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Archive for September 29th, 2008

Here is a video so you can understand where I am going.

 

Here is the scripture I want to discuss:

Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving

I want to come to this two-fold. I want to preface that I am not attempting to be legalistic, nor judgmental, but I do want to express my concern with Mr. Tripp’s perspective.

1. Culture drives the definition

As Paul is writing this, he doesn’t give the Ephesians a list of “cuss words” so to say. He is very broad in his approach and I believe this to be a strategic move. Why? Well because he would have probably needed to write an encyclopedia and have someone keep it up to date daily. What do I mean? Well simply put culture is always coming up with words that are filthy, foolish and crude. Check the latest movie and there are always no words or euphemisms that are all of the above. Just watch the latest music video or read the latest book or go to your local barbershop or visit a social website.

So instead of trying to draft and exhaustive list Paul simply makes categories which are: Filthy, Foolish or Coarse. As an Ephesian reading this letter they would have immediately understood and I believe we do also. Now there are some words that have been transcendent and we label them cuss words. Across the board they are cuss words, some words sort of fall in between. Such as: piss, bastard, suck, screwed up, and the like. But there are some words that we all know as bad, plain and simple, and we are only lying to ourselves, because if our kids were to say it during an Easter Sunday speech or during show and tell we would be embarrassed beyond belief.

So again Paul makes broad categories which they would have automatically started to compartmentalize, they probably wouldn’t have agreed with all of them but they sure would have been able to agree on the majority of them with little wavering. Such is for us today. We know which words are unacceptable and Mr. Tripp’s answer to the word he uses quite frequently is one we all agree on. We wouldn’t want are kids saying it, we wouldn’t say it in an interview, you wouldn’t want a pastor using it if he dropped his sermon on Sunday morning, and you wouldn’t want the cartoons your kids watch saying it either. No excuse there.

2 Even more importantly our Brothers and Sisters.

Paul writes this:

13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. 16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

Because of our liberty driven, self-serving, autonomous Christianity, here in the West this is one of the MOST overlooked doctrines in the Christian church. It is funny that in His incarnation Jesus sets aside His rights as God and becomes subject to His own laws and the Roman Government to serve us, and we flaunt our liberty as believers recklessly. As if Philippians 2 “don’t look out for your own interest only” isn’t to be applied to every area of our Christian lives. We have brothers and sisters who are offended by certain language, and not only do we continue to use it. We have men like Driscoll who boast and when challenged by others (unless they are Piper, Grudem or some other prized theologian) instead of repenting he calls them cowards. Wow!

Just say this is an issue of liberty. What does Paul say about eating meat in another section “that I will never eat meat at the offence of my brother”. This isn’t limited to meat. It involves many other aspects of the Christian walk and language is one. Again as a nation called the United States, we have language that we deem unacceptable. Even the non-believers agree on most of what we deem filthy language, we then in turn say “well if we need to get a point across then…..”. Many of the older generation would see this video and automatically tune Mr. Tripp out, they would listen to (and have listened to) Driscoll and say no way! Even after the talk with Grudem, it seem weird that Piper would post this video which happens to be more vulgar in its usage than what Grudem challenged him on.

Finally a challenge to Mr. Tripp would be this. When we hear the word s_it. What comes to mind? Is it not filthy? I think of a toliet stool and someone sitting on it. Is that appropriate imagery to cast into someone’s mind? I don’t know, but that word seems like one we have agreed upon at least the last 30 years. When I used it one day at my house when I thought my Grandmother was gone to communicate my dissatisfaction with my sister, my grandmother made me a bit more acquantied with one of my belts.

In closing. Paul gives us an imperative, instead of trying to find ways to scoot around it or walk a tight rope on what Paul really meant, lets try to ALWAYS have our language seasoned with salt, and void of things that has been labeled filthy. instead of trying to theologically argue away this charge, lets just try to walk in holiness in every area of our lives. We don’t need to impress other people by using foul language. We can impress them by serving and loving them as Jesus did. A sidenote, no one I know has come to Jesus because of foul language or an argument that it was acceptable, and no one in the bible said “man Jesus that’s a nice way to  use that cuss word, can I be one of your disciples”. Jesus loved and laid down His life, we are given one way to introduce people to Jesus and that is the Gospel. No need to get creative.

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Its The Remix Baby #14

1 Corinthians 13:9-10

For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes which happens to be the canon that will be finalized 200 years or so from now, the partial sign” gifts will pass away and all we will need is our bibles. (TSV, Theological Standard Version)

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