Tuesday, September 16, 2008

...has Piper lost his mind or just forgotten his Bible?

Paul Tripp has discovered the "s" word. He likes to say it; he giggles like a red-faced school girl when he does; he thinks its cool; he thinks he's cutting edge and culturally relevant; he thinks he's being radical; he thinks he's being profound; he thinks he's being biblical, but yet never quotes one verse of Scripture; and Piper has produced this wasteful intestinal discharge (pun intended) and condones what Tripp is saying. Who has spiked the water in Minnesota?

For those of you who are tired of the shallow Driscoll-influenced scatological speech pulpiteers who like to use four letter words and smutty humor in trying to relate to their audience thinking they are making a profound biblical point, then be prepared to be shocked again. Tripp says the "s" word a lot in this short video clip. I don't have virgin ears and I don't have virgin lips. But remember, this is a man who is a well known Bible teacher whom at this conference will be instructing many other pastors as well from the pulpit on this subject. Has preaching God's Word so degenerated to the lowest common denominator of soiled nomenclature that Tripp's words are now considered acceptable speech in describing the glory and wonder of God? Could you imagine Spurgeon, Owen, Watson, Edwards, Paul, Peter, or the Lord Himself using language of this sort? Totally unnecessary; and totally uncool.

From the Meta:
"Hey, I've got two pre-schoolers,
one of which is in the process of leaving diapers.
Trust me--we're knee-deep in scatology here.
But even they know how to be appropriate.
I asked them the other day,
"Where do we talk about [this topic]?"
"In the bathroom," they answered.
"Do we talk about it at church?" I asked.
"No," my 5-year-old said reprovingly.
"We talk about the Lord at church."

FYI: this is one of the promo videos for Piper's upcoming DG Conference "The Power of Words and the Wonder of God" at the end of September produced by his ministry. They had to put a disclaimer at the front of this video because of its bad language. But even then, Piper is Clintonian in not really owning it calling the "s" word "...potentially offensive, four letter language..." Personally... I'm staying home. I don't need to pay 175 bucks to hear some impolitic not preach faithfully the Scriptures and dance around what "wholesome speech" might mean to them so they can wrest the Word to accommodate their own guttural proclivities and justify the use of the "s" word in ministry. Furthermore, when you invite men like Tripp and Driscoll who obviously have this bent in ministry for smutty speech rather than proven expositors of God's Word like MacArthur, Sproul, Mohler, Duncan, or Begg - then something is amiss; or in this case, a mess. I don't need beloved, an excuse by any Bible teacher to use ribald speech and cuss; I need to be challenged to be more like Jesus Christ and obedient to His Word.

However, the one shining light among this otherwise line up of lightweights will be Dr. Sinclair Ferguson. He is brilliant, biblical and reverent. You can order his MP3's and save yourself some hard earned legal-tender and the embarrassment of seeing a few middle-aged men trying to relate to a pomo culture.

Anyone seen the real John Piper lately? If you do, tell him that he is missed and that we want to hear him just preach the Word again and leave behind his fascination with this high-school, emerging, juvenile, lascivious mentality once for all.

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, 
but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, 
that it may give grace to those who hear. 
-Eph. 4:29


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Alice said...

I'm not shocked by this, I'm just confused. Why the extensive reasoning behind language (other than to write a book about it, I guess)? There's taking the Lord's name in vain. Forbidden. I'm trackin' with him there. Then there are words that, in our culture, are coarse. The Bible is also pretty clear that coarse language is not fitting for the saints. Do we really have to know the intention? We all know what the coarse words are. According to the Bible, they should not characterize our speech. Seems simple enough.

But people love to argue what Paul said in the original language or even Jesus or stuff Luther said, so it must be cool for us too, and if it's not you're some little old church lady who's easily shocked. Well, I'm not Paul or Jesus (or a little old church lady who's easily shocked!) and finding out if they said a "bad" word so I can say it too isn't going to make me more like them. The Bible says coarse words aren't fitting for the saints--that's US--so why do we keep trying to parse our way around this and find loopholes? Again, less about feelings and what everyone's intention is, and more just straight obeying Scripture.

I can't judge the man on a 5-minute video (especially since I've never heard of him before), but I also thought it a little odd that he found it hilarious when his kids started using the word during the conversation. Hey, I've got two pre-schoolers, one of which is in the process of leaving diapers. Trust me--we're knee-deep in scatalogy here. But even they know how to be appropriate. I asked them the other day, "Where do we talk about [this topic]?" "In the bathroom," they answered. "Do we talk about it at church?" I asked. "No," my 5-year-old said reprovingly. "We talk about the Lord at church."

SJ Camp said...

Hey, I've got two pre-schoolers, one of which is in the process of leaving diapers. Trust me--we're knee-deep in scatalogy here. But even they know how to be appropriate. I asked them the other day, "Where do we talk about [this topic]?" "In the bathroom," they answered. "Do we talk about it at church?" I asked. "No," my 5-year-old said reprovingly. "We talk about the Lord at church."


Thank you,

Alice said...

Thanks. :-)

I haven't seen all the promotions for this conference, just this one. But if it's any indication...yeah, I wouldn't be interested either. Knock off "The Power of Words" part (not that that's not a topic in which I'm interested, just not if it's going to be discussed vis a vis this clip), make the conference solely "The Wonder of God," have speakers such as Erwin Lutzer, James MacDonald, and Kent Hughes...THEN I'd be interested. :-)

Scott Schuyler said...


You're right. Not funny. Not hip. Just plain offensive

Romans 6:1-2 (NASB-U)
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? [2] May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

1 Cor. 8:9 (NASB-U)
But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.

James 2:12 (NASB-U)
So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty.

Scott S.

Mike Ratliff said...


I agree with you. I can't watch the video while I am at work so I will do that when I get home this evening. In any case, I believe this is a larger topic than most believe. I believe that God's men should be humble, Christlike, and godly. That means reverent and and not petty. Again, I will watch the video later this evening then leave another comment.

I appreciate you and your ministry brother.

In Christ

Mike Ratliff

Michele Rayburn said...

Paul Tripp said:

"And I think we really denigrate the battle by making it just a battle of vocabulary...Attitude..intentions...respect in a disrespectful way...It's not vocabulary...use words to build them up and give them grace."

Does this exonerate Mark Driscoll, or admonish him?! I'm confused!

My favorite line: "The Bible says that wholesome communication is intended to give grace to the hearer. Wowie, zowie!" (And his line of reasoning that follows that quote is also priceless).

Here's another good one, when he said, "I'm willing to sacrifice my right to a vocabulary in order to be part of redemptive good in your life". Too late, Paul.

Carla Rolfe said...

I'm not shocked, but I am disgusted, and glad I have headphones since I don't want my kids hearing that kind of trashy talk.

If I heard my kids use the *s* word the way Tripp describes his kids doing, I can guarantee there wouldn't be any uproarious laughter going on, regardless of what their "intent" was.

Just disgusted. I fear what else folks will come away from this conference with.

Anonymous said...

The video was not a good witness.

x said...

While I might also question the wisdom of the use of this video in a public context, I have a few questions/observations.

1) Why is crap, then, okay?
2) Pinheads? What about he who says to his brother, 'you fool'? I'm not sure that's necessary or edifying, Steve. Maybe you're being loving and just joking - but it's hard to tell over the internet.
3) I'm surprised more people are not aware of Paul Tripp. He's one of THE big names in biblical counseling; his books are standards. I believe he's also ordained in the PCA and a prof at Westminster.
4) It seems to me that both sides here have not put forth much exegesis, and that, until God's law on the matter is fully understood we have a conscience issue (a la Rom. 14). (Personally, my own exegesis lands me with Tripp - though again, I might not post a video of myself using such language online.)

SJ Camp said...

Remember that this is a Bible Teacher who is going to be instructing many other pastors from the pulpit out of God's Word on this subject.

Now, what is it that needs more careful exegesis to determine the rightness or wrongness of this for you? This is speech not befitting a man of God when expositing God's Word.

I don't have virgin ears nor virgin lips, but this is inexcusable. Could you imagine Spurgeon, Owen, Baxter, Watson, Paul, Peter, the Lord Himself using language like this and so flippantly?


winslowlady said...

As a writer and an avid listener of vocabulary tapes in my past, it fascinates me that most of the wonderful words in our language are virtually unused and unknown. The English language has descended to an all time low and now we have well respected pastors and authors finding justifications for using cuss words.

I am brought to new highs when reading the sermons of our Puritan giants. At first I sat with a dictionary close by but over time found myself more familiar with the beautiful use of the English language of our forefathers. A beggar 100 years ago could listen with ease to these men speak and understand the vocabulary. The average church goer today listens to sermons with about a 3rd grade vocabulary. Driscoll isn't doing anything to up the standard and now he's got friends who laugh it off and find ways of justifying his crass mouth. Vulgarity is vulgarity.

I have read Paul Tripp's book (as well as his brother Tedd's on shepherding a child's heart). I am amazed that he thought it was funny to hear his kids fly off a sentence with the "s" word. I do understand his point that there are words that are degrading to another, words that evoke sexual images in our minds, and then words that are just plain ole cuss words...but he's wrong here.

The "s" word has an image--and a smell attached--and no thank you, I'd rather not have either in my head when someone is speaking. More importantly, it has a vulgarity attached to it that he doesn't have an issue with as much as the words in his other two categories. We call that having a "sailor's mouth."

SJ Camp said...

I posted the crap line and pinheads word intentionally to see if anyone would take the bait and use that as a diversion to somehow justify Tripp.

Sorry dude it had to be you...

Alice said...

With regard to Derek's observations: I'm not aware of Paul Tripp because I'm not that familiar w/ biblical counseling as a genre (I work in secular publishing, not Christian). Also, I tend to agree with you that to an extent this is a conscience/spiritual growth matter. To an extent. However, even the world knows which words are coarse. Whether or not I feel it's my Christian liberty to use certain words, they're deeply offensive and a stumbling block to many.

My husband and I entertained a colleague of his from India in our home. The man was Hindu and adhered to the dietary restrictions of that religion. Out of courtesy and respect for our guest, and most importantly as part of our testimony to him as the only Christians he'd ever met so far, I cooked according to the restrictions of his faith.

Can we not as Christians, in love and respect for others (not to mention the Lord), keep our speech in check? What's our pressing desire and motivation to use these words?

The Seeking Disciple said...

I don't need to hear this man say these words when I can hear them all day at my work. When I am around Christians, I want to hear godly speech. I want to be edified, not torn down. I want to be instructed in the Word and not hear the so called wisdom of men. When I am around other disciples, I want to feel secure, safe, and able to discuss Jesus without fear, without doubts, and with the assurance that we all love Jesus and want to see the world set free. The last thing I want to hear is ungodly language, filthy jokes, corse jesting, racism, sexual overtoned stories, etc. I want to exalt Christ and not men.

Terry Rayburn said...

Tripp says it's not about the vocabulary, but the attitudes and intentions.

What does this say about the inspired Word of God?

We rightly say in Theology that the Bible is "verbally" inspired or God-breathed.

That means that the "attitudes" and "intentions" weren't inspired, but that it was the words themselves that were inspired. And it's these words that express the attitudes and intentions of God.

To say it's not about the words is to deny the very purpose of the words themselves.


It's not a matter of exegeting the "law" of God. We can't neatly divide everything into "sin" and "non-sin" categories.

The vocabulary word in question here has its very "power" in our society because of it's universally recognized display of "unwholesomeness" or "corruptness".

Eph. 4:29 tells us not to use "unwholesome" or "corrupt" language (Gk. sapros, "corrupted by one and no longer fit for use", "of poor quality, bad, unfit for use, worthless".).

There's some exegesis for you.

It's not that you're wrong in saying it's a matter of conscience. And I'm as opposed as anyone to extra-biblical legalism.

It's that I don't think anyone in our society who is familiar with the term in question can say with a straight face that their conscience is clear in using the word in everyday conversation.

That's why even you concede that you wouldn't make a video using "such language".

It's easier than ever in our day to sear one's conscience "in the name of conscience". Sad.


Anonymous said...

It is sad to say, but I am not at all surprised by this. It seems to be more and more common everyday. A little lax here, a little lax there; the next thing you know our children are doing it - O wait, we are already there. Titus 2:7, 8 is one scripture that comes to mind. Why didn’t he use scripture to instruct his young men?
in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.
Forget about comparing language to how the world perceives it, whether good or bad, but what God has to say about our language; use His standard -- the Holy Scriptures.

Bickley said...

Sorry, but I think every one of you missed the point of the video. You did exactly what he did not want you to do and focused on one word that you find offensive. Steve, I love you, but you are notorious for "throwing the baby out with the bath water." There's no bad theology in this video clip. And as for Paul the Apostle, wasn't there a passage where he called everything that he thought to be of value a big pile of manure? The KJV translated it "dung," right? Hmmm...what would that word come out as in today's language, I wonder?

There was also a statement at the beginning asking for discernment in recounting this story. I think the fact that you jumped on this clip like a lion on a baby buffalo indicates a lack of discernment.

I know I'm the lone voice, here, but we can't all be "yes" men, can we? Choose your battles a little more carefully. It's better when you go after those who are just downright teaching bad theology. Let's don't attack our own. The comment about John Piper was just a little too flippant. And, I have to ask...did you approach this Biblically first? Did you actually address John before you splashed this all over the Internet? If not, then you have serious problem, yourself.

chamfam5 said...

As a fellow pastor, I have long appreciated John Piper and his teaching and writing ministry. And, even though I have never met him personally, I have always felt a kinship with him because of his boldness and careful exegesis of the Word of God. In days gone by, Piper has consistently served as a trusted compass as it relates to good biblical discernment. But in recent months, I too have noticed an uncharacteristic fascination with men like Driscoll.

While I certainly do not stand in judgment of John Piper, and still very much respect him and his ministry, I have noticed a change in his public assocations and those people and things he seems to endorse.

It is very troubling to watch a promotional video about a Bible conference that I would not show in my church. But it is more than that. As I write this, I can't help but think that when the decision was made to use that video to promote that conference, pastors like me, who would otherwise stand arm in arm with John Piper (and have), were obviously not in the targeted demographic.

Deb_B said...

"He's one of THE big names in biblical counseling;..."

Thank you, Mr. Tripp, et.al., for validating my instinctive decision 22 years ago when God first apprehended and saved me to dump the clinical part of my practice. Gasp!

Yep, I did. Though I would, of a truth, return to work using my much secularly-lauded higher education, internships, fellowships, board certifications and licenses (rubbish, methinks the plenary inspired author of the "Pastoral epistles" referred to such) in research, except for some rare call covering for partners in a pinch, I never again returned to clinical counseling.

I am more convinced than ever that "instinctive" post-conversion decision by a new babe in Christ - me - was absolutely the correct one.

I've always wondered why if we are supposed to be denying self, self within the professing Body of Christ always seems in such dire need of so much professional Christian counseling?

THAT has always confused me, especially given my secular education and original career choice.

SJ Camp said...

To All:
Consider these verses as well:

Ephesians 5:4
Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.

Colossians 3:8
But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.

Pastors and Bible Teachers are given the awesome heavenly charge to preach the Word of God (2 Tim. 4:1-2). That is the context here. Bringing the whole council of God, the offense of the cross, and the proclamation of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ into the pulpit and to press its truths upon the fallow hearts of fallen people is a command and must not be compromised.

Even using strong, tough biblical language as our Lord did in Matt. 23; or Jude did in his epistle; or like Peter did in 2 Peter 2, or Paul did in Phil. 3etc. is also necessary when addressing false prophets and teachers and confronting false gospels of the doctrine of demons.

BUT, using shock jock language (as Tripp did here) just for the purpose of being shocking is quite another.

Piper knows better; so does Tripp. My question is what will it take to bring a reverence for God and fear of the Lord back to the pulpits of American Bible teachers once again?

Burn your plastic Piper... and may I encourage you to flood your hearts and minds with the truths of God's Word. Just read through them this year and pray that the Lord through His Spirit would use them to conform us all to Jesus and His holy character. I haven't arrived in my life by a long shot in my walk with the Lord. And that is why this issue infuriates me so. My unredeemed flesh doesn't need any assistance from these men to give license to my tongue; it needs to be challenged to die to myself and bring even my words before His Lordship in surrender to His will and ways.

Can I get an amen?

SJ Camp said...


This promo video was a planed and purposed event. It was designed and approved by Piper and those at DG in the advancement for this conference. I don't know any pastor who would be comfortable playing this video clip at their own church.

I say amen my brother to your wise words. Thank you for your honest and forthright thoughts.


SJ Camp said...

I am not sure what baby was thrown out with what bath water; though I would encourage Mr. Tripp to think about using some Lava soap when he gets home tonight :-).

This video is a public announcement and one therefore, that I may comment on publicly. I have sent my article to Piper before I posted it, but haven't heard back from him yet. However, that is not necessary given that he felt very comfortable producing this promo and condoning its use publicly.

As to this comment of yours though: And as for Paul the Apostle, wasn't there a passage where he called everything that he thought to be of value a big pile of manure? The KJV translated it "dung," right? Hmmm...what would that word come out as in today's language, I wonder?

Phil. 3:8. It is the Greek word skubalon and it means excrement or human waste, manure or dung. And how would that word come out in today's language? As human waste, dung, manure, excrement. BUT, if you want an excuse to call it the "S" word as Driscoll and Tripp would, and want to communicate the truths of Scripture by using the most guttural base form of nomenclature at your disposal that will needlessly offend rather than communicate and give the sense of the text (Neh. 8:8) then by all means, put the Lava soap back in the cupboard, throw out all propriety of godly speech, and next time you are in the pulpit just let her rip.

I didn't miss the point of this video. But Tripp missed the point of godly words that would give weight to the wonder of God (which is the theme of this conference he is to be promoting.)

I do appreciate your comment here brother. BTW, no one commenting here is a yes man. Far from it. The folks who read and post on this blog speak the truth and hold me accountable as well. No need to belittle anyone else's views by trying to minimize them in that way.

Grace and peace to you,

Unknown said...

"There was also a statement at the beginning asking for discernment in recounting this story."

If you feel the necessity to put that sort of a disclaimer prior to a promo clip, shouldn't that in itself raise a few red flags?

Alice said...

Bickley said, "Sorry, but I think every one of you missed the point of this video." Really? Every single one of us? Seeing as deconstructing words is my very livelihood, I listened closely to this video clip and ascertained pretty well what the man had to say. And in my very first comment on this thread, I was just counting down the comments for someone to bring up the tired argument that Paul said "dung" (or however you want to term it).

I think this is less a "baby with the bathwater" argument than a "forest for the trees" one.

And I certainly don't think I'm anyone's "yes" (wo)man either. You can ask my husband. :-)

Deb_B said...

"If you feel the necessity to put that sort of a disclaimer prior to a promo clip, shouldn't that in itself raise a few red flags?"

Indeed, I should think so!

Rick Frueh said...

Chalk me up as a prude. I will not listen to a preacher who curses, much less curses on the pulpit. In Bible college they taught us to avoid words like "darn" and "crap" because they were inappropriate and were substitutes for other words. Today, the walls have broken down.

It may seem like a little thing but it is representative of a greater and growing disregard for outward sanctification. Is our speech supposed to reflect our Savior, or must we be so relevant and be so man pleasing that we no longer consider the precious Holy Spirit in our midst.

Honestly, ever since Brother Piper invited Mark Driscoll to his conference I have been a little wary. I guess I was right, and it is a shame that such a great and deep Bible teacher has let down his guard.

I may be wrong, but sometimes doctrinal revision follows those who lower their standards. Sad.

x said...

Hey Steve,

I'd need some exegeses of texts that forbid the use of such language. I've read opposing arguments from each side and am unconvinced that what Paul had in mind in the two commonly cited texts was the current topic of discussion. I do think Tripp is correct in what he says about the Bible here; I wouldn't use the s-word in such a public forum to illustrate the point, though. I don't think it's sin; just asking for trouble. It's a distracting illustration rather than a helpful one.

My addressing 'crap' isn't an attempt to justify Tripp - I don't have a problem with your using it (my dear bride noted that I let it slip while preaching last Sunday - but I was making reference to such things as The Shack and my ire was raised... and I'm sure you'd agree that that book is indeed, crap.) I just don't see the consistency. Is it merely the issue of Tripp being an ordained man of God? Is it the issue of him being a DG Conf speaker? Is it a question of degree of harshness of the word? I'm missing you here, I think.

As far as 'pinheads' goes - again, I don't necessarily understand your intent here - but it's not so much that I take offense to the word itself as to how it fits into what our Lord says about addressing people. It seems to me like you're name-calling, directly breaking what he commanded. (I say 'it seems' because it sounds like you had a reason for using it - I'm just not sure what it was. You're more than welcome, brother, to fix my perception.)

I'm not immune to name calling; I've definitely called certain popular emergent teachers idiots - which is worse than 'pinheads,' I admit. But I've had to confess that as sin.

So - I'm sorry for my momentary thickness - I think I'm missing the point. I saw the use of 'pinheads' as a different issue than Tripp's language.

I apologize if this is rambling and incoherent. I haven't slept really in two days. (I was hoping that reading my blogroll would induce z's... not so, not so...)

Oh, it seems like I have more to answer for -

Eph 4:29 - I think the ESV gets logos sapros right here - corrupting talk. I don't think what Paul has in mind here is the use of certain words - rather the content of an entire message (that's how Paul uses the word logos, typically - one could even say Paul limits it to messages about doctrine- look at his use of it in Ephesians, especially.)

Eph 5:4 again seems to be about entire message content. Given the contrasting (and emphasized) clause (but rather thanksgiving), the verse seems to be about what is being celebrated by the speaker. Also, given the context (conclusion-ground relationship to next verse, and its connection to the previous verse) - it seems that to say that this verse addresses 'naughty words' is reductionistic at best.

Col. 3:8 is about intent and love. Look at the context and the consistency with which Paul addresses how we should speak - the thread is love.

I think Tripp is dead on. It's about attitude and intent and entire message. I also think, though, that the use of certain words in different subcultures have different nuances, effects, and even meanings. My job as a preacher is to understand the culture or subculture to which i am speaking and make sure that my words are helpful, and arise from the Scriptures, and center on the cross. And sometimes, Steve, as you illustrated, the Scriptures use 'strong' language to defend the gospel in a strong fashion. Here - Tripp - I don't think - understood his audience. But I don't think he sinned.

Okay, I am seriously rambling now... ridiculous.

Oh - Deb_b - I think we missed each other. Tripp is a biblical, pastoral counselor - not a clincal psych guy. He's big in the sola Scriptura/nouthetic counseling circles. His book 'Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands' is an amazing handbook on the application of Scripture to counseling situations.

I will say, this has been an amazing discussion to be in on. Far too often our keyboards, for us bloggers, are quick to speak, but slow to meditate on Scripture and pray. i will say, for myself, discussing these things has given me great pause and care even in how I type and converse with you all here.

Now, hopefully my actual tongue will follow suit!

Rick Frueh said...

All of us have in unguarded moments called someone a jerk or a pinhead, and we all admit it is wrong. The issue here is that these people don't think it is wrong to use coarse and even foul language. This is an issue about which the emergent church considers a non-issue. They contend that words can convey meaning even when they are considered cursing.

What is wrong with the "f" word if you use it to mean what it means in the disgusting and technical sense? Where has the axehead fallen...

Steven Long said...

Just a thought, and maybe I am speaking much too lately; Has anybody actually written Piper to tell him of their disapproval? I certainly plan to do so considering that I am a regular visitor to DG.

SJ Camp said...

The video was not a good witness.

Simple and to the point. Exactly. How does this bring glory to the Lord or His gospel?

I know that Paul has written some fine tomes; I guess that is why this continues to be such a surprise and disappointment...

Thank you for your comment.

SJ Camp said...

Just a thought, and maybe I am speaking much too lately; Has anybody actually written Piper to tell him of their disapproval? I certainly plan to do so considering that I am a regular visitor to DG.

I sent him by link this article but haven't heard back. There is so much to Piper I really like. But this kind of thing that he embraces and joyfully distributes I don't understand at all.

I almost don't want to hear back from him, because I know it will most likely be spin trying to justify the reasons why. Don't really want to hear it...

But your question is a good one.

Rick Frueh said...

"Has anybody actually written Piper to tell him of their disapproval?"

Yes, I wrote him last year about his invitation to Driscoll. No reply.

SJ Camp said...

mike ratcliff
In any case, I believe this is a larger topic than most believe. I believe that God's men should be humble, Christlike, and godly. That means reverent and and not petty.

YES! Thank you my brother. When any of us lose sight of the Lord as the focus in our ministry for Him it is easy to drift a bit...

Good to have your thoughts on this subject.


SJ Camp said...

ms darla
Why didn’t he use scripture to instruct his young men?

in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.>

Thank you Darla. This is at the heart of it for me. Not what the culture might dictate, but what Scripture says!

Good question and excellent response.

Grace and peace

SJ Camp said...

You nailed it brother!

Derek what did you think about T's response here?


SJ Camp said...

To All
James says, "And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, [and set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. - James 3:6-9

If no man can tame the tongue then why needlessly give approval to something that is so difficult to bridle in the first place? Again, my flesh doesn't need a reason to speak using four letter words; it needs restraint to use language that is honoring to the Lord and profitable for His gospel.

Anyone else feel that same way about their own sinfulness and struggle with language?

Mike Riccardi said...

Did anybody catch Tripp's own criteria for usage? "If using the S-word could some how give you grace, I'd use it."

My question is, what state does a child of God have to be in for that language to bring him grace?

And if it's not a child of God you're talking to, then using the word is only to relate to him on a fleshly level, to pander to what he is as a natural man.

There's much of this video that's on point. And Tripp is even saying that he doesn't use words like that and sees it as a sacrifice of liberty. So that's good. That relegates it almost to a hypothetical. The problem is no one who'd really have problems with this is going to hear that part. They're just gonna go, "Cool. I get to be more culturally relevant now."

I don't understand Piper's move in inviting Driscoll. He's said it's to disciple him and bring him into line. I sincerely hope God will graciously prevent 1Cor 15:33 from coming true on this man.

Unknown said...

When I was little that was my dad's favorite word. My sister and I decided it would be ours too. My mother decided it would not and yes, she did use soap! We grew up being taught by Mom that some words are just not appropriate and that is one of them. Most of my husband's family are not Christians. And those of us that are are held to a higher standard by them. Certain things are expected of us and when one of us slips up or another Christian they know of slip up they are the first to condemn them for it, like..."See, did you see (or hear) what she did (or said)?! She's supposed to be a Christian and she did that!" Yes, I've heard it a lot in my near 20 years of marriage. My concern is this...if any one of them saw this and knew that this man is a Christian and was using this language and was using it for church, well, to them it would be scandalous and his witness to them would be history. They would never listen to anything he had to say ever again, even if it was without the bad language. And they would throw it in the Christians in our family's faces. I know, they have done it before and will do it again. I love them and pray for them, but the damage would be done and what could I then do to "fix" it? I've struggled with that one before for them too. That's why all of us, not just pastors and church leaders, should be very careful what we say and do (something else my mother taught me) :).


Todd Pruitt said...


I love your ministry. Your music has been a close companion for a lot of years. There are precious few people who write songs that move, challenge, rebuke, and bless me. (Not trying to brown nose)

I am, however, troubled with your tone in this post. I think the use of "pinheads" and "lightweights" to describe Paul Tripp (a brother in Christ whose ministry has blessed many people) is more offensive than his use of the "s word" in the context of the video.

I also agree with Derek's exegesis.

I believe your position leaves no room to distinguish between "crap" and "s..." In fact, my wife was raised to believe there was NO difference between those two words. Perhaps there is no difference.

I could be wrong but it seems to me that your reasoning leaves you no room to distinguish between those words.

Like Derek I am not understanding your justification of "pinheads." Maybe I am one and am just not getting it.

SJ Camp said...

Thank you for that testimony. The lasting impressions and effects of words can last a lifetime.

I appreciate your honesty and concern.

2 Cor. 4:5-7

SJ Camp said...

Thank you for your comment, question and encouraging words. I do appreciate them very much.

I think the use of "pinheads" and "lightweights" to describe Paul Tripp (a brother in Christ whose ministry has blessed many people) is more offensive than his use of the "s word" in the context of the video.

This seems to be over the top hyperbole to make a point. I chose the word pinhead carefully (which btw has a good etymology) to describe those who are so shortsighted on this issue. Very appropriate.

Any man of God who treats the Word of God which disdain to use the s___ as necessary to make a "profound biblical point" is a lightweight and has thought culturally but not biblically.


Carla Rolfe said...

I'm curious...

Would it be okay to produce a Christian conference promo vid that warrents this opening disclaimer:

"This interview contains potentially offensive porn, to illustrate a profound biblical truth about purity"

If you look again at the beginning of this vid, that is exactly what it says, but about offensive language and wholesome language. Surely it'd be okay to do the same with sexual immorality and purity, right?


Deb_B said...

"Anyone else feel that same way about their own sinfulness and struggle with language?"

YES! YES! YES! Is that a strong enough affirmative?

Where is our sense of SHAME in the Church today?

I'll go you one further, Campi. I actually find myself, thanks be to God, ASHAMED of myself for my sin. ASHAMED as I sit prayerfully pondering over Scripture and just what it cost my Lord to redeem me.

Have we forgotten WHOSE we are and the awful cost?

One of the best pieces of Godly advice I received as a babe in Christ was simple, but oh, so powerful: "Sin will always take you further than you ever intended to go."

I would to God I'd taken that Godly advice to heart and heeded the wisdom inherent in that simple statement years sooner than I did.

I think with open Bible in hand, I'll go back and reread Venning's The Sinfulness of Sin again. Just in case...

I'm mortified at how flippant sin is all too often regarded within the professing Body of Christ today. We don't "sin" anymore, we just made a little "mistake".

What disgusts me even more about the video is the recently released Tripp book on Psalm 51.

God have mercy.

Unknown said...


I'm telling you, I anticipate the day when it might well become prudent, or even necessary, to establish a parental rating system for sermons and Christian conferences/seminars.

Interesting day and age to be a believer.....the era of "anything goes" and "whatever works" Christian ministry.

SJ Camp said...

Great point!

Why put the disclaimer on this vid at all if the s word is not inherently offensive and carries no weight biblically as to cast aspersion on its user? Especially if the user is a Bible teacher and recognized author?

The same principle should also apply to your porn example.

I want to hear from Derek, Todd, Bickley and others here as to how you would justify this or not on the porn example.

Also, if this language issue is just a preference one (Roms. 14/15), then why not prefer the weaker brother and avoid using the word s___ altogether?

Lastly, speaking personally and as a father of five teenagers, please know this: if Dr. Tripp came to my house and used that word in front of my kids during devotions or whatever and sat there trying to justify its "OK" status and benign meaning, he'd be eating the front lawn in about two seconds.

It's hard enough dealing with this influence today among teenagers; as Christian parents we don't need some bonehead muddying the waters with his "s___."

2 Cor. 4:5-7

Todd Pruitt said...


I think you make a good point on the issue of the weaker brother. The s-word is broadly seen as a profanity in our culture. That's why I don't use it.

I was also a bit nervous when I first saw the video because I knew it would be offensive to many. That did cause me to question (and still does) the wisdom in releasing it. I do however think that Tripp raises a good point about the purpose of words.

I suppose my struggle is that I cannot find any scriptural evidence that that particular word is profane. My wife was raised in a home that saw (and still sees) no difference between the word in question and words like "crap" and "butt." My mother-in-law (a great woman) would say the same things about those two words as you have said about the s-word. Is she wrong?

As to "pinhead," "bonehead," and "lightweight"... I understand the etymology. However, in our culture they are broadly viewed as personal slights and cutting remarks. Are they not?

What about Martin Luther's use of strong language? (Not trying to be rhetorical here)

Again, not trying to brown nose here but I bought the Desiring God cd when it first came out and it is still in my regular rotation. Also, "Till These Earthly Days Shall End" (going back a ways) is still one of my favorit songs. It still makes me cry.

Does this sound like shameless flatery? It truly is not.

SJ Camp said...

Thank you for your kind words on some of the songs. It means a lot.

Also, thank you for your honesty in wrestling through this issue with me and many others here. I am glad that we have a place of common ground concern on this - preference.

Lastly, it is hard to separate cultural acceptance from what is biblical tolerance sometimes. Let's keep talking - it is good to have the iron sharpen the iron. I was comforted to know that when you first saw this video it was disturbing to you. That, I believe, is conscience talking back.

Yours for the Master's use,

Isaac said...

Hey Steve,
you make some excellent points here, I agree that what's needed is just to preach the Word - we don't need to be compromising holiness to do that!
So amen to that.
But i must confess, that upon reading your post, I was a little dissappointed, especially in light of your previous post on commenting on other christians.
Just thought i'd copy and paste my favourite bit of what you wrote in that previous post:

"What I am saying is that in the face of another's tragic sin, it's not enough to just point out the wrongness of the behavior - which any nonbeliever can do as well. But it takes spiritual maturity in the face of sin to show grace and humility that works for the restoration and repentance of the sinner and then remain in prayer for those who have charge over their soul.
Exposés are mindless and easy to pen; but biblical encouragement that produces holiness
and restoration from sin takes wisdom."

I guess I was just a little disappointed to see you call them 'pinheads'; it struck me as a little contradictory to your words above - although I admit that strong words are sometimes required!

Anyways, just a small thought from Tasmania.

Awaiting His return,

SJ Camp said...

I guess I was just a little disappointed to see you call them 'pinheads'; it struck me as a little contradictory to your words above - although I admit that strong words are sometimes required!

This is not a private or personal sin issue; this is a public promo for a Bible conference. It is fair game to comment accordingly and to respond publicly.

As to pinhead, it is an excellent term to describe those who are small in reasoning, forsaking biblical truth, and caving in to cultural pomo reasoning on key issues.

Remember, Piper entitled this conference "The Power of Words and the Wonder of God." How does Tripp saying s___ about a half a dozen times in a five minute video clip promote the wonder of God?

AND, this is a vid-clip produced and approved by Piper himself. He is "good with it."

I don't call this wisdom or brilliance; I call it "pinheadonism." :-). It is an out of control disorder among evangelical leaders marked by a desire to relate to the twenty-somethings by pomo methodology. It is the vulgar side of pragmatism.

I stand by the use of the term. And by the way, if I ever promote this kind of unbiblical pomo emerging reasoning on this blog on any issue, please use it directly to evaluate my small unbiblical pragmatic reasoning as well. I will thank you for caring enough to hold me accountable to Scripture.

Here are some other words that would be appropriate as well: chowderheaded; woodenheaded; pea-brained; or daft.

BUT my personal favorite would be: impolitic.

Words mean something. May we choose them wisely when preaching God's Word and communicating His truths. I simply fail to see how Tripp using s___ furthers the wonder and glory of God.


jen said...

This is all very disturbing. I didn't even watch the video because I understood enough from your post to know that it wasn't necessary, and that I didn't want to hear it.

What do these preachers and teachers do with the passage about unwholesome talk? What words are ever going to fill that definition for them? Is anything off limits anymore?

Thanks for the heads up on this, Mr Camp.

Unknown said...


"Indeed, I should think so!

Thanks, sis. Actually, I came very close to deleting my disclaimer comment because I started thinking it might not make any sense.
(Then my dear transplanted-to- Canada sister, who I wish so badly could vote in our election this fall, took up the baton and finally it made sense [thank you, Carla]) ;-). So I guess I'll go ahead & let my comment stand. :-)

John said...

I'll never forget sitting in a chapel in the 80's and hearing Campolo drop the s bomb in a sermon. It was shocking to me, but I wasn't as shocked by this.

Before I explain why let me say, first,I wouldn't have used this video as a promo for anything...Second, I don't think the use of the word was necessary--he could have said, the s word or something similar, as we have in this post to get his point across.

With that in mind, wasn't he trying to teach his children that since you cannot use that word and give grace to people you shouldn't use it? Wasn't that the point? Maybe I need to listen to it again, which I really don't want to do, but I got the picture that he was trying to show them that even though the word was culturally acceptable it wasn't to be used becasue it didn't bring grace.
I could be wrong and I am certainly not in favor of using it, but that is what I got out of it.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Camp -

You called Bob Kauflin, Daniel Taylor, and John Piper "pinheads" and "lightweights" in your sweeping generalization of all involved. This is NOT Biblical even if it is "good etymology". You then say, "The folks who read and post on this blog speak the truth and hold me accountable as well. No need to belittle anyone else's views by trying to minimize them in that way." Yet, isn't that what you just did to the other speakers at the conference?

Please consider this my dear brother, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Have you been helpful for building up the speakers at this conference according to there need? Has your speech benefited those who read this blog?

You go on, "I almost don't want to hear back from him, because I know it will most likely be spin trying to justify the reasons why. Don't really want to hear it..." Do you really KNOW how he'll respond? Aren't we, as people of the word, all about restoration? If my brother has sinned, do I turn him off or wait with great anticipation for my brothers repentant return? See Luke 15:11-32.

Your concerns for Mr. Tripp's language and the condoning of such by some is warranted. However, with all love and sincerity I pray you will reconsider the way you have gone about addressing it.

With brotherly love and respect,

Michele Rayburn said...

deb_b, you said,

"I've always wondered why if we are supposed to be denying self, self within the professing Body of Christ always seems in such dire need of so much professional Christian counseling?"

I believe the reason the Body of Christ seems to be in such need of counseling is that the biblical concepts of "death to self", and "denying self", as well as walking in the Spirit, and our identity in Christ are not being taught in the Bible-believing Churches.

They almost all seem in lock-step to conveniently skip over any Bible verses that would teach us these things. Have you ever heard any Pastor teach these things? I don't think that I have. It's a rare thing if they do.

The type of counseling that Paul Tripp practices, Nouthetic Counseling, is sin-oriented and performance-oriented. And even if it taught denial of self, it would not be from the standpoint of doing it by grace, but by doing it "under law" (legalism).

It is for this reason that my husband has revolved his own ministry around teaching the believer how to walk in grace, walk in the Spirit, and how to die to self. He is a gifted counselor of a "different variety".

Just before I was saved, I had just finished earning my B.A. in Psychology. I was considering becoming a Psychologist. But like yourself, I abandoned it as a career, because I quickly realized that all the answers to man's problems are in Christ.

Rick Frueh mentioned that there is a "growing disregard for outward sanctification". That is profoundly true. If we are not taught how to live in the Spirit, how are we going to be sanctified by the Spirit?

Rick also said, "...sometimes doctrinal revision follows those who lower their standards." I would even go further and say that sometimes doctrinal revision causes us to lower our standards.

Michele Rayburn said...

Mike Riccardi, you said,

Did anybody catch Tripp's own criteria for usage? "If using the S-word could some how give you grace, I'd use it."

That's what I was alluding to when I said:

"My favorite line: 'The Bible says that wholesome communication is intended to give grace to the hearer. Wowie, zowie!' (And his line of reasoning that follows that quote is also priceless)."

That was the priceless "line of reasoning" I was referring to. And your take on it was very good. His reasoning was quite illogical.

Unknown said...

Hey Steve,

Thanks for posting this and bringing it to our attention. I just got finished studying James 3 in Bible Study today, so wow, it wasn't very hard to apply discernment to this video at all. Go through the bible and do a word study on the word tongue...I know in Psalms and Proverbs alone there is enough warning about keeping your tongue from evil that would keep any Christian from wanting to walk this line of such loose talk. Goodness, in James 1:26 it says that any man who thinks he is religious and yet cannot bridle his tongue deceives his own heart and his religion is in vain! While some would say that those words don't qualify, man I don't think I can agree. I know that anytime I find myself in a moment or situation in which I am lacking discipline, those are the first words that my flesh wants to slip out. I wonder why. Probably because those words are characteristic of an unbridled tongue.

Anyway, I also agree with what many have already said about NOT wanting to hear this stuff within their Christian fellowship. Afterall, I play college basketball and I'm surrounded by this trash talk all day everyday. It seems like EVERY word out of my teammates' mouths is a cuss word. It takes God's grace to keep me from doing the same because I am around it so much...and this....this junk right here ISN'T edifying AT ALL. Period. I go to church and hang out with my Christian friends to escape this, not search out reasons and mumbo jumbo excuses to use them more.

Thanks for all you do, brother.

Susan Yenser

x said...

Hey Steve (and Terry),

Well, let's see, my response - I do think that the duties God requires of man are summarized in the moral law. (See Westminster Larger Catechism, q's 91-98.) So I do think, as we talk about these things, it needs to be in terms of righteousness and sin.

I do disagree with Terry's interpretation of Eph 4:29, as shown.

I also disagree that certain words are 'universally' recognized as unwholesome and that no one can use such language in different contexts with no problem of conscience.

But I do agree that they are widely regarded as such - which is why I wouldn't have publicly done what Tripp did.

As for the issue of porn, porn exists for the purpose of breaking God's law. We're agreed, I believe, that there is nothing intrinsically wrong about the particular word for feces in question. The Scriptures don't bind the conscience regarding particular words, but the rather the thoughts and intents of the heart.

I'm also not sure this is Piper or Tripp sinning by trying to be pragmatic - or rather simply thinking biblically about the issue. I do think the point stands - and I do think the wonder of God is seen in the greatness of his holy law, in his regeneration of the human heart, in the sanctification of his elect, and in his building up of the church into the head.

But my belief that the word is potentially offensive and would take away from that point would prevent me from putting it in a video online.

I might also say that I think it's a shame that our evangelical definitions of morality are more the result of Finney-style revival and the culture that resulted from it than Scripture.

Steve - I'm not sure - even if Piper is being pragmatic here - if that still warrants essentially calling people stupid. I may be misunderstanding you.

chopstickschan said...

"For out of the overflow [abundance] of the heart the mouth speaks." (Matthew 12:34b; cf Luke 6:45, and contexts)So, whatever is coming out of my mouth is what my heart is full of...

Bickley said...

I'm going to apologize for being rude earlier. It dawns on me that a lot you probably know each other (at least in the blogosphere), and just popped in and made some comments that were a little offensive. That certainly wasn't my intent. I'm just a little impulsive at times.

Let me kind start again by introducing myself. My name is Jeff, and I'm a worship leader at a small Baptist church in Haltom City, Texas.

Steve, I've been a big fan of yours since, um, since...well, I can't remember when. I think I might have your first album on vinyl. I don't know if that would embarrass you or make you proud. My favorites are "Mercy In the Wilderness" and "Fire and Ice."

You might be surprised to know that I'm a lot like you in that I tend to get defensive when people are using scripture improperly or saying that the Bible says things that it doesn't say. I will not hesitate to call out my pastor if he preaches something that is not Biblical (never in public, of course).

And, as is evidenced by my previous comment, I tend to speak before I think. I apologize for the "yes men" comment. That was uncalled for. As for the "baby with the bathwater," that stems from some past columns, one in particular that was your review of a devotional book, I think it was "Walking with Frodo", or maybe Bilbo (she wrote both of them). I really enjoyed the devotionals, even though they were anything but spiritually deep. I didn't find anything objectionable about them, and you shredded them pretty badly.

Anyway...back to the topic at hand. I guess I'm just not as upset about this as most. I agree that it is not necessary to go that far, and would not choose to use that kind of language myself. I don't know anything about Paul Tripp at all, but in all honesty, I'm not that impressed with him on first impression.

I didn't realize that citing Paul's use of "dung" would be called a "tired argument." It wasn't used to justify using the "s" word, but I would be willing to bet that some people were surprised that he used it in that day. He was, after all, trying to illustrate an extreme comparison of anything that he might consider "good" to the glory of Christ. And I do think that he was trying to shock people when he said it.

I also agree with the thought that it is the intent behind a word that makes it a curse word. And in that case the "s" word in question here is no worse than "shoot," "dang," "darn," "fudge," or any other word that we decide to use when we drop something or stub our toe. True, the word at hand is still pretty much not used in "polite" company (although that is less and less true as time goes on), but any word that comes out of our mouths in a spirit of frustration is really a curse word.

And I think Paul would have us think that way, too. We are even told by Jesus to let our "yes" be "yes," and our "no" be "no." Nothing more.

The dialogue on this has been very interesting and I look forward to many more. I plan on reading more regularly. So this wasn't just a "drive-by" comment.

Grace and peace to all,


gigantor1231 said...


Perhaps the lead hymn and message to those that feel this issue of scatalogical language is a worthy topic should be 'rise up oh men of God be done with lesser things, give heart and soul and mind and strength to serve the King of Kings!'. Is it not loud and clear when Paul says;

1 Cor. 2: 1-5

2 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (1 Co 2:1-5). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Kevin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin said...


I'll put my two cents in here. I've thought about this over the past couple of hours. I'll give you a little background on myself first:

I've been blessed by your ministry for over two decades.

I've read one of Driscoll's books (Confessions, which I must say I enjoyed), and listened to a few of his sermons/lectures. What I've read/heard has blessed me, but I haven't studied his work to the extent you have.

I haven't really followed the whole emergent movement very closely--it isn't a factor here in the Philippines (as far as I know). I hope it never catches on here.

Now, let's talk about the video:

I don't know anything about this guy. Sadly, this is my first impression of him.

If I understand him correctly, this is his point: we should speak in a way that blesses people. But I find this a bit contradictory, since repeating the "s word" repeatedly would not bless anyone that listens to this video.

This is a video : they had the chance to edit it, "bleep" out the words, re-do the interview, etc. He could have easily explained this conversation without the colorful explicative. Yet they made the decision to produce it and distribute it as-is.

I'd say this decision was at best unwise and at worst sinful.

donsands said...

Good discussion. The Lord is always gracious when we seek Him first and His righteousness.

I am glad that Paul Tripp didn't specifically speak the sexual words, but made the point without doing so. If he would have spoken those words, then I would have been very offended, especially for my wife, for I asked her to watch the video.

I don't know yet what I think. I would love to hear what John Piper would have to say.

It's important for us to be honest, and to challenge one another, and to be careful not to allow pride to grip us, though it surely is a portion of our hearts even now.

" If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realize that one is proud. And a biggish step, too. At least, nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you're not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed." --C.S. Lewis

Carla Rolfe said...

Something that stood out to me as I've thought about this subject and the opening disclaimer on this vid, was that it seems like the very disclaimer was put in place to single out those who would criticise the content.

As if to say:

If you miss the point of this message (the sound biblical message on wholesome language) then you've not used good discernment.

The folks associated with putting this together surely knew that there would be many Christians offended by the use of this word to make a point. The evidence of them knowing this was that very disclaimer. The message they are clearly attempting to get across is that none of us SHOULD be offended by that word, as much as we should be encouraged by the message. i.e., if YOU are offended by that word, then you're not using good discernment.

There's a word for that too, and it's BALONEY. That whole 'discernment' disclaimer was a set up to single out folks that would be offended.

I didn't miss the message, and while Tripp did have some good things to say and good points to make, the problem is that he (and apparently the DG folks) expect viewers to wade through the trash to get to the goodies. We're all expected to use good discernment to NOT miss the point, and in doing that we'll be okay with the use of this word. Hogwash.

I'm not okay with the use of this word. As Tripp explained that certain words bring to mind certain mental images, that's exactly what he did for me while listening to him. While his point was not lost, it definitely took a backseat to the *s* word he chose to use.

The DG folks dropped the ball on this one, big time. Clearly they couldn't figure out how to bring a good message on purity of speech without wallowing in the filthy speech.

Folks can call this "throwing the baby out with the bathwater" all they like, but the truth is, I don't need that baby or that bathwater - there is MUCH cleaner bathwater elsewhere.

gigantor1231 said...

S.J. and Y'all

2 Peter 1: 5-9

5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (2 Pe 1:5-9). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

How does this type of discussion, teaching etc... lend itself to the attainment of those things that are mentioned in the passage posted here? Truly, some have become so nearsighted that they are blind and they have forgotten the things that they have been cleansed from!

Deb_B said...

Michelle, I'll be back to you in a separate comment here.

Carla: "...but the truth is, I don't need that baby or that bathwater - there is MUCH cleaner bathwater elsewhere."

Amen. This type of thing also serves to further desensitize the Church today. Become comfortable with filthy language couched under the guise of "making a greater point", and what's next?

We, the professing Body of Christ, look more and more like the world every day ... and less and less like the Lord who paid such an awful price to redeem us.

Campi, the first song other than the music of Keith Green, post-conversion, I ever heard that really pierced my heart and drove me both to Scripture and to my knees started out like this:

"O Lord, break up my fallow ground..."

Unknown said...


Exactly!! My point, too. They knew full well on the front end that this would be deemed inappropriate, so this was put in place to suggest that if it's offensive to you, you should actually be questioning your own discernment, not theirs, i.e., "Let's belittle the critics & lay a guilt trip on them before they can say anything." They can label it cutting critics off at the pass, or they can call it covering themselves from potential criticism, whatever; but when they start right out of the blocks on the defensive, I call it irresponsible.

.....Call them irresponsible, call them unreliable, throw in undependable too.....da-da-de-da....(to paraphrase Old Blue Eyes).

Hayden said...


Why is Tedd Tripp's sin somehow Driscoll's? or Piper's? I understand that he is the source of everything low-brow in the minds of some, but why the guilt by association? Tedd Tripp is his own man, address him and his sin.

I in no way endorse what Tripp said in this video. It was unnecessary!

SJ Camp said...

Any ministry that puts out video content like this my dear brother, has lost their ability to discern, is interested in shocking more than edifying, are lightweights biblically - for you cannot be profound in the Word of God and then embrace such smutty language as this; and lastly, if I were part of this conference lineup and heard Tripp's video, I would have called Piper immediately and withdrawn my name and participation from that conference.

If that is what this conference is all about, then I wouldn't want to associated with it or lend my name to its promotion. Unless Piper pulled that video, publicly apologized and asked for forgiveness to all involved and also submitted himself to the elders of his church to be reevaluated for a season for his fitness for ministry, I would not be a part of it.

Could you imagine Michael a pastor like John MacArthur or RC Sproul or Al Mohler putting out a promo video clip like this or even themselves using language like this to promote their Bible conference? It would be unthinkable. Piper has been deeply affected by the Driscoll approach to ministry. He has drank the Kool-Aid and it is terribly unfortunate.

I stand by my comment.

But may I ask you a question: why are you not outraged over this? Why are you more concerned with how I have reported this than what actually has occurred? Have you contacted DG Ministries over your disgust about this? If you are signed up to go to the conference, have you asked for a full refund if this is how they are going to represent the Lord and His ministry? But yet, you are quick to come on strong to me because of how I have addressed this.

There is no humility in this promo video or Piper's lack of respect for other pastors in ministry. It is pride and unabashed arrogance of him and Tripp to do this.

Maybe he should change the name of the his ministry from Desiring God to Desiring Gutter. That would at least represent what he has put out to us in the body of Christ...

There was a day when this kind of thing would have been immediately silenced. But today, I will be vilified for how I have addressed this concern and people will want to do backflips with their "exegesis" in order to condone this kind of back alley method to ministry.

I don't care anymore what people may say about me for taking a stand on this issue. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Shame on Piper that he is willing to promote such trash in the name of the gospel and the wonder of God.

How dare he my brother... So excuse me for saying this, but your argument is with Piper, not with me.

In His grace,
2 Cor. 4:1-7

Steven Long said...

I am certainly no theologian nor do I have anything to offer in the way intellect, but Scripture is clear when it says, Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person,Greek word ἀρτύω which means to be fit,to prepare, to set in order. What I see from this is simple: Let your brain be the filter for your mouth. Prepare carefully what you will say so that it will be gracious. I am sorry, but I have two small children-a 6 yr. old and a 3 yr. old. We have talked many times about good and bad "talk" but I have never had to use an actual example of profanity. They KNOW what words are expected to come from their mouths. I just didn't see any reason for Tripp to have to use actual profanity to his children to get that point across.

Again, just my personal thoughts. Thank you for listening.

SJ Camp said...

Clearly Driscoll is the father of the shock jock approach to ministry. He does it without restraint. He is beginning his series this Sunday on the Song of Solomon. I have heard from members of his church that when he taught this a few years ago at Mars Hill that the language was sexually vile and pornographic that they had to leave. He has promised to really push the envelop on this even more so.

Piper has completely bought into Driscoll's shallow and pragmatic approach to ministry. This video is evident of it. He produced this video; he released it to the body of Christ; he thinks it effectively promotes this conference; and he is unashamed to put his name and ministry name on its content.

That is why he is responsible.

Now, do you have the courage to let him know your disgust about this? I hope so my friend.


SJ Camp said...

the heretic
Thank you!

Deb_B said...

"I don't care anymore what people may say about me for taking a stand on this issue. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Shame on Piper that he is willing to promote such trash in the name of the gospel and the wonder of God."

Well put.

Deb_B said...

the heretic: "I am certainly no theologian nor do I have anything to offer in the way
intellect, but Scripture is clear..."

You're doing just fine, brother.

"For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, 'Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.'"
[1 Corinthians 1:26-31]

Todd Pruitt said...

Michele R.

Have you read Paul Tripp's books and those of the other men at CCEF? If so, I am astonished that you would call their approach "sin-oriented" and "performance-oriented." First of all they are not directly connect to nouthetic counseling. That's Jay Adams and the folks at NANC.

I have read Powlison's, Welch's, Lane's and Tripp's books. I don't know of any other Christian counseling organization that can compare to CCEF when it comes to fidelity to the biblical text. For the life of me I cannot understand how you have come up with the idea that they diminish grace and promote a works based righteousness. In reading their books and listening to their lectures I come to a completely different conclusion.

One reason why so many of us pastors treasure the work of CCEF is because in that organization we have finally found a resource for helping us provide our flock with truly biblical counsel.

Ken Silva said...

Such is the state of evangelicalism: *tee hee* Paul said a swear." *tee hee* Might fine preaching. Any of the kids I used to coach in football could have "shared" that.

It is as I said to a couple of friends today, stagnating readership and funding have me seriously considering closing AM.

O what a dolt I am writing about actual issues facing the Body of Christ as apostasy sweeps through the American Christian Church like an Oklahoma wildfire.

If I want to keep AM I guess I'll have to revert back to my Junior High days where I was voted Class Clown. Then I'll really rock dawg...

Hayden said...


I really think this is a blind spot for you my friend.

Tedd Tripp is the one that cussed in this video. Piper is the one that is holding the conference. Why use this as a way to talk about what Driscoll may or may not be doing at his church based on hearsay? That is totally irrelevant. Calling him the 'father of this approach' is an opinion.

Steve, I appreciate your ministry. I appreciate it when you point out error. I agree with you on this video, but attributing Tripp's sin to Driscoll is ludicrous.

As far as courage to tell Piper I am disgusted. That takes no courage! Courage is standing up for the Word of God in India certain of being burned alive. Courage is standing in front of a congregation week after week preaching the Word knowing that there are some who are planning my exit (like Steve Lawson one of my mentors). Courage is preaching faithfully for 14 years while people hated you so much that they locked the pews so that people could not sit to hear you preach like Charles Simeon.

Let's not get too high on ourselves thinking that blogging or sending a letter of disgust is courageous. That is really easy to do behind a computer screen. We do not have to be face to face with the person. We are not going to lose our lives over it. We are not going to even lose any status or money.

olan strickland said...

...has Piper lost his mind or just forgotten his Bible?

What we are seeing should serve as a warning to us all. While we may be in obedience to God's Word in one place we may be in disobedience to His Word in another. And many times when we are in disobedience, instead of repenting we attempt to justify our actions as though we are right. In order to do this (justify ourselves when we are wrong) we resort to finding others who agree with us, putting a spin on things, and even (God forbid) twisting Scripture.

I believe that the real problem comes in when we have gone too far, said too much, or done too much in an area that we have tried to defend and yet it cannot truly be defended or established by God's Word. So the more we try to defend an unbiblical position the deeper we go until we are "caught in a trespass" (Galatians 6:1).

This is why I said that this should serve as a warning to us all. "Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted" (Galatians 6:1).

So we must examine our own works to be sure that we are not caught in the same sort of trespass (see Galatians 6:4) and then we may truly help restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness (see also Matthew 7:1-5)

Grace and peace,

chopstickschan said...

I have realized that when I wrote "So, whatever is coming out of my mouth is what my heart is full of..." could sound like a rather coarse joke. What I meant is that whatever I am filling my mind and heart with is going to come out (and this also applies to attitudes, not just single words). So when Steve alerts us to things like this, it just makes me wonder what kind of things that person (in this case, Paul Tripp) is putting into his mind, that such language can flow out so freely? And since he especially claims to teach about the power of words, well, I don't know--what on earth is he doing? I know I have to be on guard about what I put into my mind!

Lee Shelton said...

Out of curiosity, Steve, why was the word "crap" edited out of your original post?

Deb_B said...


I want to expand on my initial comment here regarding my secular training. This of necessity encompasses the subsequent pre-conversion years of my practice in the equally secular profession of clinical and research Psychology. Initially, it was roughly 70/30% clinic to research, so I rarely, beyond my internship and fellowships, focused 100% of my time in clinic.

Pastoral counseling is a different wheelhouse EXCEPT where it has embraced secular psychology and social work. It is inappropriate to incorporate secular counseling into the Church. Or, as I derisively refer to it, Psychologizing the Church.

The two - Pastoral counseling and secular Psychology-based counseling - are diametrically opposed to one another.

Campi noted at some point (I can recall the notation, SJC, but not the specifics, pardon me please), how inappropriate it is to take secular music and try to Christianize (my word) it instead of singing a new song unto the Lord.

How is Christianizing secular counseling and incorporating it into the Church any different? I submit to you all it isn't.

How come we, the professing Body of Christ, feel the pressing need to incorporate the world's ways into the Church?

I will try, God being with me, to expound a bit more on this later given my personal experience from my pre-conversion secular training and practice and my post-conversion observations 22 years hence.

In closing I want to again emphasize and differentiate between Godly Biblical Pastoral counseling and attempting to Christianize secular Pscyhology and Social Work in the Church.

Having done so, I submit to you all that marrying a Christianized version of counseling whose base is secular Psychology/Social Work with the Church is unequally yoking light with darkness. [2 Corin. 6] This cannot be in Christ's Church.

Other commitments abound today, I will revisit this later, Lord willing.

Anonymous said...

I am far more surprised with your backlash than I am with the content of Dr. Tripp's message.

I have long been discusted with the notion that you have a clean mouth if you don't use "cuss words."

Piper's conference is based on the power of words. It is very misleading for you to lump him in with your local purpose-driven pastor who is just wanting to be relevant. If you listen to Driscoll and Tripp's actual explanation of what they are talking about, they are not advocating dropping four-letter words just for the *four-letter-word* sake of it. They are ultimately speaking about using language for edification.

To be honest, it made me very furious that you would blanket these accusations on Piper and accuse him of forgetting his Bible. In my humble opinion, Piper is the greatest Bible expositor in our day. These accusations are borderline slanderous. Piper is not "emerging" or "juvenile." Even Driscoll himself has denounced his early involvement with the emergent church and publicly criticizes the modern proponents.

Carla Rolfe said...


be not weary in well-doing brother. While it sure is easy to become discouraged, stand firm and know that what you do encourages many others to stand firm as well.


my grandma, who just turned 90 earlier this month and has lived to gain far more wisdom than likely most of the people commenting here, used to say something that as a kid, I ignored because I simply didn't want it to be true. That saying?

"Birds of a feather, flock together". I'm sure you know what that means, but if not, it means that like-minded folks tend to gravitate toward one another.

In other words, Driscoll, Piper, and apparently now Tripp as well, seem to be rather like-minded (or at least condoning and supportive) as it pertains to purity of speech. Pushing the limits and making excuses for trash talk (i.e., using it to make a more profound, Biblical point) is the order of the day.

So then, whatever Driscoll is doing and saying these days does in fact have a large influence on others. Including Piper, who supports and endorses him, and has for many years. It is not ludicrous to see the obvious connections and influences and mutual endorsements, but it is rather ludicrous to pretend they don't exist.

Denise said...

Hello Steve,

Hope you are well.

I do have a strong view on Piper, and I guess I'll step on a lot of toes here perhaps. But I believe it has to be said. Bear with me....

This IS the real John Piper. I think it started with his redefinition of "hedonism" and combining it with "Christian". Then came his friendship and defense of Mark-Potty-Mouth-Driscoll, the rap in church, and now Tripp's cussing, among other things.

When "everyone" loves a man like Piper or Graham, you can bet there's something very wrong. Truth is narrow, & living a godly, separate life from the world (2Cor. 6) brings persecution from the world itself and from professing Christianity.

Piper has a lot of audience to pull in and keep. I've seen his downgrade continue for years, so I'm not surprised.

Why is anyone else? Why do people refuse to believe Piper IS seeker-emergent-friendly and has compromised biblical Truth repeatedly? Certainly, he is not beyond being deceived. And this is indeed why having a "rubber stamp" mentality is so dangerous: just b/c Piper approves of Driscoll and Tripp doesn't mean its ok. But I have found that many Christian bloggers/ministries, who like Piper and list him as a resource and off his ministry link, ALSO like Driscoll and offer HIS link as well.

Recall what Spurgeon saw in his day ---we are witnessing it today, only worse. And the enemy isn't just the world, its INSIDE the camp (pardon the pun!). THIS is why it is SO disheartening as a Christian.

May I also suggest a good article by Ingrid Schuelter at: http://www.sliceoflaodicea.com/apologetics/big-apologetics-conference-underway/ on the problem with "Christianity" today and the need to apologize, not use "apologetics".

Deb_B said...

"Even Driscoll himself has denounced his early involvement with the emergent church and publicly criticizes the modern proponents."

Yep, that happens a lot when someone helps move along something aberrant within the Church and then becomes mortified at just how far it keeps rolling beyond expectations.

Where's the accountability at the OUTSET???

"These accusations are borderline slanderous."

Nope, it isn't slanderous. It's the truth. You embrace the pastor or teacher and give them a platform, you are giving place to their theology and teachings.

Lee Shelton said...

Denise, you asked, "Why do people refuse to believe Piper IS seeker-emergent-friendly and has compromised biblical Truth repeatedly?" Um, because he isn't and he hasn't. Claiming to be one who has "seen his downgrade continue for years" implies that you have neither read any of his books nor listened to any of his sermons.

Rick Frueh said...

In his introduction of Driscoll at Piper's conference, Pastor Piper joked about Driscoll's cussing and had the audience laughing with him. I believe that is foolish jesting. Driscoll sees sexual things in the Scripture and communicates them with the language of teenagers on a street corner.

Provocative language reveals narcissism and draws attention to YOUR WORDS and not HIS WORD.

sheebea said...

You missed the point of Dr. Tripp's video. We can speak words that are culturally 'acceptable' but hate people in our heart. Isn’t outward obedience to man-made laws vs. inward love toward God and others exactly what Jesus continually addressed with the Pharisees? Jesus often offended the religious by saying and doing things that didn’t fit into their self-righteous grid (Matt. 15:1-9, 23:1-29, Luke 11:37-53).

I personally would not have chosen to publically recount this story as Tripp did just because I know that some would hear the “S” word and not hear anything beyond that; however, saying that Tripp really likes to say the “S” word is an exaggeration and a direct attack on his character. You are implying that he finds delight in cussing, which is not characteristic of anything in his ministry. I found your insults of your brothers much more offensive than anything Dr. Tripp said. Would you call Dr. Piper a pinhead (aka a fool) to his face (Matt. 5:21-22)? Which is worse, to use a cuss word to illustrate a point or use a non-cuss word to slander a person’s character? You are also suggesting that the DG conference is blackballing godly men like MacArthur and Sproul. Last I checked, they aren’t enemies and these godly men greatly respect and honor each other.

Steve, I respect you and appreciate the ways you’ve taken a stand for the Word in your music ministry, but the tone of this blog is conceited and bitter. Shouldn’t we spend our time focusing on weightier matters vs. controversies and quarrels over words?

Dave Crochunis said...

For those of you who defend the use of "cuss" words as Christian liberty, think about this. Before you were a believer did your conscience tell you certain things were wrong? My entire family is unsaved as well as all my neighbors and some friends. They KNOW that swearing and coarse jesting is wrong. They watch their language around us and if they slip they even (usually) say they are sorry. Now why would they do that if it was ok to talk like that? Also I have to agree with a previous poster that said their family would immediately call any believer on the rug for speaking that way and would never listen to a thing they had to say. Even the world knows that we are different and should be different. When the church tries to be relevant they actually make themselves look like fools. 100 years ago even the unsaved had a sense of right and wrong that is completely absent today even in the church.

Anonymous said...

I'll bet God is shaking his head and perhaps even shedding a tear. For a pastor who is so public making Christ''s sacrifice a joke by thinking the use of the S word is appropriate, in conjunction with God's Holy Word is outright disrespectful and in a word: abhorrent.

We are to be like Christ. Would Jesus ever use not only the "S" word but any profane language? Would Jesus have felt the need to be modern and hip therefore needing to change the way the Gospel is presented? I guess God didn't plan for the future very well. He must be short sighted.

Unknown said...

hayden said: "Let's not get too high on ourselves thinking that blogging or sending a letter of disgust is courageous. That is really easy to do behind a computer screen. We do not have to be face to face with the person. We are not going to lose our lives over it. We are not going to even lose any status or money."

I see no one riding the tidal waves, here. :-) I think you might be underestimating the effects & fallout of taking stances such as this. Campi and other ministers of his ilk have been affected….I won’t cite specific examples, but in Campi’s case I know that he has had invitations to minister rescinded, and this as a direct result of his boldness on a particular issue. And I’m certain that other ministers here, such as Bro. Ken, for example, can attest to similar things occurring in their ministry as a result of taking bold stances. (But you never hear about these [especially from them] because it's not a stand they're taking for their own glory). No man is an island, my brother.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...
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Hayden said...


By your analogy we need to also condemn Sinclair Ferguson, Bob Kauflin, and everyone else speaking at this conference.

If you want to push this analogy, what about all the guys at T4G? Shepherd's Conference? Where do you stop.

Carla, are you willing to see any growth in Mark Driscoll or is he always going to be a deviant? What would it look like if he grew in your eyes?

Guys & Gals, this discussion is not producing 'iron sharpening' iron. Too many comments are dealing with motivations and not the issues. We have no idea what our own motivations are half the time(Jer. 17:9) how can we discern Driscoll's, Piper's and Tripp's?

Hayden said...


C'mon! You cannot be serious! Look at the world around you. Even Steve would admit that even though he has lost some bookings for taking a stand this is in no way on the level of martyrdom.

Steve came and sang at my church and was well received. He is a great Christian artist and I appreciate him much but equating courage with sending an email is a stretch!

Emailing someone does not take much courage! Either does blogging, lets be honest.

Unknown said...

sheebeawrote: ”Shouldn’t we spend our time focusing on weightier matters vs. controversies and quarrels over words?

Well obviously I’m not Steve, & won’t attempt to answer for him, but personally I don’t think so. I consider the controversies and “quarrels” elements of a much broader picture. These “lighter matters,” though seemingly trivial in the grand scheme of things, are each indicators of the gradual, subtle attempts to erode, dilute, and redesign the true Gospel of Christ. (As though it were some sort of “grow-your-own-Gospel experiment”). The “quarrels” you write of I consider minor skirmishes in the wide-scale contention for the Faith that we as believers are all mandated to.

hayden: "....this is in no way on the level of martyrdom."
Okay, now it's bordering on absurd. :-)
No one has intimated sacrifices of the magnatude of literal martyrdom, here. Obviously none of us here
have been martyred, (unless we're blogging from the grave). ;-)

Cathy Mickels said...


Thank you!!!!!.....Its about time someone asked the question, "Where is John Piper?" and all of the others who are drinking the Mark Driscoll kool-aid.

Words cannot convey my appreciation for your willingness to boldly declare truth at a time when our Christian leaders appear to be wimping out on us.

I live in Mark Driscoll's backyard so I have read his books and listened to his jokes at the expense of Scripture and the character of Christ.We shouldn't be too surprised when we now see others picking up on Driscolls success.... Last night I read his detailed account about how he "crapped" his pants while preaching. He summarized his experience saying ,"I felt like getting sent to hell would be an upgrade," and then he admitted he considered whether or or not "I could sneak off and clean up the oil slick?" But, he decided to preach for another 45 minutes in this condition during which time he said he "tried to breath out of my mouth to lessen the stench." I say, "Grow up and spare us the details."

Ironically, this weekend Ted Tripp, author of "Shepherding a Child's Heart, " will be speaking at Mark Driscoll's church, Mars Hill in Seattle on the topic of shepherding a child's heart. Ted teaches that "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." If he believes this, then how can he also ignore all of the abundance that comes out of Mark's mouth." What in the world is going on?

Validating Mark Driscoll's ministry, either directly or indirectly, has opened the door of the body of Christ to this recklessness with the Christian faith.

Steve, once again, thank you.

Cathy Mickels

Hayden said...


I was wondering what you were talking about with the 'Song of Songs' material that he is preaching. Did you go to his website and look at all of the promotional material?

I did and I think it is much more restrained than a previous version I had seen. He even renamed the series.

I am just wondering where you are getting the information that he is going to 'push the envelope even more'? (This is not a critique, just an honest question)

Berean Wife said...

If obscenity and coarse jesting are placed alongside immorality, should not we Christians avoid all such language, even the name calling.

Eph 5:3-7
3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person — such a man is an idolater — has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them. NIV

Berean Wife

SJ Camp said...

Good day to All
I have been out of pocket for the last four hours... Wow! you have been busy here I see.

I will answer most by the end of the day.... But just a few thoughts in a general way.

1. I love and appreciate John Piper's ministry. But this trend is disturbing. But please don't think I don't appreciate his gifting and contribution in our day in ministry - I do.

2. Driscoll's influence on Piper is profound; and is influence among young undiscerning pastors is even greater. He is the shock the flock jock currently and is enjoying it. I don't have a blind spot with him; but his influence is very strong especially in areas of scatological speech, seedy humor, and even using the Lord Himself as his punch-line to his shallow attempt of humor. That is why I am so concerned about this.

3. Paul Tripp is a symptomatic of this trend. Tripp has written some fine books and is a strong theologian and Bible teacher. THAT is what makes this issue so perplexing and disturbing. Why would he say this kind of thing in a promo video designed to attract other ministers of the gospel to this conference? Why would Piper produce and promote this kind of thing as well? Crazy.

4. If a reporter at the White House used this kind of flippant language at a press conference when addressing the President of the United States - his press credentials would immediately be revoked and he or she would lose their privileges.

How much more when speaking on behalf of the King of kings and Lord of lords? Does anyone here really think that saying s___ five or six times in a video like this is really necessary or even crucial in making a strong biblical point? I can't believe there would be.

5. Let's keep our eye on the ball here. Say what you want to about me, God knows that my wicked heart deserves much worse - so bring it. BUT, I would appreciate the main issue here remain the main issue. Is this kind of language appropriate for a pastor or Bible teacher to use when communicating the truths of God's Word?

Answer that...

I love you all and thank you for investing your time and thoughts here. Keep it coming. You are all welcome.

BTW, I emailed Piper again on this issue and left my private phone number as well... still no reply. I hope we can talk about these things - they are important.

Until, may we all be a faithful band of Bereans measuring anything anyone might teach from the Scriptures to see if they are true.

Yours for the Master's use,
2 Cor. 4:5-7

Chad said...
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Chad said...

(Previous deleted post corrected for typos)
Thankfully God has blessed us with the gift of using euphemisms so that we can stay holy and above reproach. (i.e. hinting around, a la' "s-word" etc.) I'm just glad that Paul Tripp wasn't instead using a certain "p-word" for liquid waste. (2 Kings 18:27, Isaiah 36:12) In that case, of course the tired straw man argument would be offered that the "p-word" is used in the KJV, so, now we're supposed to be holier than the Holy Bible? I can't say I've really successfully dismantled that argument, but I can say that it just burns me up that I can't seem to refute the logic of it. It's a load of rubbish, I just can't put my finger on how and why...

Anonymous said...

As a former attender of Mars Hill in Seattle, I am well familiar with Mark Driscoll's debasing language. One sermon series I sat through, named "Vintage Jesus", contained the most crude language I've ever heard to describe our risen Savior. The terms used bordered on blasphemous, and were in no way necessary to convey the humanity of Jesus.

What I don't understand about men like Tripp and Driscoll is how they hold such an apparent depth of solid, Calvinistic, Biblical knowledge, but manage to completely gloss over Ephesians 4:29, which utterly condemns filthy talk. This elephant-sized blind spot is never addressed, let alone mentioned.

Jesus is not glorified by this kind of crude, low-brow, and debasing speech.


Todd Pruitt said...


I want to be respectful but I connot believe you are serious in your accusation that Piper is emergent and seeker-sensative. Are you sure you're not reading Don Piper?

As to your dismissal of the term Christian hedonism I can only say, 'Don't read Jonathan Edwards or any of the other Puritans.' Do you understand what Piper means by the term Christian hedonism?

Your accusations are untruthful and outrageous. The fact that he has done something you disagree with does not give you the right to tar and feather him with any accusation you see fit.

Rick Frueh said...

Verbal sensationalism of the base kind is a new phenomenon being implemented by evangelical preachers. It does not edify, neither does it convey any Scriptural truth that cannot, and has not, been conveyed accurately and sufficiently by normal words of appropriate language. It is still in the embryonic stage however it seems to be spreading rapidly.

To hear it from Driscoll is not surprising considering his previous emergent affiliations, but I still cannot believe someone as respected as John Piper not only allows for such provocative language, but invites Driscoll to speak in his conferences.

I do not question Dricoll's salvation or his sincerity, but his methodology is the springboard upon which future, and more provocative, methodologies will be birthed. And a man of impeccable credentials such as John Piper provides a credibility link that make Dricoll's senationalism palatable to many who might never have considered him acceptable otherwise.

Debbie said...

Steve, your question was: Is this kind of language appropriate for a pastor or Bible teacher to use when communicating the truths of God's Word?

That to me is THE issue here. It’s not just about whether we are using “grace words” that build up one another --- it’s about what is Christ honoring and worthy of Him. That goes for all of our speech but all the more so when one has the high calling of being a pastor or Bible teacher. Perhaps there are those who no longer view this as a high calling. Could anyone honestly say that this was Christ honoring? Could anyone honestly say that this elevated our thoughts toward the wonder of God? It bothered me that Mr. Tripp didn’t quote even one verse from Scripture to somehow help us understand his shallow thinking. I’m actually glad he didn’t because it would have been highly inappropriate to insert any Scripture into this very base and irreverent blurb.

The “trickle-down” affect of this kind of base speech by pastors and Bible teachers is evident all around the Church in America today. I could share with you many, many times in the last few months when I’ve been shocked speechless by e-mails I’ve received, IM’s my daughters have shared with me and conversations I’ve had --- all with Christians who have embraced this new “freedom” to speak in a culturally relational way. (From what I’ve seen, it has reached nearly epidemic proportions with Christian young people.) Isn’t this symptomatic of a Church who no longer has a high-view of God and His word?

Anonymous said...

Typical Sjcamp: seriously dude, you have written some of the great music of all time...but it is like your brain fell out. Did you even watch the video? Make your case from a Bible verse that that word specifically is bad...oh wait you can't cause the Bible is in greek and the language changes. So what then is our standard. I am going to go with grace and Tripp...but you continue to go with conjecture and the pretense of being biblical without actually being so. There needs to be a consistent standard to teach our kids, and just saying the "s" word is bad ain't going to cut it. Cause language changes...and new bad words come and go...


JamesL said...

I am confused...who is Tedd Tripp as opposed to Paul Tripp? Many thanks!


james said...

The Bible uses bad words for bad things and good words for good things. It seems straightforward to me.

By the way, Steven, perhaps it's not edifying, blessing, or encouraging anyone to call the people speaking at this conference "pinheads." Can I call you to repentance on that point?

I side with Tripp, Piper, and Driscoll on this issue, but perhaps we are wrong. But I'm sure that you aren't right on 100% of everything either. After all, I (and those "pinheads") have the Holy Spirit, too.

Only Look said...

Good grief. At what point is some one going to say this is enough and that this wisdom does not come from above?

Lee Shelton said...

In the rush to condemn Tripp, Driscoll, and Piper (and anyone else who isn't as quick to condemn the occasional off-color remark), I'm surprised that I have not seen one comment calling believers to task for exposing themselves to this kind of language in other areas of life. How many here have seen a PG-, PG-13-, or R-rated movie? How many here have watched prime time TV? If you are to be consistent in your interpretation of Eph. 4:29 and 5:4, wouldn't that include avoiding situations in which you might be exposed to language that is unwholesome or corrupt? If you argue that this kind of language shouldn't be used in the teaching of God's word, aren't you making context a condition upon which you determine whether or not certain words are appropriate? Aren't you just underscoring Tripp's point that such a word should not be used if the context doesn't allow for the ministering of grace or edification?

SJ Camp said...

only look
At what point is some one going to say this is enough and that this wisdom does not come from above?

This wisdom of using scatological speech used as a tool to somehow unfold a profound biblical truth is not from above.

The prophet Isaiah cried out "woe is me, for I am a man of unclean lips..." What Isaiah saw as unacceptable in the sight of God, today's "prophets" want to use as profound methodology.

Things have really changed...

Only Look said...

Yes they have brother and we are going to rationalize ourselves into oblivion if we continue on this path. The God of the Bible will not hear our prayers as a body of Priests that we are to be in standing in the gap for this nation if we have such doubleminded rationale to cover ourselves with.

How grieved the Holy Spirit must be. If we continue to open the door to this kind of reasoning how will we recover enough to see what Isaiah saw when he trembled before the Lord knowing that his lips must be cleansed by the coals from the altar?

How far from bouy will we continue to drift?

jen said...

Mr Shelton, respectfully, who said anyone here was ok with profanity or unwholesome talk in any other context?

Rick Frueh said...

"If you are to be consistent in your interpretation of Eph. 4:29 and 5:4, wouldn't that include avoiding situations in which you might be exposed to language that is unwholesome or corrupt?"

Yes, we all should. However the point here is borrowing that language to preach God's Word. Any hypocrisies we all have certainly doesn't authenticate anything else.

SJ Camp said...

I agree with your nick; the emerging church seems to only ooze that which stinks unbiblically and doesn't edify.

I thank you for the encouragement on the songs; but your point is Seattle-shallow at best. (May I suggest you read your Bible more and Driscoll less. It will change your life.)

Language does change my brother... so what? But meanings seem to stay around until altered to accommodate ones own skewed proclivities. That is what makes the Bible unique. Here we are 2,000 years later in redemptive history and grace still means grace; sin still means sin; holiness still means holiness; resurrection still means resurrection; and God's Word is still God's Word.

It is timeless... So what are you struggling with about the word s___? Here is a key question for you my emerging friend: how do you think this word exalts the wonder of God? How does this word promote the fidelity of Scripture? How does this word reflect the character of God in worship? And how does using this word encourage others in their sanctification?

May I humbly and with Christian charity my brother encourage you to grow up in Christ (Eph. 4:13-16).

Hell is burning while the church sleeps. Wake up brother... wake up!


SJ Camp said...

A pinhead is an appropriate term for any pastor or Bible teacher who deems it necessary to use s___ adjectively in preaching God's Word. Those men have forgotten their heavenly charge to "preach the Word." They are not to preach the culture, not smutty - guttural language, or not to go to the lowest rung of any nomenclature when expounding Scripture.

They are to give the sense of text for the glory of God, in the power of the Spirit, to exalt Jesus Christ as Lord, and for the edification of the saints.

To All Emerging/Emergents Visiting My Blog

I need to strongly warn you: it will not be tolerated here in the smallest degree to wrest God's Word or cast aspersions about the character of our Lord Jesus Christ or use Him as your punch-line to try and proof-text your desire to cuss...

Soli Deo Gloria

Unknown said...

You asked,
"Is this kind of language appropriate for a pastor or Bible teacher to use when communicating the truths of God's Word?"

No, it is not and I agree with you and I thank you for bringing this to our attention. As a mother I have to think of my children about all this as well. I have two teens and an 8 year old. They know better than to say these kinds of words. They know they would be in big trouble if they did.

I don't know if children will be at this conference or not, but to have a pastor or Bible teacher to use them where there are kids? I can hear it now, "But Mom, the Pastor said it!"

Just thinking as a Mom here. :)


Seth McBee said...

I am not sure if you understood the video. Sounds like all you got out of it was the "s" word. Did you listen to Paul Tripp at all?

I am not condoning the usage in public use (and neither was Tripp, he was trying to make a point), but the point that Tripp makes is that it isn't the word per se, but the intent it is used.

The reason he makes this is something he didn't bring up...but I would ask, what is the difference between using the "s" word, poop, crap, pooh, or feces?

And...you can't say culture...because you always let us know how much our culture isn't allowed to direct our preaching.

So, then...is there a list of words that I am not allowed to say? Or can we learn from Paul Tripp and him talking about using words to edify and use grace?

It seems like Tripp will win on this one.

I would also wonder how you would ever drive home a point if you were to preach Ezekiel 16. Or Jeremiah where Jeremiah says that the people are whoring themselves and having sex with stones and trees.

I just wonder that is all...these are honest questions that I hope you will answer...

jen said...

Great point Karen. I'm also a mom, and if our family strives not to expose ourselves to movies or television with profanity, how in the world could we condone the pastor using it?

Clearly, profanity is expected from the unregenerate heart, but not from Bible teaching Christians!

Chad said...

Brother Steve,
I'm actually starting to become concerned now. I'm starting to think that it's reckless and vulgar to even type s___ or link to a dictionary entry for a private bodily function because even that is just a stand in for the real word. I felt pretty smug initially at using euphemisms, but over the course of the day I've had a growing sinking feeling over it. Would it be more prudent and gracious to avoid typing out s___ and instead go with something more like "the debased vulgarity which I cannot refer to in good conscience"? Otherwise, it seems like you're just doing the same thing as those who type G-d for God, as if that makes a difference.

For God's glory alone.

SJ Camp said...

I am not sure if you understood the video. Sounds like all you got out of it was the "s" word. Did you listen to Paul Tripp at all? ...but the point that Tripp makes is that it isn't the word per se, but the intent it is used.

Of course I watched the video... several times. It was shallow, unbiblical, contrived, and postmodern.

Tripp actually wants us to believe that vocabulary means nothing, but only the intent behind the word. There is your postmodernism my brother.

So in Tripp's world, words don't actually mean something in and of themselves - but just my intent behind them gives them the meaning. Balderdash.

We may have the same vocabulary Seth, just a different dictionary. Words do inherently have meaning; it is not my intent that determines the meaning, but the word itself and the context in which it is placed.

I am not condoning the usage in public use (and neither was Tripp, he was trying to make a point),...

Say what? You can't be serious? He used it publicly, but at that same time is not condoning its use publicly? But if you do use it publicly to suggest that its usage shouldn't be public - as long as you're trying to make a point, it's OK.

Ladies and gentlemen, the problem is far worse than I could have ever imagined :-).

Seth McBee said...


So, was Paul Tripp wrong in making a point about saying "God damn you?"

Also, do you have a list of words that are acceptable and those that aren't allowed? I would like to see it if you have one?

I am guessing you don't. So, then, how do you choose which ones are appropriate and which ones aren't?

Again, if you point to culture you are doing exactly what Tripp says is wrong, and by you pointing to culture, you are the one that is more post modern in thought than Tripp is.

Tripp is basing everything on grace and edification. This is why the prophets used crass words like "whore" and "bloody menstrual rags (Isaiah 64:6)" And why Paul tells the legalist men to completely castrate themselves, and why Paul counted all as rubbish (we don't have to get into this word here).

It was to make a point. It was to awaken the hearers. Even Elijah makes fun of the baal worshipers by asking if their god was on the toilet relieving himself.

Tripp is trying to get to the bottom of the issue, where it seems you desire to make a list of appropriate words based on culture.

So, which on would tend to be postmodern in this case?

Atar Jacob Kashat said...

Mr Trip is basically saying that whatever you say is relative within a conversation or an understanding between two or more persons. How about the outsider who does not understand what you are saying, and they are immediately accosted by these silly little 4 letters. Is that not a BAD testimony? Is there not an absolute standard by which we should live and make sure we are rightly living before a Holy God. The very fact that God is a sovereign God is fearsome enough, and how about our sovereignty in our own choices? We are definitely going to be ANSWERING to God for every IDLE word spoken, and that whatever the word may be! I cannot help thinking that, the only reason there are ever 'new' ways of 'rethinking' what should and should not be done, is that our Enemy (the Devil) and his concern is to simply get us to fall into the mire and get us dirty by saying words that do not fit a Christian, thinking thoughts that far away from thinking on Christ, doing things that do not fit, and so on...
I think that this Mr Trip is a most certain Post-modernist!

Carla Rolfe said...

I just took the time to read through all these comments. Wow.

When I had the blog Emergent No, any time a post went up about these emergent/emerging pastors using this kind of language (at the time, that was generally the only place you'd hear it - much has obviously changed, since then), this is EXACTLY what the comment threads looked like there too. A handful of folks saying 'amen, this kind of language is just wrong" and a whole bunch of comments from folks defending the users of the trash talk, making attempts to justify the use of it (Paul was vulgar too! they'd cry), and interestingly enough, attacking the personal character of the particular contributor who wrote the critical piece to begin with.

I'd call this Adventures in Missing the Point. Some folks are really, really good at it. The idea seems to be that if you were offended by Tripp's use of the *s* word then surely you're a lightweight in the area of discernment and completely missed this brilliant man's point. WRONG.

I did get his point, as I'm sure many others did too, but I was also offended personally by his poor decision to use the word to begin with. He didn't have to use that word to make a point about wholesome speech, any more than I'd need to use the F word to make a point about purity. However, the most bizarre arguement I'm seeing is that IF you can use the F word to convey grace and not use it to demean or malign, then its perfectly okay to use it.

To which I say, welcome to the asylum, please line up to the left for your paper cup of meds and refreshing cup of kool-ade to wash it down.

Have you folks seriously read what you're arguing FOR?

Words do matter, as does intent. Scripture is very clear on this and it's been used in this comment thread repeatedly. Some folks though, will just continue to defend their favorite pastors/teachers/authors, no matter what the Scriptures actually say. I can say without question, as much as I love to listen and learn from solid brothers like John MacArthur or James White, if EITHER of them ever used this kind of language, it would stun and disgust me. I've listened to both of them for many many years now, and have NEVER heard them use this kind of speech or even defend those who do. Why do you think that is? Maybe it's because they are mature brothers in the Lord and understand that wholesome speech does not include the slang-trash of the world, no matter what the "intent" might be, or might not be.

For those who are slamming on Steve for speaking up about this in disgust (and I might add, there are A LOT of people that agree with his disgust on this, 100%), grow up already and aim for a higher standard. If you can't defend it Biblically (and you can't, and you know it), then keep your personal character attacks to yourself. Better yet, repent of your intention to use them, because thats a sinful intent in and of itself.

Remember now, "intent" doesn't only apply to swear words.

Michael Deal said...

John Piper a pinhead and a Biblical lightweight Steve? I don't read much Piper but I have recently read his response to NT Wright called "The Future of Justification." Only the courageously ignorant would call him that.

Yours fellow servant in courageous ignorance,

Michael Deal

Isaac said...

Hello Steve,

I think you mis-understood my post a little bit yesterday.

I'll begin by saying that I absolutely agree with everything that you said in your recent blog.
And i agree with your sentiments that this should be an issue of concern for those who name the name of Jesus.

But i think daddymike highlighted what I was trying to say - that when we are commenting on stuff like this, we should be both faithful in honouring God and uncompromising in submitting to His word (as you were in your content) ; but always in a spirit of grace - our words should be full of love for others, even when they do not, or will not afford you the same courtesy.
And whilst I don't doubt that your love for our brothers in Christ and your zeal for God's Holy name is the driving motive behind what you said - I still think we should be very careful about how we go about saying it.

Anyways, please don't take this as an attack on your own self - that is truly my last intention.

For the building up of His church,
Your Brother in Jesus,
Isaac Overton

Seth McBee said...

I would like to see someone defend biblically why the "s" word is wrong.

and not sure how the "f" word could ever be used in gracious and edifying way, since it is a grotesque way of speaking about sexual intercourse.

But, with the "s" word, it would seem that Paul would back the grotesque usage when speaking about the legalistic mentalities of works based religion. Phil. 3:8I have spoken to many people who know the language and says that the term "skubalon" is very close if not a direct usage of the term "s" that is seen in the English language. This doesn't mean that I run around and use the term without care, but it is to show the filthiness of our self righteous sin.

So, there, I defended the term biblically, your turn to defend why I can't use the term biblically. Remember to do it exegetically.

SJ Camp said...

Thank you for your comment.

You said, John Piper a pinhead and a Biblical lightweight Steve? I don't read much Piper but I have recently read his response to NT Wright called "The Future of Justification." Only the courageously ignorant would call him that.

On this issue my brother... on this issue. Read more carefully.

Only the courageously ignorant would try to pass off to the body of Christ the use of s___ as being appropriate and condonable for a BIble teacher to use in making a point biblically on any issue.

Wake up and smell the Scriptures.

And btw, no loyalty to any man save Christ Jesus Himself. When Piper preaches the Word and exegetes it carefully and circumspectly - I say amen! When he stoops to this unjustifiable use of smutty language that is to point us to the wonder of God, I say pinhead and lightweight.

So you condone the s word from the pulpit? Is that what I am hearing from you?


Dave Miers said...

Hi Steve,

I appreciate your concern in this post, but I'm discouraged by the manner in which you have expressed your concern.

While you haven't used any cuss words, you don't seem to have been gracious and you seem to have contradicted much of what you said in your prior post (here).

"29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

Don't forget the 2nd half of this verse in your writing on this blog...

Anonymous said...

Steve: I have no desire to cuss and if you were refering to me as emergent you are greatly mistaken...

you said: Tripp actually wants us to believe that vocabulary means nothing, but only the intent behind the word. There is your postmodernism my brother.

This is actually not postmodern...the postmodern does not accept the fact that we can know the meaning or intent behind any word...we are trapped by language. Tripp clearly does not believe that.

I think the the argument that any particular word is bad is a cultural argument (which I will accept by the way...) But the question becomes which culture?
Is it the same in the Philippines as the US? I am still confused because you are calling out someone for their use of scripture and yet I am not seeing you correctly use scripture in your argument.


Rick Frueh said...

Why is the body of Christ pushing the envelope when it comes to language (among other things)? Why are we not striving to present a good report and give none occasion for offense? Why would we desire to draw controversy to our language instead of allowing our communication to be without corruption? Is it such a sacrifice to avoid such words or must everything be forced into our verbiage simply because the world has adopted such crude colloquialisms? Please tell me which Biblical truth, even which Biblical word, cannot be communicated accurately and with understanding without resorting to such words?

People understand "dung" or "refuse" or "manure" which no one uses as profanity. Are we so linguistically restricted that we are forced to use such words to convey a truth? And must we also be so cute and parse such defined usage so as to hear our children exercise their freedom in Christ by expanding their vocabulary with words that even the world forbids of their children?

I cannot see any edification in any of this.

Anonymous said...

So it is wrong for a pastor to say the "s" word, yet you call another pastor a pin head. Do you get the irony? How is that edifying?

Anonymous said...

Can a pastor say these words:


What rules must a Christian follow to be a "good" Christian?

SJ Camp said...

and not sure how the "f" word could ever be used in gracious and edifying way, since it is a grotesque way of speaking about sexual intercourse.

I know some folks down in some pretty rough sections of Chicago that might disagree with you based on coming from they come from.

But it is good to see you have a line drawn somewhere even if you didn't draw it biblically.

As to the skubalon of Phil. 3... The word literally translated is "fling to the dogs" donating refuse of any kind. Thus the translators of the ESV chose the word "rubbish" instead of the s word. Dung could also be implied here as well. But not the guttural s word as some would try to having Scripture to prooftext their vulgarity.

Other translations render as filth, garbage, refuse, etc. It carries with it meanings such as dregs, what is thrown away as worthless, the chaff of grain, parts of slaughtered animals,

The Apostle Paul is not saying that his religious is s___. He is saying, however, that it is utterly worthless and offers nothing in regards to his righteousness by faith found in Christ Jesus the Lord compared to a righteousness by law-keeping or religious pedigree. He considered it all rubbish except for knowing Christ.

Many terms meaning the same thing regardless of intent or tone.

Now, if you are emerging the primary objective is not to be biblically clear, but culturally to push the envelop and reinvent the meaning of words in specific. So men like Driscoll, Tripp, Piper and others want to say s___; but that would force a meaning not consistent with text or a literal rendering of skubalon.

Hope this helps a bit more.

SJ Camp said...

So it is wrong for a pastor to say the "s" word, yet you call another pastor a pin head. Do you get the irony?


Kurt Michaelson said...

I can't believer John Piper is allowing this guy to speak at his upcoming conference!

Has Paul Tripp somehow forgotten that by speaking such profanity will do nothing but increase to more ungodliness? 2 Timothy 2:16.

It's disgusting to see that this man calls himself a pastor who delights in using such profanity, to somehow bring grace to them and the message of redemption through Christ.

That's hypocrisy and blasphemous, in my opinion.

SJ Camp said...

What rules must a Christian follow to be a "good" Christian?

You don't know? The Word of God. None of us are good Mike (Eph. 2:1-3). But we are saved through regeneration in the Holy Spirit; by God's grace; and through faith in Christ alone Titus 3:4-7).

Can a pastor say these words?

Where? Be specific.

Let me help you. If you are referring to a man of God preaching the Word and rightly dividing its truths from the sacred desk as fulfilling his heavenly charge and duty before God to whom he will give an account with fear and trembling...

Crap - no
Hell - yes in context
Bathroom - n/a
Feces - n/a
Bad - yes in context
Pinhead - yes in context
Naked - yes in context
Cross - yes
Blood - yes in context

See Mike this is part of the problem. Like a little child wanting to know how far you can go before you get your hand slapped, you should be seeking all the great words, the highest words that bring honor and glory to our Lord Jesus Christ and praise to God while expounding the Sword of the Spirit.

May I suggest to you to read through this evening Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God and see the great care that Edwards brought to the text of Scripture. OR, All of Grace by Spurgeon; or The Death of Death in the Death of Christ by John Owen (that will take some time.)

OR you could just read through the Scriptures and they not only will purify your propensity for vulgarity, but will develop in you a high view of God and a love for His truth absent any cultural vulgarities.

Here is my question for you: how does Tripp saying s___ bring glory to the Lord Jesus Christ? And if it does, why the disclaimer?

Yours for the Master's use,
A fellow pinhead,

SJ Camp said...

It's disgusting to see that this man calls himself a pastor who delights in using such profanity, to somehow bring grace to them and the message of redemption through Christ.


Thank you my brother...
2 Tim. 2:15

SJ Camp said...

I have replaced pinhead tonight with another favorite word - impolitic. It means unwise.

PInhead will return... Just trying to help expand the ever growing need for proper nomenclature away from the shallow-Seattle guttural and culturally irrelevant.


PS - I haven't ever noticed anyone complaining when Driscoll refers to godly men of God who disagree with him when calls them wingnuts, whackos, or nutcases.

Seth McBee said...

Thanks for making it apparant that you actually did miss the point of the entire video. You believe that you can have a list of words that are "okay" to use and if you use them in the right context, which I guess would be deemed by yourself, then they are okay.

So, you can call a respected (or any) pastor a pinhead with a high-school, emerging, juvenile, lascivious mentality.

And you are totally fine with that.

But if someone uses a word outside of your personal comfort zone they are of the devil.

I can't believe you don't see the irony in this.

I wonder how many lists you have that constitutes a "good" Christian.

If we went by lists then please don't use any terms that have to do with milk, because I am lactose intolerant.

You have crossed over into ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

make sure that you go not say "garbage" either or "refuse" I really wouldn't want you to get to close to saying a bad word or a correct interpretation.

Man I am so glad that I don't have to have lists of things to make God love me. Legalism is not cool at all. I wonder like Seth, how many lists do you have to juggle to be a "good" Christian?

Seth McBee said...

Also Steve.
I am no Greek scholar, but the TDNT states this when talking of Phil 3:8 which would correspond more with "crap" or "dung" or in the English version of the vulgar term "s____"

Here is what it states:

“I count them all as dung.”5 The threefold use of ἡγεῖσθαι forms a crescendo. The perfect ἥγημαι (v. 7) relates to conversion; since this Paul has learned to regard all his former κέρδη as ζημία (→ II, 890, 32 ff.) for Christ’s sake. The present ἡγούμαι (v. 8a) confirms that this is his judgment now. The second present ἡγοῦμαι (v. 8c) strengthens this6 by substituting σκύβαλα for ζημία. The intensification lies in the element of resolute turning aside from something worthless and abhorrent, with which one will have nothing more to do.7 The choice of the vulgar term stresses the force and totality of this renunciation.8 The divine privileges of Israel (R. 3:1 ff.; 9:4 f.) and the spiritual character of the Law are not herewith denied.9 But the striving for self-righteousness by one’s own achievement is unmasked as πεποιθέναι ἐν σαρκί (v. 3), as a carnal and worldly enterprise, the complete antithesis of faith. Materially, perhaps, Paul chose σκύβαλα, which in religious Hellenism was used for the dualism of the divine and the secular (→ 445, 28 ff.), to echo the contrast between spirit and flesh, Χριστός (πνεῦμα) and σάρξ, in the passage.10 To the degree that the Law is used in self-justification, it serves the flesh and is not just worthless but noxious and even abhorrent. The two elements in σκύβαλον, namely, worthlessness and filth, are best expressed by a term like “dung.”

This would also be the reason why most take it as to mean dung or animal feces.

Deb_B said...

Seth: "I can't believe you don't see the irony in this."

I can't believe you see any "irony in this". I don't. None whatever.

Amazing, absolutely amazing.

Joe C said...

This video was a fantastic message from God. I was edified through it. He spoke the Truth about how we USE our language either to build up or tear down one another, and that is what qualifies 'unwholesome talk', not the words themselves. 100% serious. God bless.


Seth McBee said...

I would hate to see you guys read some Martin Luther

Anonymous said...

Deb let me bow down before your greatness. The problem with your argument is that you learned Greek from someone. Seth went to the best source on Greek and used them. Do you see the irony again. Seth's interpretation is more accurate. I would trust the best scholars versus you. Maybe that is just me.

Also for you guys who are taking offense at the Bible let's just calm it down and make sure that it doesn't offend you. Have you read through the Old Testament and read the things that it describes. That Bible is so profane.

jen said...

Seth, am I allowed to be really offended that you used the word 'retarded', especially since you used it so totally out of context?

Unknown said...

I never thought I'd see the day that Christians would get offended because somebody doesn't like to hear foul language from a pastor or teacher when preaching or teaching the Word of God! And then attack those who call it wrong-- absolutely unbelievable!

Reminds me of this verse:

"Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?" (Gal. 4:16)

Tripp is wrong...Dr. Piper is wrong. This language does not bring any glory to God whatsoever. To be honest, I thought in the video he was getting a thrill to get to say that word and get away with it. Some things and words are just not acceptable. Especially in this setting. It's like your dragging the Lord down to wallow in the filth with you. It is offensive! And you know it is. So why argue the point in saying that it's ok? I'm not a scholar either but I do know better than this.

Seth, using the term "retarded"--my neice is retarded. What's your point?
You said:
"It is like saying someone can make fun of whoever they want as long as they use a word from the "Christian" list. Seems pretty retarded to me."

You took issue with Steve for using pinhead and then you pop this out.


Unknown said...


I posted when you did, so did not see your comment until after mine posted. I didn't like his use of retarded either. :)

In Him,

Deb_B said...

Seth: "I would hate to see you guys read some Martin Luther"

Actually, I'm quite familiar with the works of Martin Luther and have much of his work on hand.

Where would you like to start, in context of course, in the writings of Martin Luther?

No pre- or proof-texting, please, Seth. If we want to have a serious discussion on the semantics of Martin Luther, I'm game, but let us maintain better contextual integrity than has been used here with Scripture.

jen said...

Karen, your niece, my sister-in-law. They are precious people, amen?


Seth McBee said...

How did I use retarded out of context?

Do you know what the term means?

By the way...I am not even saying that Steve calling someone a pin head is wrong.

What I am saying is that it is retarded to use a word like pin head to degrade someone (not using it literally,but as degradation) and then get mad at someone who uses an English word in it's correct context, in it's actual meaning.

So, he can call me a pin head...I don't care...that's fine...but I find it double talk or ironic to then say that I can only use certain words to be a "good Christian"

jen said...


1. Often Offensive. Affected with mental retardation.
2. Occurring or developing later than desired or expected; delayed.

So Seth. 'Splain, please.

Seth McBee said...

Retarded is not only used for mental retardation.

did not mean to offend people...the word is used for other cases than just mental...


Luther uses the term "s____" a lot. and there are many other terms that would be on your list of "no-no's"

Unknown said...


Yes, they are. She will hug you and tell you she loves you over and over again just because she wants to. She's 34 years old, but mentally about 5 or so. She is the sweetest person I know. I love her very much and I hate to see the word "retarded" used out of context, like people who are retarded are stupid or something. She may not know a lot but she is precious as is your sister-in-law. And yes, Amen!


Anonymous said...

sj camp

Thank you for you reply to my comment. I do appreciate your zeal for Christ and His people. Also, I appreciate the tone of your reply to me. It's sounds like we're talking as brothers. Thank you.

In answer to your questions:
"why are you not outraged over this?" I have a long history with Dr. Tripps written material. For me, he has established his character over years of Godly counsel. I saw this video as an honest illustration of his end point. Words are sooo much more when we see them through the eyes of a Holy and Righteous God.

"Why are you more concerned with how I have reported this than what actually has occurred?" The "how" is exactly what concerned me. I also have a long history with your music ministry and you have ministered at my church (Clearcreek Chapel). I was introduced to your music, as an unbeliever, at my sister's funeral. she was 21 and I was 18. A wonderful lady at the church sang "He Is All You Need". I didn't get it then, but as the months past and God worked, I came to believe it! Your music has been a comfort and conviction for all my Christian life. Thank you. I suppose I wanted to hear you be as grace-filled in your report as you have been in the rest of my experience.

"Have you contacted DG Ministries over your disgust about this?" No, I have not. I didn't take the video as you did. As I look at it now I think wisdom would say it was a poor choice for the promotion of the event. I know you disagree...I'm just being honest.

"If you are signed up to go to the conference, have you asked for a full refund if this is how they are going to represent the Lord and His ministry?" I am not registered for the event. I am well fed at my home church. :)

"But yet, you are quick to come on strong to me because of how I have addressed this." yes, I was, and I believe rightly so. Regardless, I love you as a brother in Christ. My intention was to shed light on the "how" and not the what. Please consider it a loving "iron". I pray our interaction sharpens us both.

By our Great God and King,

jen said...

I know the term is not only used for mental retardation. The point is that it was intended as a definite slam on Mr Camp.

Deb_B said...

Karen: "Seth, using the term "retarded"--my neice is retarded. What's your point?"

As have been several of the children we've emergency fostered through the years.

So, Seth, et.al., how would you address your use of the term "retarded" where four of my foster children are concerned?

How should my husband and I explain my (and Karen's and SJC's and others here) "legalism" regarding use of the word "retarded" to our emergency foster children during our next scheduled visit with them?

It's wonderful to enjoy the pseudo-freedom - which is NO real freedom at ALL - of tossing around filthy language and words like "retarded" until you're faced with explaining your use of it to a child who is of limited mental capacity.

The very fact you throw around such words with NO regard WHATSOEVER for upon whose ears they fall speaks volumes.

SJ Camp said...

Three things:

1. I don't have lists; I hate legalism with a passion. Don't put words in my mouth.

2. I deleted your post with your mentioning of some very inappropriate words for this blog. Don't do it again or you will be banned.

3. You will not derail this thread with your off topic rants. Stay on topic here brother.

I have read the works of Luther... And your point is?

Grace and peace,

PS - Seth, please treat the women who post here with kindness and respect. That is a line that will not be crossed... are you feeling me?

jen said...

I think oftentimes people who use that word as an insult don't know a mentally retarded person. It's really hard to use that term as a slam on someone once you know how much Jesus must love the 'least' of us. My sister-in-law is much like your niece in development. She calls me 'Blue Eyes'. :)

Sorry for getting a bit off topic, Mr Camp, but it seems that sensitivity is lacking in some of the comments on this thread. Most especially to the holiness of the Lord.

Deb_B said...

MikeV: "The problem with your argument is that you learned Greek from someone."

Did you thoroughly READ my comment? Obviously not. It wasn't myself in relation to scholarly Koine Greek to whom I referred.

FYI, it's actually archaic Hebrew I'm better versed in, by far, than I am in my studies of Koine Greek, for some reason. I just seem to pick up on Hebrew and struggle more with my Greek studies, if you must know.

You are so swift to justify the wanton, flippant use of filth and to twist and distort Scripture to justify it.

All that matters is defending the right to make points with filthy, vulgar language.

Yes, that is what is to be justified at all costs. What a sorry state the Church is reduced to today if THAT is to be the standard by which Christ and Him crucified, resurrected and ascended is to be preached.

Unknown said...

OK, let's face it, Chris Rock fans...this promo piece would not even be allowed by the FCC to air on network television; this word is offensive to the general public, but the church is supposed to just eagerly accept...no, embrace this without batting an eye? Can we bring Spaceship Rationalization back down to earth, now? Are reverence for ministry and reverence for the things of God becoming passe?

Sections of this song have been in my head all day.

These lyrics from the song, penned by Mark Harris and Dan Koch back in 1992, really struck a chord w/me today:

"We’ve turned the page, for a new day has dawned,
We’ve re-arranged what is right and what’s wrong;
Somehow we’ve drifted so far from the truth
That we can’t get back home."

"The newest rage is to reason it out,
Just meditate and you can overcome every doubt;"

(Words & Music by Mark Harris and Dn Koch, ©1992 Paragon Music Corp. / A-Knack-For-This-Music, Point Clear Music / ASCAP)

Are expletives being reasoned away from offensive & inappropriate into a "valid" ministry tool?

Deb_B said...

Karen: "She is the sweetest person I know. I love her very much..."

O, Karen, they are so sweet, that is so. It is why we treasure our visits with our temporary fosters with their new, permanent families.

The sweet love and affection as they run out to throw themselves into our arms to welcome us.

What blessings they are! Treasures from Heaven the world is surely not worthy of!

Bruce said...

It seems to me his point is that we shouldn't be saying that word.

So what's the difference between him using the word as he tells a story, and you posting the video?

Next thing you know, there will be another blogger bloging about how awful it is that a blog posted a video with the S-word in it...

Unknown said...


I know. They have the sweetest hearts. When my children were babies and they would cry, my neice would cry right along with them. And she loved to hold them, she was so careful trying to be careful. They are precious and I hate for them to be degraded just because they are not as intelligent as some people think they should be. The world needs all the love it can get and their love is unconditional. I agree, they are Treasures from Heaven and we are blessed to have them.

In His Love,

Anonymous said...

Wow Steve... it is so sad that you have no idea how much you and your cronies are so legalistic.

"2. I deleted your post with your mentioning of some very inappropriate words for this blog. Don't do it again or you will be banned."

I read what Seth wrote. He was dealing with words that the Bible uses to describe things. Words that are "profane". Come on Steve who are you worshiping Yahweh or some made up rule driven god that wants to get you every time that you don't act like a white washed tomb. I am sorry that the Bible offends you as a Christian.

Do you tear out the "profane" parts, so that you have a "correct" Bible.

"3. You will not derail this thread with your off topic rants. Stay on topic here brother."

He is staying on topic, talking about how what you consider "profane" and wrong is actually used in the Bible.

Also you should probably stay away from 1 Samuel 31, I wouldn't want you to have to read something that might be too profane for your sensitive little eyes.

Stop trying to pretend to be more holy than what you are. God is not pleased by this lip service worship. Now if Tripp was dropping the F bomb then maybe there would be a problem. However he didn't. So get over your pharisaical ways and give God the glory.

Deb_B said...

Seth: "Luther uses the term "s____" a lot. and there are many other terms that
would be on your list of "no-no's"

Pick a specific section of Martin Luther's work and let us begin our discussion of it in context of the whole. Understanding of course, like us, during his earthly sojourn Martin Luther was a fallible sinner saved by grace.

You raised Martin Luther's use - upon occasion quite liberal use, unfortunately - of inappropriate terminology, so provide at least a contextual section of it to begin with and let our discussion on the specifics of his use of such semantics begin.

If I don't have the specific resource on hand, I can most likely borrow or otherwise obtain a copy from which to work.

I await your referenced specifics to begin.

I despise legalism in all its forms. Just for the record.

jen said...

So now we're legalistic cronies? Wow, this is a serious name-calling bunch of folks.

Why are y'all so upset anyway?

One more question. If you have no trouble with the word the man in the video used, then what's your problem with the 'f-bomb'? Why shouldn't that be just as well? It's just a word, right?

Deb_B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deb_B said...

Post deleted to correct Typo

Karen: "They have the sweetest hearts."

Karen (and Jen, too), sisters mine by this marvelous, amazing grace in which we all stand in Christ, there is a real sweetness these special ones come to us with from our Lord. For all my virtual verbosity, I cannot adequately describe it.

Without warning almost 6 years ago, one of these precious ones went to sleep one night and before morning, she fell asleep in the arms of our Lord.

When the call came from her relatively new Mom and Dad, whom she dearly loved and blessed daily with her sweet little smile and demeanor, it was initially devastating.

I need not describe how much more blessed we all were, by far, for having had her touch our lives, even if only briefly. What a lasting impact she had on every life she touched!

"...Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning." [Psalm 30:5]

SJ Camp said...

"Emerging Reformer..." I knew it!

You ECM bucks regurgitate all the same mantra, rudeness of speech, and lack of biblical knowledge to really engage from the text.

You are welcome at this blog as long as you clean up your rhetoric, try to direct your comments from and to the Word of God, and stay on target with this post.

If you are unable to do so I fully understand - it's hard to dialogue Scripturally when your hermeneutic is rooted in postmodernism rather than sound doctrine and biblical theology. What is revealing though, is that you are modeling and proving to many of us here that THIS is the fruit of Driscoll and company. Sad and predictable.

So here are your options, engage biblically OR it's time for you to leave...

This blog is not for your pomo ranting rabbit trails, but for solid discussion from the Scriptures.

Your choice...
1 Tim. 4:12-16

SJ Camp said...

Why are y'all so upset anyway?

One more question. If you have no trouble with the word the man in the video used, then what's your problem with the 'f-bomb'? Why shouldn't that be just as well? It's just a word, right?

Careful Jen, you are coming dangerously close with circumspect wisdom and lucid insight to unmasking their sandy vacillating logic before their young, postmodern, emerging, cultural irrelevant, pragmatic eyes.

This could be exciting :-).

Well said... and thank you.
Col. 3:23-24

Unknown said...


Also OT: forgive me, Steve. :)

It is hard to describe, their love, once they love you, they love you forever. I know that losing your precious one was heartbreaking. I cannot imagine. But it is something we face as well. My niece's
health has been deteriorating, she has seizures quite often now. I can't stand the thought of losing her. We, you, Jen and I and anyone else here who has the honor of having one of these special ones in their lives, are truly blessed by having them. Their love is pure and full. Your precious one is dearly loved as much as she loved, I can tell. So it is with all of us here who have these special ones in our lives. Amen to the verse you posted. Can you imagine them in their new glorified bodies? How awesome that is! :)

Your sister in Christ Jesus,

Anonymous said...

