Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Why Not a ‘Foul-Mouthed’ Pastor? Should pastors swear to be more "real" and "relevant"?
Pajamas Media ^ | 11/16/2013 | Walter Hudson

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 life’s queries. For instance, when confronted with the Washington Post’s 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-Weber’s 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, she’s 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 shouldn’t 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”?

“Tatted up, foul-mouthed” Lutheran minister Nadia Bolz-Weber.

Before taking a stab at those questions, let’s consider why Bolz-Weber chooses to project a crude worldly image. The Post’s 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. She’s 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! It’s 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 that’s about to be unleashed on the pulpit: “I don’t think church leaders should pretend to be something they’re 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. It’s 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 you’ve been told about the golden rule — God doesn’t 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 doesn’t 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.

Clean it up!

If we left our consideration there, it might seem like an affirmation of Bolz-Weber’s approach. She swears from the pulpit so not to “pretend to be something [she’s] not.” Indeed, not swearing as a means to salvation proves futile. But there’s 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.

That’s 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. That’s why Christian pastors shouldn’t swear from the pulpit, not to “pretend to be something they’re not,” but to glorify who God is.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: elca; liberalism; pastors; swearing

1 posted on 11/17/2013 7:36:15 AM PST by SeekAndFind
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

It was always my experience that profanity stemmed from a lack of vocabulary.


2 posted on 11/17/2013 7:38:34 AM PST by UCANSEE2 (The monsters are due on Maple Street)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
Meet Tony Campolo, Evangelist and Bill Clinton's counselor during the Monica controversy.

".. I have three things I'd like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don't give a s**t. What's worse is that you're more upset with the fact that I said s**t than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.”


3 posted on 11/17/2013 7:41:03 AM PST by SeekAndFind
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

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.


4 posted on 11/17/2013 7:43:30 AM PST by hondact200 (Candor dat viribos alas (sincerity gives wings to strength) and Nil desperandum (never despair))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: hondact200
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.

5 posted on 11/17/2013 7:47:27 AM PST by C. Edmund Wright (Tokyo Rove is more than a name, it's a GREAT WEBSITE)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

I would also call BULL sh—t on the 30 K a day figure too…..


6 posted on 11/17/2013 7:48:00 AM PST by C. Edmund Wright (Tokyo Rove is more than a name, it's a GREAT WEBSITE)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
"Lutheran minister Nadia Bolz-Weber"

Bolz-Weber is a pastrix in the apostate XXXA, the so-called "Evangelical Lutheran Church of America."

7 posted on 11/17/2013 7:51:44 AM PST by Carl Vehse
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Carl Vehse
PASTOR NADIA BOLZ-WEBER


8 posted on 11/17/2013 7:55:05 AM PST by SeekAndFind
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
Why did I immediately think of this?


9 posted on 11/17/2013 8:00:14 AM PST by nascarnation (Wish everyone you see a "Gay Kwanzaa")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Psalms 50:23.

Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.


10 posted on 11/17/2013 8:03:39 AM PST by HangnJudge
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Jeramiah Wright.


11 posted on 11/17/2013 8:07:47 AM PST by DungeonMaster
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

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.


12 posted on 11/17/2013 8:08:47 AM PST by hoagy62 ("Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered..."-Thomas Paine. 1776)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
Didn't Madonna wear a nun outfit too? And yet she is a practicing Buddhist because its "fashionable" and fits in with her yoga lifestyle. Look at the fruits of the tree. A holy person would not have a trash mouth. Matthew 15 New International Version That Which Defiles 1Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2“Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!” 3Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’a and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’b 5But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ 6they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 8“ ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’c ” 10Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” 12Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?” 13He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14Leave them; they are blind guides.d If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” 15Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.” 16“Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. 17“Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”
13 posted on 11/17/2013 8:08:52 AM PST by jsanders2001
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: nascarnation


14 posted on 11/17/2013 8:10:00 AM PST by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
“I don’t think church leaders should pretend to be something they’re not.”

Like pretending to be a Christian.
15 posted on 11/17/2013 8:12:40 AM PST by Steve_Seattle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Chode

Nicely done...likely we’ll see some cute chicas in the F1 intro show.


16 posted on 11/17/2013 8:16:24 AM PST by nascarnation (Wish everyone you see a "Gay Kwanzaa")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
Should pastors swear to be more "real" and "relevant"?

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.

17 posted on 11/17/2013 8:21:16 AM PST by JimRed (Excise the cancer before it kills us; feed & water the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS NOW & FOREVER!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: UCANSEE2

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.


18 posted on 11/17/2013 8:21:28 AM PST by winkadink (During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. George Orwell)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: winkadink
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"

19 posted on 11/17/2013 8:23:57 AM PST by southern rock
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: nascarnation
100%
20 posted on 11/17/2013 8:23:58 AM PST by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: C. Edmund Wright

Such BS is to guilt-trip Christians of good will to support massive government. There is great wisdom in the adage “charity begins at home.”

IMHO our first responsibility is to those to whom God has entrusted into our care. Next comes those in our immediate community.

There is little an American Christian can do about the alleged 30K mentioned, but he can make a difference in the local food bank for example.


