“Whore?”

OK, so I am reading through the Bible right now and, while hanging out with Jeremiah and Ezekiel I have noticed that God seems to be saying the word “whore” a lot to describe how He felt about Israel.

My first thought was, “Can God say ‘whore?’”  See for yourself here, God uses the word twenty times in these two books of the Bible—seven times in Ezekiel 16.  I will admit while reading that chapter I became amazingly uncomfortable.

God said “whore!”  Actually He inspired Jeremiah and Ezekiel to say it—which I am sure sent the bloggers of the day into action, calling them “irreverent” and saying that God has nothing to do with their ministry.

After studying this for a while I thought of a few other instances where God led someone to say something that definitely caused a religious eyebrow to raise.

Take for example what Jesus said in Matthew 23:33-36 Jesus called the religious leaders of the day “snakes,” which was a MAJOR insult in that time period.  Why?  Think back to Genesis chapter three when satan first appeared on scene…what form did he take?  Yep—a snake!  That is why, when Jesus called them snakes He was actually calling them the devil…amazing.  Can Jesus really say something like that?  (You can also check out Matthew 23:15, wow, can Jesus say that?)

And then there’s good ‘ole Paul…what he said in Galatians 5:12 in regards to those insisting on circumcision actually makes me cringe and blush at the same time…he actually said that he wished those obsessed with the religious ritual of circumcision would actually cut off their…uh…their…uh…well, you get the picture.
Can God say that?  I mean, Paul said it—but we all agree that the Scriptures were written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, right?  (II Peter 1:20-22)

So…God said “whore,” called religious leaders “snakes” and told religious people to basically go ahead and cut it off.  WOW!  So much for the safe, tame and predictable God that most churches portray.

What am I saying with this post?  Simple—there are times that a speaker is called to say things that will shock and offend people…and that is ok.  I don’t personally think a speaker should ever try to be shocking just for the sake of doing so…but I do believe, according to Scripture, that there are times when controversial and bold statements need to be made!  (Like this summer when Steven preached at NewSpring and said, “To hell with spaghetti suppers!”)

I’ve used strong language in the past…and it has caused a stir.  Once I remember saying that I believe college students need to stop praying for purity and instead stop sticking their hands down each others pants.  It was amazingly uncomfortable…I remember a mother of a middle school student approaching me and asking if that was necessary & that she was concerned about her middle school child hearing things like that.  I told her that if her child was in middle school he needed to hear that more than anyone in the room!

Another time I stole a line from Mark Driscoll and said that men need to step up and lead their families and stop watching porn…that we are called to charge the gates of hell and that it is incredible difficult to charge hell with our pants around our ankles, a bottle of lotion in one hand and a box of Kleenex in the other.

Oh wow!  The next week I got about seven e-mails/phone calls telling me that my comment was inappropriate.  Right!  Because men don’t struggle with that issue AT ALL!!!

I think it is time that more pastors stepped up with confidence and said exactly what God told them to say.  Once again, we should never try to shock or offend people—BUT if we are faithful to speak God’s Word then people will be shocked and offended…just ask the people who were called whores and told go go and cut their…well…you know…

HEY!  Don’t get mad at me…God said it!  Tell Him that He has a potty mouth if you dare!  Seriously, go ahead…explain to Him that He is irreverent in His use of “crude” language to get His point across.  Want to?  I didn’t think so!

Pastors…my advice on this (for what it’s worth), study the Scriptures, pray like crazy, listen to God and then speak with authority.  You WILL offend someone…either the people because you speak truth, OR, you will offend God in an attempt to keep the religious comfortable.

The choice is yours.