Posted by: Douglas Mehling | December 2, 2007

More thoughts on “Using profanity for a good cause?”

The last couple days have been very exciting with all of the interesting comments on my last post.  Thanks everyone for your contribution.  This is the kind of thing I was really hoping to start with my blog.  A community where people can express a diversity of perspectives in a very open and constructive manner.

Anyways, because of all the good comments on yesterday’s topic, I have decided to add just a few more of my thoughts on it.  Personally, as a preacher I would never consider uttering anything bordering on profanity.  I think that no matter how serious of an issue you are addressing, there’s always an effective way to get the matter across using very clean and wholesome speech.  I know that Jesus said many things that were very offensive to the corrupt and hypocritical leaders of his day, but I believe it was on a totally different level than what Dr. Campolo was actually doing.  I simply cannot picture Jesus using profanity, no matter what kind of situation.  Having said all of this, I must admit the obvious lack of any mention I have made just now to the real issue Dr. Campolo was speaking to.  Am I am betraying a lack of concern for those 30,000 kids by zeroing in on profanity?  Obviously, their deaths mean much more to God than whether some preacher said something less than appropriate.  I’m only trying to illustrate the larger issue that Jhan made mention of, which is the age old question of do the ends justify the means.  I believe the answer is no.  On the other hand, God has been able to take the less than commendable means that his people have used to still accomplish his purposes.  But if we get in the habit of constantly thinking that the ends justify the means, where do you draw the line ultimately?  If Campolo was justified in saying that one specific word, then one could reason that Campolo could just have easily displayed on a screen a morally objectionable image.  Then Campolo could have said, “you’re more concerned that I showed you this inappropriate image than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.”  Maybe this is a crazy illustration, but seriously, what argument could be made to justify what Campolo actually said, and not justify what Campolo might have shown on a screen?

Again, what do you guys think?  I look forward to your diverse responses.


  1. Great! I’m glad to hear you got such a good responce. And I agree, it’s good to hear other peoples view points in a constructive manner.

    I do have a quesion. A while back some students from SWAU did a sermon at our church. 3 or 4 times they make the comment that God cursed Jesus. I’ve not been able to find the text or what ever it was that they made mention of. The sermon sounded like a “canned” sermon, one not written by the students, I’m just wondering where it may have come from and why it was brought up. Do you have any ideas? Commets?

  2. Hmm. I must’ve missed that sermon, because I have never heard any kind of phrase like that. It does sound very bizarre. Perhaps they were referring to some phrases in Isaiah 53, but that chapter doesn’t contain that actual phrase. It sounds to me like that student was conveying an idea using misleading phraseology that gave the wrong impression. In one sense though, Jesus was under a curse from God since he was bearing our sins. Maybe that’s what he was trying to say.

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