Skip to comments.Why Not a ‘Foul-Mouthed’ Pastor? Should pastors swear to be more "real" and "relevant"?
Posted on 11/17/2013 7:36:15 AM PST by SeekAndFind
The closest a Christian comes to hearing the literal voice of God is when their familiarity with scripture evokes verses in answer to lifes queries. For instance, when confronted with the Washington Posts profile of tatted up, foul-mouthed Lutheran minister Nadia Bolz-Weber, something like 2 Timothy 4:3-4 comes to mind:
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
The Post provides little from Bolz-Weber which passes for theology. Most of her quotes wash past vague and incoherent. The Blaze provides a thumbnail sketch:
While there is a growing group of believers interested in Bolz-Webers message, not everyone will be so enamored. For one, her use of what The Washington Post called a frequently profane dialect will certainly turn off more traditional church attendees. Still, shes piquing the interest of others who are more theologically progressive in nature.
From nothing more than this habit, frequently profane dialect from the pulpit, we can assume with confidence that Bolz-Weber knows not of whom she speaks.
Why shouldnt a pastor use foul language? Is criticism of folks like Mark Driscoll, a professing evangelical known as the cussing pastor, informed by a kind of Puritan asceticism? Does swearing make a Christian real or relevant”?
Before taking a stab at those questions, lets consider why Bolz-Weber chooses to project a crude worldly image. The Posts description of her church service provides insight:
In her body and her theology, Bolz-Weber represents a new, muscular form of liberal Christianity, one that merges the passion and life-changing fervor of evangelicalism with the commitment to inclusiveness and social justice of mainline Protestantism. Shes a tatted-up, foul-mouthed champion to people sick of being belittled as not Christian enough for the right or too Jesus-y for the left.
You show us all your dirty laundry! Its all out there! the Rev. John Elford of the University United Methodist Church booms, as if he is introducing a rock star, leading the cheering crowd into an impassioned round of hymn-singing.
Bolz-Weber springs onstage to do a reading from her book, but first she addresses the language thats about to be unleashed on the pulpit: I dont think church leaders should pretend to be something theyre not.
The crowd erupts into applause.
From this we may discern that Bolz-Weber swears from the pulpit to distinguish herself from perceived hypocrites. Clearly, her congregation tracks with that purpose. One of them, a former evangelical megachurch pastor, testifies:
For 21 years, I felt I had to keep people in line, and it felt like bondage to me. House has a lot of people burned by religion, and this still holds for me. Its the only church I can stomach.
Somewhere along the line, Bolz-Weber and her followers came away from traditional Christianity with the impression that pastors concern themselves primarily with behavior. Her answer:
Forget what youve been told about the golden rule God doesnt love you more if you do good things, or if you believe certain things. God, [Bolz-Weber] argues, offers you grace regardless of who you are or what you do.
As proves typical of false teachers, Bolz-Weber comes very close to expressing the truth, but for a critical error.
God doesnt love you more if you do good things. God does offer grace regardless of who you are or what you do. Those statements from Bolz-Weber comport with scripture. Her notion that it does not matter what you believe does not.
The entire book of Galatians, short enough to read in a single sitting, deals with the importance of correct beliefs. It also deals with the issue of hypocrisy raised by Bolz-Weber and her followers.
In Galatia, the church came under the influence of false teachers who claimed that God required Christians to obey certain aspects of the Mosaic Law. Specifically, they preached that salvation required circumcision. The Apostle Paul set them straight in Galatians 2:15-16:
We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
Swearing has no more bearing on Christian salvation than circumcision does. To the extent some within the pastorate have felt they need to keep people in line, they fall victim to another Gospel as Paul put it. Behaving a certain way does not justify a sinner.
If we left our consideration there, it might seem like an affirmation of Bolz-Webers approach. She swears from the pulpit so not to pretend to be something [shes] not. Indeed, not swearing as a means to salvation proves futile. But theres another reason why Christians should refrain from foul language, especially in reference to the Almighty. And it has to do with the essential Christian doctrine known as the Gospel, a belief which defines Christianity. Paul details it in his letter to the Romans:
What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
Thats deep theological stuff which might be summarized thus: Salvation through faith in the work of Christ changes your heart. Knowing God leads to contemplating his holiness and seeking to glorify Him by obeying his commandments, not to earn what you have been freely given, but to enjoy the living God.
No one who knows God would want to associate Him with filth. Thats why Christian pastors shouldnt swear from the pulpit, not to pretend to be something theyre not, but to glorify who God is.
It was always my experience that profanity stemmed from a lack of vocabulary.
the pastor is a woman. it is modernist liberal church. cursing and swearing are the least of the church’s concerns. does not hold to any real doctrine. so his is just example of how there are certain denominations (mainstream) have fallen from God. Look at the United Church of Christ denomination - its church leadership example of jeremiah wright. ... dam. America. Can we believe that someone like Barack obama is a Christian . Look at the fruit he bears - lying, deceit, fraud, division and hatred.
Exactly what I thought. I'm all for breaking the pharisaical religiosity demons of some fundamentalists and some evangelicals for a more real "relationship" - but you can't sacrfice truth in doing so. Methinks this Lutheran Church, like many, puts truth on the altar routinely.
I would also call BULL sh—t on the 30 K a day figure too ..
Bolz-Weber is a pastrix in the apostate XXXA, the so-called "Evangelical Lutheran Church of America."
Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.
I have heard that quote from Mr. Campolo. It was done at a pastor’s conference. The only reason I know that is because the pastor of a church I used to attend was AT that conference, and heard him say it.
And...the reason I know my former pastor heard him say it is because he repeated the quote.
From the pulpit. On a Sunday. You could’ve heard a pin drop.
I know you won’t believe me, but that former pastor of mine is a godly man, and I would defend him to my dying day. The only reason I’m not at that church anymore is because I moved out of that city.
Nicely done...likely we’ll see some cute chicas in the F1 intro show.
No! But if a Pastor should slip and swear, he should not be treated as a pariah either. He's just another sinner, saved by grace.
If Jesus is your example, and He should be if you are calling yourself a Christian, then you will use the language He did. NOT what the world uses.
Ancient Aramaic? Sorry, don't know it. I have no choice but to use the language of the "world"