American Christianity has become overrun with sissies. The stuff Paul wrote would never make it into a Sunday morning sermon for fear of offending the same people who spend more time boycotting The Da Vinci Code and Harry Potter than they do helping their neighbor. In fact, some of the stuff Paul wrote didn’t even make it into our common English translations…Excuse me?
So, in order to prove that this politically correct, tame, and emotionless sissiness is not where we started, I’d like to show a few examples of honest, point-blank, and truly offensive (and oh-so-awesome) material found from the very book and people this faith came from.
Let’s start with Paul. First we’ve got the censored Philippians 3:8, which you’ve probably seen like one of these:
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ (NKJV)
Not only those things, but I think that all things are worth nothing compared with the greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of him, I have lost all those things, and now I know they are worthless trash. This allows me to have Christ (NCV)
What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ (NIV)
Paul said it. He didn’t count them as “rubbish” or “worthless trash,” he counted them as the Greek “skubala,” or correctly translated–“shit.”
Then we’ve got one of my all-time favorite verses, Galations 5:12. To give a little context, I’ll include verse 11 as well (and I’ll be skipping the NKJV as, in my opinion, it’s fairly weak):
My brothers and sisters, I do not teach that a man must be circumcised. If I teach circumcision, why am I still being attacked? If I still taught circumcision, my preaching about the cross would not be a problem. I wish the people who are bothering you would castrate themselves! (NCV)
Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves! (NIV)
Now as Real Live Preacher points out, this pretty much means, “I wish those who are troubling you would cut their own balls off.” Try saying that in church and see what happens.
Both John the Baptist and Jesus used the common phrase, “brood of vipers” when addressing a group of people. According to a Wikipedia article, “In Matthew and Luke, the word used for brood implies illegitimacy, and so scholars, such as Malina and Rohrbaugh, consider a more literal translation to be snake bastards.”
Now, regardless of whether that’s the most accurate translation or not, take a look at what Jesus said here:
“You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation. (Matthew 23:33-36, NIV)
I’m pretty sure that wasn’t taken positively. And of course, we can’t forget the whole flipping tables episode.
So, with that said, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go put on some Tool. Wait…actually, it’s already playing.