Or something like that . . .Â you all have to check this out. Chuck Swindoll was dropped from a radio station for his language. You will have to read it for yourself as the language is too vulgar to repeat (it is the kind of language the world uses that CANNOT fit into our Christian sub-culture. Why? Just because, that’s why! The culture uses it. OK, I will post them here. I hope that my language filter does not delete them.
1. buns (In Christian writing it is spelled this way: b%#ns or just say “bottom”)
2. heck (in Christian writing it is spelled this way: h*%k or just say “dang!”)
3. crap (in Christian writing it is spelled this way: c$%p – or as Paul puts it “skubalon“)
4. balls (in Christian writing it is spelled this way: b%^$s – or just say “courage”)
I feel so dirty now.
Okay, now seriously. When I heard this I smiled, laughed, and cried.
I smiled because I know Chuck. I served under him as an associate pastor for six years. I was there for most of these comments to which the article refers. I know Chuck well enough to know that everything he says is very intentional. He knows the type of reaction that this will receive and he says it anyway. Why? Because he does not like Christianity defined according to the rules of a sub-culture that strains out gnats and swallows a camel. He wants Christianity to be defined more accurately, focusing on the person and work of Christ, not whether you curse or not. I could say more about Chuck – in fact, I could start a whole blog focused only on what I have learned from him – but I will leave you with my personal knowledge that Chuck knows what he is doing. He is an extremely wise man.
I laughed because of the irony of this event in relation to my recent posts on my distaste (to say the least) for the Christian sub-culture. I don’t think there could be a better illustration as represented by the pressure that this radio station must have received from a few outspoken members of their constituency. The Christian sub-culture is alive and well.
I cried because this is the perception that people have of Christianity. Did Chuck really deserve to get kicked off for this? Did John Piper really need to apologize for saying that God “kicks our ass”? Sometimes there are no better words to expressÂ our passion.Â Yes, we need to be careful with what we say (Matt. 12:36)Â and limit ourselves to words that edify (1 Cor. 10:23),Â butÂ in the right context, these words can and do edify. Sometimes there is no better way to get a point across. God is not concerned about putting certainÂ letters together, but about the meaning and context in which they are said.Â
If this message gets out to the outside world (and it will and has), what are they going to think of our sub-culture? Here is what they will think, When I go around Christians, I can’t really say anything or let anything slip. I had better just stay away or talk very little. Is this really what we want?
Just a few months ago I was with a lady who had been a Christian for more than thirty years. I have no doubt of her love for Christ. But she did something that astonished me and made me think deeply about the problem of the Christian sub-culture. While we were together, we began talking to an unbeliever. Now this unbeliever spoke the language that he knew best and this language involved some vulgarity. Upon the first vulgar word, the Christian lady became very sour in her countenance. The second vulgar word caused her to begin to disconnect from the conversation. When the third word came out, she had more than she could bear. She got up in the middle of his sentence, expressed her distaste for his language and departed, leaving him with an impression of outright rejection. This rejection came from the “Christ-ian”; the one who follows and represents Christ. He knew what he had done and felt badly. After this, he did not talk much. I ask you: Is this what Christ would have done? Would he have sensed any surprise or fear of this man’s foul language?
Now, just so you know, I don’t curse. I just was not brought up in such a way. I have tried at times, but it just sounded odd coming out of my mouth. If you have seen the movie Signs, you will know what I mean. At the same time, I have a lot of friends who curse. Many of them are not Christian. Often, when I come “back” around to hang out with them, I will force myself to say something “vulgar” in order to change their preconceptions of what it means to be a Christian. I may say (hold on to your seat!), “This day has kicked my ass.” “Or “What the hell were you thinking?” They always look at me kind of odd. But these words are very intentional.Â My friendsÂ are confused because they thought Christians were those who don’t curse, drink, or hang out with unbelievers. Now they have to reconsider all three (I will sometimes do this with a beer in hand – man does that shake them). Now they have to ask, What does it mean to be Christian? Oh how I love that question.
Oh, and, BTW, sorry Chuck! You always know you are taking this risk of offending people. Thanks for doing it! May your kind be multiplied and may your courage stay strong.
Andrew Jones has blogged on this. It is worth the read.