""Emerging Reformer..." I knew it! "

Wow you got me. Maybe if you knew what my blog title means you would get it. First it is emerging as in the way church looks will always be changing. Reformer because we always are to reform back to the Word of God, as humans we have a tendency to move away from the Bible.

"You ECM bucks regurgitate all the same mantra, rudeness of speech, and lack of biblical knowledge to really engage from the text."

Yep you got me pegged down (can I say the word pegged). I will stand up for the Bible, not some false interpretation of it.

It seems as though you have failed to deal with that the Bible, which is God's inspired word has things in it that you would consider profane. So let's discuss the Bible. Deal with those texts.

SJ Camp said...

Here is a really great quote from an excellent article written by Phil Johnson at TeamPyro on this theme.

I have appreciated his [Driscoll] defense of the atonement and his willingness to confront the neo-liberalism of other Emerging leaders honestly. But I don't think his perpetually coarse language in the pulpit and his apparent preoccupation with off-color terms and ribald subject matter are merely minor flaws in an otherwise healthy ministry. It is a serious shortcoming.

No, it's actually worse than that, because it blatantly violates the clear principle of Ephesians 5:3-4. It is shameful (v. 12) and therefore a reproach. It's characteristic of the old man and one of the fleshly behaviors we are expressly commanded to put aside (Colossians 3:8). Scripture even seems to indicate that unwholesome language signals an impure mind (Matthew 12:34). And yet this is a deliberate, calculated, and persistent practice of Driscoll's. It is practically the chief trademark of his style.

That's troubling, and even more troubling when I see young Christians and older believers who ought to know better mimicking the practice. If this is the direction even the very best Emerging-style ministry is headed, it's not a trend any Christian ought to find encouraging, much less one we should follow.


Deb_B said...

Jen: "So now we're legalistic cronies? Wow, this is a serious name-calling bunch of folks."

Aye, Jen, it's always the same old, same old ... same old tired, erroneous and contextually indefensible arguments. But you knew that already, my crony in Christ. :-)

Karen, We touched her life so very briefly as we were blessed to offer temporary safety and shelter. OTOH, she touched and blessed our lives immeasurably forevermore.

We shall keep your niece near in our hearts and prayers.

Unknown said...


Thank you and God bless you and yours!


I'll second your amen! :)


SJ Camp said...

James 1:26 "If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless."

Discretion in speech is better than fluency of speech... If someone be given over to backbiting, evilspeaking, and lasciviousness of the tongue, he only deceives his own heart, if he thinks that he has any true religion at all.

Cp, Psalm 38:1 "I said, “I will guard my ways, lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, while the wicked are before me.”

Here is Albert Barnes on James 1:26: "That is, if he does not restrain his tongue, his other evidences of religion are worthless. A man may undoubtedly have many things in his character which seem to be evidences of the existence of religion in his heart, and yet there may be some one thing that shall show that all those evidences are false. Religion is designed to produce an effect on our whole conduct; and if there is any one thing in reference to which it does not bring us under its control, that one thing may show that all other appearances of piety are worthless.

And bridleth not his tongue. Restrains or curbs it not, as a horse is restrained with a bridle. There may have been some reason why the apostle referred to this particular sin which is now unknown to us; or he may perhaps have intended to select this as a specimen to illustrate this idea, that if there is any one evil propensity which religion does not control, or if there is any one thing in respect to which its influence is not felt, whatever other evidences of piety there may be, this will demonstrate that all those appearances of religion are vain. For religion is designed to bring the whole man under control, and to subdue every faculty of the body and mind to its demands. If the tongue is not restrained, or if there is any unsubdued propensity to sin whatever, it proves that there is no true religion.

Convicting and encouraging to my heart as well...

Seth McBee said...

I am confused.

I used only words that are in the Bible.

Every single word I used was biblical, so I am not sure which ones made you delete my post.

As far as treating the women with kindness and respect...again...not sure what you are talking about.

I defended a use of the term retarded...I apologized to them for the fact that I wasn't trying to make fun or anything of that matter of their mentally retarded family members...I would never do that...

jen said...

You made me cry, then you made me laugh. :)

I'm sorry about the loss of the precious little one, but what a rich blessing to know you'll see her again one day! We love my husband's sister deeply, and our lives are so enriched by her (and her housemates in her group home).

Now, my crony friends, can anyone tell me why I've gotten no answer to my question? Do emergents go to bed early or something? (ooh, I name called...)

Seth McBee said...


How does this fit with you calling Piper, et al, Pin heads?

Discretion in speech is better than fluency of speech... If someone be given over to backbiting, evilspeaking, and lasciviousness of the tongue, he only deceives his own heart, if he thinks that he has any true religion at all.

Just wondering...not saying you are wrong by calling them pin heads, I would disagree with you, but that is another thing.

I just wonder how your two comments can come together in harmony?

Anonymous said...

Steve you wanted to deal with this Biblically, then why don't you deal with the texts and the "profane" things that they say. You can keep showing texts that say to watch your tongue. I agree with those. However there are texts that Seth and I have pointed out that you call profane. How do you deal with those?

Seth McBee said...

The reason I would not drop the "f" bomb and why it is different is because I can't find a reason that it would ever be edifying or used in a gracious correction. It is derogatory by the very nature of the term.

It would be the same idea of why I would never tell someone "God da-- you"

or tell someone to go to H-

That is my reasoning.

And...I am far from emergent. :)

I am actually in the GARBC...

Just like the discussion of trying to understand what makes words bad vs good...and I have a lot of Reformed friends that would totally agree. And I mean a lot of Reformed friends.

Anonymous said...

Steve: Why do you insist on labeling Mike, myself and others as emergent because we disagree with you? We live in Grand Rapids in the shadow of that great synagogue of Satan Mars Hill Bible "Church" and are dedicated to opposing it's false doctrine in a reformed baptist tradition. My nickname is an intentional reference to exactly what you said, the complete and utter sinfulness and heresy of the "EC"...

Please don't label us...we are usually on the same team. I just think you are being inconsistent on the issue of cultural and linguistic change. I also think you are using this thread as a grand stand against Driscoll, on issues which he has repented of. Besides that point the issue is John Piper, and I tend to think he has not forgotten his Bible...I am open to your point of view but exegete it...don't just yell it.

Carla Rolfe said...


go here and download Phil Johnson's sermon titled Counterfeit Love preached a couple of weeks ago.

At 22 minutes into the sermon, you'll hear Phil address the very things that have come up here, including the ridiculous idea of a list of bad words, the accusation of legalist, how pastors are even pushing the limits with vulgar and obscene speech, etc. Listen closely... it's well worth it.

He addresses all the points made here, by those who are offended by Tripp's (and others) language.

jen said...

My apologies Seth, on the assumption of your emergence (or anyone else's for that matter). :) I guess I just don't know exactly where everyone is coming from on this. I've only recently been coming by here a little more regularly.

You're certainly right -- the f word is not in any way edifying. But I have a hard time understanding why the s word could ever be considered in an edifying way. I've only ever heard it used as a curse word.

Deb_B said...

Carla: "Listen closely... it's well worth it."

Link appreciated, thank you.

And, OT, speaking of PhilJ from over a decade ago, if he were still waiting on me to input another volume of Spurgeon's PSP series, there'd be a definite dearth of additional sermons in the Spurgeon Archives. Modern technology is plumb wonderful! ;-)

jen said...

Yes, thanks Carla!

Seth McBee said...

No worries.

As long as you understand that I really meant no offense to any person with a mental handicap in any way. I was using the term more as the way it used when speaking of "slowing or delaying something"

As far as the "s" word, how it could be edifying. It could edify only in certain circumstances. i.e. when trying to show someone what their righteous deeds are.

Again...the point that Tripp was trying to make all along is what the intent of the word is along with it's actual meaning. The term "s" is an actual word that was used for garbage or dung. It has a real meaning. For some reason our culture deems it wrong...not sure why it is and someone saying "poop" is different. That is what Tripp was trying to get at. Sometimes words also have meanings behind who is using them and the audience they are using them with.

jen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jen said...

*edited for clarity*

Seth, we're good. :) I hear 'retarded' used in that context all the time. I just would love for people to think more about it's usage, and possible offense to the hearers.

In a similar vein, regarding using the s word in reference to our "righteous" deeds, what's wrong with just saying garbage or even dung, as is used in some Bible translations? Certainly we all know that the s word carries a shock value even in a lot of non-Christian venues. Aren't we supposed to look different than the culture anyway?

BTW, lest anyone think I'm a prude or something, I used to have a pretty serious potty mouth before I was redeemed. I wonder why would the Holy Spirit have convicted me in this area if it was all ok?

alisterhill said...

I want to share with everyone here a part of a message I gave recently at the chapel I attend. My point in the context of this thread is quite simple. Our one and only goal as a follower of Christ in this world is to become more and more like Him.

Is using the gutter language of the day helping us to become more and more like Him?

Is bickering amongst ourselves about those who DO use the gutter language of the day helping us become more like Him?

I am becoming more and more wary of blogs such as this. Perhaps it's time to spend more time looking toward the Light than we do peering into the darkness. Yes - we need to be vigilant and aware, and we need to help each other discern the wolves in the church, but we need to find a way of doing that which will allow these blogs and their comments to become something that the Spirit can use to lead souls to the Savior, not that are used by the enemy to highlight our sinfulness and imperfection.

We need to be snatching each other OUT of the fire, not sitting around it toasting theological marshmallows.

The topic I was given was "Objects of His Intercession"...

[Jude 1-16]
We are surrounded by darkness. We are surrounded by an Oprah-fied, Your Best Life Now, Purpose Driven mish-mash of watered down, tainted and repentance-free pseudo Christianity that most of the time can’t decide who the real Jesus is. And even if we DO know the real Jesus - how much time do we actually spend listening to Him and obeying Him? Yes, in theory we can indeed just drift along through the backwaters of our faith, swayed to and fro by the subtle, soothing whispers of worldly wisdom, bouncing about from beguiling rock to balmy reef.... And maybe, when our boat gets too beaten up and we start to sink, we’ll find ourselves cut off from the battle all together. Almighty God will remove us from this scene before our hidden light gets completely submerged by our own brand of complacent, comfortable Christianity. Before our selfishness and laziness veils the Light & Truth within us to such a degree that we start to do more to damage the Gospel message than we do to promote it. Those of us who have “Come as we were” and accepted the free gift of salvation are members of the one true church! The church that the Bible describes to be like a Bride waiting for her Bridegroom! WE SHOULD BE BEAMING LIKE THE BRIGHTEST LIGHTHOUSE! FILLED WITH THE LOVE OF, AND LOVE FOR, THE ONE FOR WHOM WE WAIT. WE SHOULD BE DESPERATE TO BE ABOUT HIS BUSINESS, PROMOTING HIS GLORY TO A DYING, HURTING WORLD.

Jude hit a home run with his description of the evils of this world and it’s false teachers. Praise God, that he - at the end of his little, but oh so NOT insignificant book - does an even BETTER job of describing the TRUE nature that EVERY Christian should be displaying.

[Jude 17-23]
Yes, we ARE waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life, however if the GENUINE desire of our heart IS TO BE LIKE HIM, then instead of focusing on the obstacles the enemy uses to discourage us - we will focus on JESUS ALONE. And as we do that - as we build ourselves up in the most holy faith and keep ourselves in the love of God - something truly amazing happens. We become intercessors. We’ll be woken up by the Spirit in the middle of the night and given a clear vision of something or someone that needs prayer. We’ll find ourselves “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication” [Eph. 6:18] And just in case we get discouraged because we realize that in all truthfulness - we don’t have a CLUE how to REALLY pray, we discover that we have automatically enlisted the services of ANOTHER intercessor:

“...the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings to deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF GOD!” [Rom. 8:26-27]

A bride to be starts to reflect the personality of her future husband BEFORE they are married. She is so wrapped up in him that she can’t help it! Are WE SO WRAPPED UP IN CHRIST THAT WE CAN’T HELP BUT REFLECT HIM TO THOSE AROUND US? If we are, WE will become intercessors. We will be praying in the Holy Spirit - having mercy on those who doubt; saving other [believers from the sway of false teachers] by snatching them out of the fire; showing mercy without fear. And we will HATE everything about us that is not yet like our Lord and Savior. As Objects of His Intercession, we should be becoming intercessors ourselves. Aware of what the world around us is like, but not focusing on it. Aware of the darkness, but wrapped up in the Light. We will ENDURE the race, but be so focused, encouraged, and energized with the SURE and CERTAIN HOPE of the prize - fueled by the Word of God - that we never start to think that we’re running alone. And if you are still running a losing race on your own, NOW is the time to draw near to God - to come Just As You Are and engage the services of the Advocate who has never - and WILL never - lose a case.

“Now to Him who is able to keep us from stumbling and to present us blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God and Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”

Deb_B said...

Jan: "I used to have a
pretty serious potty mouth before I was redeemed."

Ahem ... me shamefully too. The marked absence of filthy four-letter words in my vocabulary in the work environment, especially in daily staff meetings where such language was rampant, run utterly amuck, was the first thing my colleagues noticed ... ironically.

They noticed a lot of other changes, too, little things I didn't even realize myself at the time. However, I later learned from a co-worker who also happened to be one of my new sisters in Christ, the first thing she noticed immediately was my speech ... both the marked absence of profanity and what I suppose we could call "coarse jesting" and related speech, coupled with what she would describe as "softer, gentler framing of words and speech".

There were other, less obvious behaviors I hadn't even noticed myself ... BUT others did, even when I didn't realize at the time they were closely observing what they viewed as distinct, marked changes in a colleague, go figure, eh?

My conversion was pretty dramatic - un-Churched since high school, driving home alone from work that Friday evening God called to mind a passage I'd heard preached 17 years earlier at 15.

I couldn't for the life of me figure out where those words were coming from, nor why I could NOT get rid of them.

It was a very long, frightful, shameful and sleepless night which blessedly culminated in my eternal salvation.

I think we call that "irressistable grace". :-)

O, the passage?

"Harvest is past, summer is ended, And we are not saved" [Jer 8:20]

jen said...

Beautiful testimony, Deb, and a beautiful passage. :)

Alexfitz said...

"I posted the crap line and pinheads word intentionally to see if anyone would take the bait and use that as a diversion to somehow justify Tripp."
LOL oh come on Steve that is weak! 5th grade stuff. love you bro but he has a point. Also "lightweights"? this does not help you make your point, which i agree with by the way

SJ Camp said...

I also think you are using this thread as a grand stand against Driscoll, on issues which he has repented of.

Nice try. You must not listen to him too carefully.

Here is an example (quoting from another thread): "the joke Driscoll told regarding Ecclesiastes 9:10 at the start of his “Ask Anything” Q&A is the single most offensive thing I’ve ever heard any well-known pastor say in a public mixed setting. And that came months after he originally supposedly repented for his inappropriate public language.

If that kind of smutty jesting about Scripture doesn’t fall into the kind of speech prohibited by Ephesians 5:3-4 and Colossians 3:8, what, exactly, do you think Paul was talking about there?"

I agree with that commenter.

Do the homework brother...

SJ Camp said...

It may seem weak to you, but it proved the point quite well. Those who champion such smutty talk by those that they have invested with in the past in support of their ministries will make someone else's tone or words the prime target to avoid facing the obvious fallacy of their own bias towards the seedy and degrading.

It is the oldest trick in the book.

I am glad we are on the same side on this and I do thank you for your post - but it is not the same thing.


SJ Camp said...

Thank you for sharing your message with us here.

Grace and peace,

SJ Camp said...

1 Samuel 31 is the historical account of the death of Saul and his sons. There is nothing guttural or flippant about the language there.

I'm not certain what your point is Mike, but the overarching concerning with many of us around the country with this video and men like Driscoll is the prooftexting offered up in the name of using questionable and offensive language.

All of Scripture is sufficient and profitable...

Do not twist the holy Word of God to justify anyone's immature proclivity to want to speak in smutty ungodly terms just to appeal to culture.

Raise the bar my brother,

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