Friday, February 22, 2008

Hiding Public Sin Behind Matthew 18

I posted an article here on this site titled, “Cussing Preachers, Gutter Talk and Pulpit Vulgarity”  in 2008.  It was reposted in 2011.   Shortly after the original publication, I was contacted by another pastor who, for some reason, felt compelled to rebuke me for writing it. He made no substantive argument with the content of my post; he just inferred that my writing it was a sinful act and it somehow brought damage to the “Body of Christ.” He reasoned that my first responsibility should have been to address the matter directly and privately to the pastor who used the inappropriate language (apparently some kind of misapplication of Matthew 18:15-17).

I disagreed with him that I had any obligation (scriptural or otherwise) to address this man privately; his offense was a public matter.  But, in the interest of fairness, I did go back to review exactly what I wrote to see if my critic had any legitimate concern.

He did not and I still disagree. My article was a generic rant about the proliferation of vulgar language in church pulpits in general which frankly disgusts me. I did make a brief reference to one specific incident that I heard recently, but the point of that reference was to illustrate the fact that the “shock” of his pulpit vulgarity actually distracted from his message. I did not name the speaker nor did I name his church (at least I do have enough respect to guard the dignity of his congregation).

So I find it rather peculiar that this well-meaning pastor would redress me for MY “sin.” I was not the one who used the vulgar language. I was not the one who publicly disrespected a congregation. I brought no disgrace to the pulpit. I did not humiliate fellow church leaders. I showed no dishonor to God in a public sermon.

But apparently, by some convoluted reasoning, one person thinks I have brought damage to the “Body of Christ” because I posted the article.

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