21 February 2007

What's All the Fuss?

On the whole issue of John Piper recently blurting out the word ass at Passion07 I think the Jolly Blogger sums up the situation and takes a balanced position on using strong language.
Give it a read. I'm not advocating Christians everywhere starting to use strong language but I'm not going to condemn Piper for using it. Should he have used another word for it? Perhaps, but that's the word that came to mind and that's the word he spoke and he was trying to make a point. Rather, it seems like the point may have been missed and the focus became the use of this word.

Jolly Blogger makes a strong point when he stated: My main concern in all of this is that we in the church often display, or seek to attain, a kind of super-spirituality, ultra-piety and over scrupulousness that goes beyond what the Bible requires. Plus, there is something in us that just needs to feel offended at others. He goes on, I also think this sends a bad message to anyone who stumbles on discussions like this who are considering the Christian faith. I can imagine someone seeing this stuff and thinking, "my goodness, if I ever embrace the Christian faith and have a little slip of the tongue I'll probably get hammered for it - no thanks!" I doubt they would be impressed with our convictions and our spirituality, nor do I think this would entice them toward the faith. Peter Leithert contributes to the debate in his blog by clarifying the crucial passage on this issue, Eph. 5:1-12. In some sense, its good that this has come to light so that we may all examine this again.

Not long ago I sat in a class with other middle-age Christians like myself. The teacher is a pastor, well educated, and very interesting. While discussing one of the early Pelagians he started to stumble trying to find the correct word. He tilted his up and uttered, "What he said was..., was..., was just bullsh*t." I was of course caught off guard and thought at first I mis-heard him but I know I did not. I looked around the table and no one batted an eye. I have not heard him use a word like that before or since. But somehow, it was the right word then.


Gordan said...

Frankly, and I know this makes me a fellow renegade with yourself, I don't mind a little "earthy" language sprinkled in when the situation itself demands it. I mean, I do think some pastors trying to be "cool" throw in a questionable word or phrase just to be saying that word or phrase. That's not what I'm talking about. I mean, when you're discussing a guy like Pelagius, it's almost bearing false witness to NOT use the term the pastor did. I agree wholeheartedly with the Jolly Blogger quotes, I guess. I'm fed up with false piety. That which is ridiculous deserves nothing but ridicule. And that which qualifies as BS deserves to be called BS. Who knows? Maybe we'd have more men in the churches if we quit demanding that our speech sound like Mr. Rogers all the time.

Reformed Renegade said...

Oh, I totally agree. We've been programmed as Christians to behave in a certain way, which as you state, produces a false piety. Everything from our speech to the way we dress, the length of our hair, what we drink, etc. should all be re-examined in light of Scripture and we should not add to it producing an outward, unbiblical obedience. Some folks are amazed to find out I drink alcohol. "Christians don't drink." Of course this offers me the opportunity to explain what being a Christian really means. I also agree about your comment about men in church. Men don't want to give up there "manliness" to attend church and speech is part of their manliness.