Friday, October 05, 2007

WHEN YOU SPEAK ABOUT CHRIST...

saw this posted on Steve Camp's blog:

WHEN YOU SPEAK ABOUT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, DON'T SPEAK LIKE THIS:

"Roughly two thousand years ago, Jesus was born in a dumpy, rural, hick town, not unlike those today where guys change their own oil, think pro wrestling is real, find women who chew tobacco sexy, and eat a lot of Hot Pockets with their uncle-daddy. Jesus' mom was a poor, unwed teenage girl who was often mocked for claiming she conceived via the Holy Spirit. Most people thought she concocted the crazy story to cover the fact she was knocking boots with some guy in the backseat of a car at the prom."
--MARK DRISCOLL


SPEAK LIKE THIS:

"We know that it is our good, our joy and rest to be united with the Son of God. As He is our Head, we are His body, so also from Him we hold our life and our salvation and all good. In fact, we see how miserable our condition would be unless we had our refuge in Him, to be maintained under His keeping. However, we could not reach so high (seeing that scarcely can we crawl upon the earth), unless from His side He approached us, and already He had approached in His birth, when He clothed Himself in our flesh and He made Himself our brother. We could not now have our refuge in our Lord Jesus Christ’s being seated at the right hand of God His Father in heavenly glory, unless He were abased as far as being made mortal man and having a condition common with us. That is also why, when He is called “Mediator between God and men,” this title “man” is especially attributed to Him. As also for the same reason He is called “Emanuel,” that is, “God with us.”
--JOHN CALVIN

9 Comments:

Blogger Lin said...

Thank you!

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't know Driscoll was so crass.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Sirnickdon said...

Two ideas.

One, it seems to me that the language one uses is culturally conditioned and totally contextual, insofar as the offensiveness of it. If you go to a land where the word 'orange' is offensive, a good Christian avoids using it, to avoid offense.

Likewise, if you go to a land where words you normally consider offensive is considered neutral, then you are propogating your culture - not Christ - when you complain that the users not use them. And you are refusing to become 'all things to all people' if you will not speak in the language of the culture.

Second, the quotes are incomparable. They are directed to people in different cultures, and they are talking about different subjects. The point Driscoll is making is that Jesus came from a disreputable area: if you describe it with too much eloquence and too little crassness, your language mitigates the very point you are trying to make.

---

At least, these are my initial thoughts. It's a hard line to draw: a student at the Bible college I attended was fined for using the phrase "brain-fart" during a sermon in chapel. On the other hand, outright swearing from the pulpit is likely to alienate at least some.

Still, I think that offending the religious is the least of our worries in terms of mission.

-ND

7:54 PM  
Blogger Hank said...

I also see two issues here. The question of context. A worship service or an evangelist speaking to inner city gang members who would not even recognize the name, Jesus out of an expletive context? The second is why did he do it. Was his action derived from a Christ centered desire to honor God or a man centered desire to help others. I fear all to often we are misguided into thinking God is not center stage or that He needs our help to reach the lost. I do believe if first we love God we will have a desire to serve man. If we love God and are centered in that relationship to know Him, His Spirit will lead us into truth. We can not see God's created image suffer and not feel pain. Evangelism flows first out of a love for the Creator that leads into a love relationship with His created image. I do however believe in order to honor God we can not do it ignoring His Word.

11:22 PM  
Anonymous Shea said...

Well, the uncle-daddy thing may be bit over the top, but Driscoll is not using this crass language to describe Christ Himself, but rather the dark setting into which He entered for our sakes.

I suspect, even though I have not seen the entirety of his message, that Driscoll was trying to bring his hearers back to earth - the real earth as they know it - concerning the incarnation. The birth and life of Christ was not in some flowery picture book - He left heaven and willingly entered into our darkness - and there is just no pretty way to describe that darkness.

The knocking-boots phrase is very likely to offend anyone that bows down before Mary in worship (maybe they need to be offended) but I don't see any crass language here speaking about our true Lord directly.

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"if you describe it with too much eloquence and too little crassness, your language mitigates the very point you are trying to make"

That's a bogus argument in light of all the times we see in Scripture the need for wholesome language. I don't drink the culturally relevant Kool-Aid to justify vulgarity, and this is nothing short of crass. There are many ways to describe the pitiful circumstances into which Jesus was born, without stooping to a level that tears down rather than lift the level of discourse.

And another thing: Driscoll misses the mark by a few thousand miles, because with his sterotypes, he is NOT describing the Middle East at the time of Christ, he is describing something totally different and ends up sounding like a B-rated amateur comedian with a losing gig. In the process, he demeans women (he mentions them at least twice in a contemptible and insulting way) and ridicules farming communities ("hick town") --- were he lacking an adequate vocabulary, the elders at this church should consider lessons or perhaps buy him a Thesaurus. But this is not a problem of deficiency in English grammar, it's a deliberate attempt to be crude and rude to create an effect. I've heard him many times, and that's what he does.

Driscoll pastors in an urban area known for its professional life as well as its scrunge culture. It's obvious from this comment which side of the divide he wants to be identified with; yes, he is crass. Live with it.

12:45 AM  
Blogger Hank said...

I am a little confused and truly do not have a feel for the truth of this. I remember the story of the Auca Indians of Ecuador. This reminded me a little of the way the missionaries related to the Auca Indians the Gospel. I do not know what to think of this but do not believe the heathens in America are any more righteous or intelligent that the heathens in South America or any other place. Am I stretching things here? And if so; please explain why you think so.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Sirnickdon said...

I'm afraid that sometimes we mistake 'wholesome' speech for simply 'polite' speech. I believe that Driscoll is describing here (in admittedly sardonic terms) the world into which our savior was born out of love for all of us. That is a wholesome message, and the speech about it is wholesome.

It is not pretty or polite (a lot like the world our savior was born into).

The Bible itself uses some impolite language (skubala, in the koine Greek, always jumps to mind). I also love Paul's play on words about those promoting circumcision being 'cut off' themselves.

Granted, paying attention to context is important. I wouldn't say the same things in the narthex of Southern Hills Baptist that I would at the all-school devotions at MACU. But at the same time, my roommates won't listen to someone who dances around the word 'crap.'

So, like everything else, it's a balancing act.

At least that's my thoughts.

-ND

10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like what Swindoll says: Don't dress the riches of Christ in rags.

And so it is.

11:19 PM  

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