The Pornification of the Pulpit?

Posted: March 18, 2009 in Uncategorized

Phil Johnson, John MacArthur’s right hand man and “Pyromaniac” blogger, recently blasted ministers such as Mark Driscoll and Ed Young, Jr. and ministries such as The XXX Church for using “profanity” and engaging in “carnal topics” and “vile subjects.”

Johnson points to a number of texts such as Ephesians 5:4, Colossians 3:15 and especially Titus 2:7-8 to support his argument that these pastors and ministries are out of line.  Johnson stated that speaking crassly, utilizing crude jokes or discussing sex all in the name of contextualization violates Paul’s clear instructions to be “dignified” and “self-controlled.” Johnson also believes that these practices are a gross capitulation to the world that runs in the face of Paul’s admonition to Titus to avoid imitating the “dominant features of…(the) culture” and, as such, will not assist in sanctification.  Johnson believes that “contextualizataion” is simply the excuse for a pastor to try to be “cool” and accepted.

Johnson argues against potty mouthed postmoderns pastors (my term) that the Bible does not contain such language or topics and is therefore not an excuse.  He asserts that the Apostle Paul did not utilize “vile” speech even when he used the Greek word often translated as “dung” in Phil. 3:8.  Johnson admits that the term was indeed “strong” but asserts that it was not as shocking and as forceful as to be regarded as profanity.  Johnson also admits that the Song of Solomon speaks of sex but he stated that the book does so in a way that is appropriate for all readers but that pastors such as Driscoll and Young have turned the book into “soft core porn” and that one of Driscoll’s favorite jokes is indeed blasphemy!

In sum. Johnson argues that “smutty talk” and “shenanigans” (those are quotes) are not appropriate for Christians and less so for pastors. Johnson stated that one does not need to engage in “gutter talk” to reach people as is evidenced by the fact that the IRS doesn’t publish tax forms containing profanity nor does the eleven o’clock news feel the need to make use of “crude jokes” or “bawdy language.”

What are we to make of this? You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out.

Until then , grace and peace.

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