21 posted on 11/17/2013 8:25:03 AM PST by jtal (Runnin' a World in Need with White Folks' Greed - since 1492)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind; Elsie; colorcountry; Zakeet; greyfoxx39
I find it very interesting how Mormons think G.A. J. Golden Kimball was oh so special with his colorful language. And he was a coffee drinker? LOL
22 posted on 11/17/2013 8:26:10 AM PST by Utah Binger (Southern Utah where the world comes to see America)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JimRed
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.

That is if you even consider so-called "swearing" a sin. I don't see how or why a handful of old Anglo-Saxon words are any worse than any other English word. What is the big deal?

23 posted on 11/17/2013 8:27:06 AM PST by southern rock
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

Comment #25 Removed by Moderator

To: SeekAndFind

Jesus didn’t cuss when he was teaching.


26 posted on 11/17/2013 8:33:13 AM PST by Tzimisce
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

As we say in Alcoholics Anonymous, “profanity is not a sign of spiritual growth.”


27 posted on 11/17/2013 8:40:30 AM PST by truth_seeker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jtal

Is Campola’s message a big gov message? I don’t pay that much attention to him. Didn’t know if he was from the Jim Wallis church of liberal witchcraft…


28 posted on 11/17/2013 8:40:33 AM PST by C. Edmund Wright (Tokyo Rove is more than a name, it's a GREAT WEBSITE)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Forget what you’ve been told about the golden rule — God doesn’t 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.


True, but to use the language she believes in, too bad the stupid biiicth never excepted that grace.


29 posted on 11/17/2013 8:50:47 AM PST by ravenwolf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

What’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact that I said s**t than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.”


No, i say that every now and then myself, any one can slip but some one using any kind of vain words purposely is just from stupidity.

Any one can see the reason kids are going hungry is because of the feel good about themselves people like this guy that would not pee on another if they were on fire but just try to make some one else do it.

The reason kids are going hungry is because people like him thinks the world owes them a living, half of them look for people that they can bilk out a living from and the other half jumps around like a grasshopper from bed to bed and expects some one else to pay for the results.


30 posted on 11/17/2013 9:12:21 AM PST by ravenwolf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

It is about money and nothing else on the so called pastors part.


31 posted on 11/17/2013 9:18:52 AM PST by ravenwolf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: southern rock

Ancient Aramaic? Sorry, don’t know it. I have no choice but to use the language of the “world”


Ancient Aramaic is Greek to me and so is about every other language , but i think what was met is the words rather than the origin.


32 posted on 11/17/2013 9:28:41 AM PST by ravenwolf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Profanity stems from within the heart that is not clean. Have I ever used profane language? Rarely. Why, because the couple times I did, I felt that it grieved the Spirit, and was not showing that I was being conformed to the image of Christ. What happened to that part, anyway...the “being conformed to the image of Christ”? We are also to be careful not to encourage the weaker brother. When we don’t allow the Spirit to change us, we are showing the weaker brother that a halfhearted attempt at the Christian life is good enough. We are not saved by our works, but our works and the things that proceed from our mouth give testimony to the work of the HS within, and that is very important. Important for the growth of others, as well, as we are examples to others, whether we realize this or not.


33 posted on 11/17/2013 9:54:25 AM PST by Shery (in APO Land)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

She provides evident that Paul knew what he was talking about when he wrote this under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost:

“Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.”

1 Timothy 2:11-14


34 posted on 11/17/2013 10:15:49 AM PST by ReformationFan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

You couldn’t pay me to listen to a “sermon” from him. If I want liberalism and profanity, I’ll just watch the regular Hollywood TV show or movie.


35 posted on 11/17/2013 10:17:34 AM PST by ReformationFan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

No, taking the name of the Lord in vain is a serious sin.

Any pastor who swore would not have any credibility with me.


36 posted on 11/17/2013 10:20:41 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: hondact200
Can we believe that someone like Barack obama is a Christian .

I will, when I see porkers complete undergraduate pilot training.

37 posted on 11/17/2013 10:42:28 AM PST by Mark17 (Chicago Blackhawks: Stanley Cup champions 2010, 2013. Vietnam Veteran, 70-71)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: UCANSEE2; Salvation; NYer

The only fowl language I want to hear from the minister is telling one of our members “I hope you are cooking up a batch of your chicken for the pot luck next Sunday.”


38 posted on 11/17/2013 11:01:38 AM PST by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Offensive. I wouldn’t listen to anyone who defaced their body like that for even one minute.


39 posted on 11/17/2013 11:07:34 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: ravenwolf

The only foreign language I am fairly fluent in is English.


40 posted on 11/17/2013 11:30:06 AM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Salvation
I wouldn’t listen to anyone who defaced their body like that for even one minute.

That seems a bit, shall we say, judgmental.

41 posted on 11/17/2013 11:31:30 AM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: Elsie

The only foreign language I am fairly fluent in is English.


I thought i was the only one it seemed to be getting foreign to.


42 posted on 11/17/2013 11:50:12 AM PST by ravenwolf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson