Monday, May 30, 2005

"Shit" at the Pulpit!

Shock-jock PreachingI was so offended I almost shook.

I had never heard such language from the pulpit.After our missions speaker illustrated Jesus' compassion for those who were untouchable, he became more intense as he called us to action.

In a voice wrought with emotion, he described how the drought in Somalia decimated innocent people while a wealthy western church grew rich and lazy.

With tears welling in his eyes, he thundered that while we slept that night, 2,500 Somalian children would die of disease and starvation.I

t was the next sentence that slapped me in the face. He punctuated each word with a pause.

"And you … probably … don't … give … a … shit."

I sat there stunned and almost sickened that the pulpit, a holy place, echoed such gutter language.

Then I turned indignant. How could he know my compassion? How dare he?A thick silence hung in the air. Then, leaning over the pulpit, he lowered his voice to a quiet, pitying tone.

"And do you know what the really sad thing is?" he asked.

"You're sitting here right now more upset that I just said a naughty word than you are that so many children are going to die tonight."

Ouch.He had me cold.

My mind was more locked on his vocabulary than his content. Weighing my feelings about his vocabulary next to my empathy for the hurting, my compassion came up far short.

His strong language forced me to look deep within myself, and I didn't like the view. I saw I had more in common with Miss Manners than I did with Jesus Christ.

I have often looked back at that sermon and wondered:Could I be so bold? Should I be so bold? When is strong language necessary from the pulpit? What kinds of strong words are appropriate? How ...

Source: Christianity Today

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