TVG and emergent blogs…

So last night, I was watching a movie with my fiance and all of the sudden a curse word came flying through the speaker — another actor cursed at me. The TVG wasn’t filtering the curse words. I already put up with so much cursing anytime I venture outside the walls of my abode (which is separate from my fiance’s, to avoid any confusion); thus, it absolutely urks me to be cursed at in a context where I am trying to relax and watch a movie in a private, Christian residence.  

Then, in an instant, my mind wandered to my own inconsistency in practice. I read emergent/emerging blogs all the time. I read emergent/emerging facebook notes all the time. I actually encounter more cursing via my online interaction with emergent/emerging than I do in all the movies I have seen in the last fiscal year.

For example, just yesterday, I read Tony Jones’ blog. He can’t even talk about a children’s movie without using an expletive.

  1. #1 by clearly on August 20, 2007 - 10:34 am

    P.S. I threw the word “Fiscal” up there, just to sound smart.

  2. #2 by Chris L on August 20, 2007 - 10:52 am


    Just to be, um, clear, since we’ve discussed the difference between ’emerging’ and ’emergent’, Tony Jones is part of Emergent Village (EV), which is considered to be “Emergent”, which would comprise the leftward end of the ECM spectrum, whereas ’emerging’ (which is not formally informally organized as EV) churches, like Vintage Faith and Mars Hill, tend to be at the rightward end of the spectrum.

    I know a number of emerging folks who have an issue with Jones’ frequent use of curse words, though some question why cursing is singled out, but slandering/demeaning your Christian brothers (on the part of the accusers) is given a pass. Personally, I hate both.

  3. #3 by phil on August 20, 2007 - 10:54 am

    I’m being serious here, not trying to be snarky. Where is the list of profane words and who keeps them. I assume you’re talking about the “hell” in his post, which ironically, you’ve probably typed 50 times on this blog. I understand the context is different (don’t get me started on how that relates to Scripture), but I think your reaction seems a little harsh over that word.

    I know Christians from India and Europe who are actually very conservative, and use that word in the way Tony used it, and don’t think a thing about it. I guess my point is that is from the heart that our speech flows. People can be hateful without using “bad” words. In a way, I think some pastors and leaders in the EC have come from very legalistic backgounds, and now they feel it necessary to flaunt their newfound freedoms. Personally, I think there are better ways to say what needs said than resorting to swearing, and using it for shock value is somewhat childish.

  4. #4 by clearly on August 20, 2007 - 10:54 am

    I understand where EV stands, I believe.

    However, do you believe my post is slanderous?

  5. #5 by clearly on August 20, 2007 - 10:58 am


    I will obviously disagree with you on the usage of the word hell.

    However, that was not the point of the my post. Tony’s blog was an example — one that illustrated my point that I actually get cursed at more from e/e blogs than I do via television.

  6. #6 by Chris L on August 20, 2007 - 11:05 am


    Oh, no – I don’t believe this post is slanderous (my apologies if you took it to mean that – rereading it, I can see how you might). I’m saying that a certain unnamed website at the forefront of looking for specks in eyes (not this one) could fairly easily be criticized for missing the logs in its own.

    I am reminded of an anecdote credited to several Christian speakers that goes something like this:

    In the Sudan this morning, at least 5,000 children have died for disease and starvation since this service started and most Christians don’t give a **** about it.

    The sad thing is; most of you are probably more upset I said the word **** from the pulpit than that 5,000 children died this morning.

    I would say that the orthopraxy around personal holiness in the Emergent church is as deficient in one direction (toward laxity) as it is in the Fundamentalist church (toward legalism) in America, today. However, I would say that the emerging church is closer to an ideal than either (which is one of the key differentiators between -ing and -ent).

  7. #7 by clearly on August 20, 2007 - 11:12 am

    Chris L,

    There is a stream of fundamentalism that is very externals driven — their sanctification tends to be works centered — they are rabid about the KJV, etc. That stream is becoming less and less influential.

  8. #8 by phil on August 20, 2007 - 11:13 am

    Actually, I don’t really use the word “hell” as slang, really. I always use the church-safe substitute – “heck”. It do find it funny when I hear the people I mentioned talk that way in front of some of the more conservative people at our church. It’s just funny, because they just can’t think of it as an actual swear word.

  9. #9 by Henry Frueh on August 20, 2007 - 1:18 pm

    I refuse to read anyone’s blog that uses profanity in any form. I have heard it all and at one time used it all. I prefer not to hear it and read others promote it.

    It doesn’t mean they’re not saved, it just means they refuse to allow God to remove it. It is either laziness or an attempt to be relevant.

  10. #10 by bob on August 20, 2007 - 1:36 pm


    do you really view the two reasons that you cited (laziness, or an attempt at relevance) as the sole reasons that somebody would use profanity?

    i’m asking this question in all seriousness.

  11. #11 by Henry Frueh on August 20, 2007 - 4:04 pm

    The only other reasons would be an addiction or they don’t really care. What other reasons would there be to disobey God in a careless way?

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