For Christ’s Sake
Ah yes, the debate rages on at Mike Duran’s blog over profanity in fiction written by Christians. It’s even been implied that Mike sinned by posting a portion of Flannery O’Connor’s writing wherein a character takes the Lord’s name in vain. I’m sure this is what the Son of God had in mind when he said He’d build His church and the Gates of Hell would not prevail against it. Forget mass rape, ethnic cleansing, sex trafficking, child slavery, political deceit, corporate corruption… I’m gripped with the implacable certainty of the newly converted that Jesus suffered the agony of Crucifixion so fictitious characters everywhere wouldn’t be shackled with having to utter George Carlin’s Seven Dirty Words.
Lets tidy up the Golgotha scene, shall we? How about a Body-by-Solo-Flex Jesus spread on the Cross with a trickle of blood on his brow and a touch of indigestion on His face? As if a Band-aid and a Tums could take care of the world’s wickedness and rebellion. Far more family friendly, culturally sensitive and less offensive all around.
People who profess belief in an Almighty God, a Risen Savior, and eternal unseen realms should be able to exercise discernment and see past the cosmetics to the content. People who profess to be redeemed from the power and penalty of their own sin by the death and resurrection of the second person of the Godhead should be gripped by sense of humility and proportion in dealing with their fellow human beings. People who speak of grace, relationship and liberty in the spirit should be able to comprehend the principle and person behind the commandments. Yet even though the Prodigal Son can return and the adulterous woman doesn’t have to be bludgeoned to death by cinderblocks, somehow fictional protagonists who speak in character are first against the wall. Along with the authors.
I realize there are external indicators to internal conditions (trees and fruit) and I agree with Mike that some “expletives ARE being flippant, profane, sloppy, and sacrilegious. I’m not defending them. The Bible is very clear about the power of words, the venom in our tongues, and our responsibility to watch how we speak.”
I’m simply saying the conversation is far too close to a diet of gnat-free camels for my taste.
Was it Phillip Yancey who said the Three Humiliations of God were the Incarnation, the Crucifixion and the Church? I’m so goddamned tired of bickering, snide accusations, and navigating teapot tempests, I’m not surprised someone made a t-shirt that reads “JESUS SAVE ME! from your followers.” Time for us to judge a righteous judgment. For Christ’s sake.