Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Words Matter: and others think so too

Many of you have already visited these links, but just in case you have not, you can be sure that I am certainly not the only one addressing this unfortunate but timely topic. Here are some other very recent resources:

John Piper, Mark Driscoll, and Harsh Language

Clarifying “Harsh Language”

Bad Language in the Pulpit?

Martin Luther on Harsh Language

While the folks at Pulpit Magazine have closed comments on their Luther post, I would like to say something about harsh language as it pertains to Luther.

Those who would generally find themselves in a position to argue for the rest of lightening up and letting the language fly, will often say such things as "well then, you'd better quit quoting Luther since he was well known for his salty and harsh language". As if to say, if one of the most common names in chuch history and one of the most 'influentially used of God' (if I may say it that way) man in church history was known for his 'harsh language' then certainly you and I as well should be able to use this kind of vulgar and/or obscene speech to get a point across.

Allow me to answer in one word that you may be familiar with: BALONEY.

While I have not found the time to examine every word that ever flowed from Luther's lips or pen, I can easily say that no matter the name, no matter the reputation, no matter the social standing or the Christian "celeb" status (current or past) or the historic significance, anyone who ever chooses to speak in a profane, vulgar, obscene, lewd way is wrong. It doesn't matter if Luther did it, anymore than it would matter if John MacArthur did it, RC Sproul did it, James White did it, or anyone else with a name that no one would even recognize, did it. According to our standard, the Scriptures, they'd still be wrong. To ever hold anyone up as an example and then say "well, HE did it so I can too!" is placing a mere man in the role of standard, and not our Lord.

Our Lord didn't do it, so neither should we. It really IS that simple.

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