Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Harsh Language of the Bible

You want to know the dirtiest verse in all the Bible? It's right here.

Sorry, I won't tell you what Ezekiel said. Go ahead and call me a prude. Besides, I bet you clicked the link because curiosity got the best of you.

So, why does the Bible, that book where every verse is inspired by God, why does Scripture sometimes use harsh, shocking, cursing, dirty language? Especially when the Apostle Paul commands, "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things" (Philippians 4:8)

Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, provides good insight in the above video, and will address the question more in depth at an upcoming conference.

But I also like what Pastor Douglas Wilson, in a frank book to men called Fidelity, says about the topic:
"We laugh at dirty jokes on the television shows we watch, but woe betide to the poor idiot who tries to tell the same joke in the church foyer the next morning. His sin is not the joke, which half the church enjoyed in the privacy of their own homes, but rather his unwitting exposure of their dishonesty...

(When) Ezekiel rails against the adulterous idolatry of the Israelites by using sexual imagery of the most graphic sort... (he) uses obscenity to reveal the real obscenity of doing such things in defiance of God's law. A modern analogy is the practice of pro-life activists using pictures of dismembered children in their literature. Obscene? Yes, but the point is to expose the real obscenity, which is the practice of dismembering them.

Ezekiel was more concerned about the obscenity he was exposing than the obscenity he was using... He is being obscene, but not sinful...

My point is simply to show that godly obscenity exists... (Sometimes) scientific or medical language is not suited for prophetic rebuke."

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