light of Christ shine ever brighter in the blackness as we imitate our Savior in all areas of conduct."

Amen! We cannot continue to stand by and let vulgar swill spew from our pulpits without speaking up. We are not to be imitators of the world, but be salt and light to it. What is better, people coming to church because they feel needed and that "we (the church) are just like everyone else" or people coming to church because we are salt in the world? Salt is a preservative, a healer and it leaves the hearer of the Word thirsty for more. People should be thirsty for what they need and don't have, not comfortable in that "we are all the same." I am not the same. I was a sinner, but Jesus brought me out of that lifestyle, not letting me stay there and be comfortable. I became a Christian, not because the Church was cool, hip or releveant, but because of the Word of God and the leading and conviction of the Holy Spirit.

Because Truth matters,


Diana said...

Please pass the soap :)

When I was a little girl and we "back talked" soap in the mouth is what was for punishment. I caught on quick I didn't like the taste of IVORY soap. I am thinking of the irony between the name and the slogan of that soap "99 44/100 % Pure".
My parents thought the back talking was from a dirty mouth and to clean it up that was their choice in the arsenal of punishments. Now and then I will slip and say something unbecoming of a mother to 4 let alone a daughter of God. Your post will remind me to do my best to keep those things on the inside.

I wonder what Jesus thinks when he hears preachers, pastors, and clergy talk in such an unbecoming manner?
As a child I got my punishment, I wonder if Christ wants to grab his Ivory soap and wash some mouths out.
Sure is a point to ponder.

Steven said...

AMEN! Man Church is not supposed to be some hip, swank country club. It is supposed to be a Hospital, where those who are dying get healed in Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Are intent should be Holy just as the Mighty Physician is Holy.
COME OUT, COME OUT Children of GOD and be united to your Groom and leave the HARLOT behind!
Be Holy for I AM Holy says the LORD GOD!
Grace and Peace be with you!