1. Just Sayin'

    I’m with you right up till the unnecessary vulgarity at the end (and in the title).

  2. John

    You have totally disgraced yourself with your language at the end of your post. You need to read Ephesians 5:4, Ephesians 4:29, Colossians 4:6, Matthew 12:36 and on and on and on.

  3. DageshForte

    Hi John,
    Are you referring to the F in WTF? or “balls”? If the former, we disagree. WTF is a chunk that symbolizes an annoyed sense of shock or being stupefied. Lots of folks nowadays use it for that without spelling it out or meaning anything perversely sexual. In fact, one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes now is called WTF with Marc Maron and all of his intros are him playing with WTF and giving the phrase various substantival endings. Its funny. Give it a listen. Its not mean. Its not name calling. Its comedy. I think that meaning is defined by context and in the context of this post, I don’t think I was disgraceful. I think I was frustrated with my own church and that’s what WTF connotes. If you’re the language police and insist that some words, abbreviated or not, are always bad, then you will always have career opportunities as a 9th grade English teacher.
    If you’re talking about balls, I’m happy to give you a list of Scriptures where private parts are used in Scripture to make a point—usually a prophetic point against some falsehood (hmmm… that sounds kinda familiar).
    Did you also write Matt Chandler and tell him that he disgraced himself by teaching falsehoods that he claimed were from Scripture? What do you think does more long term damage: a half-way anonymous blogger who uses three letter abbreviations you don’t like or a nationally known pastor who fails to offer the hope of Jesus? Glad to see you can get mad enough about something to comment on a blog. But try getting mad about something worthwhile… like the fact that Right Now Media charges churches for crap and then doesn’t let users comment on that material. Enough mad voices could actually do something about that.
    Much love to you John and your righteous anger,

  4. Justin Stout

    DageshForte, i had no problem with the profanity in your writing. I really like that you’re willing to call someone of Christian “fame” to a level of accountability. I will say this: if you’re going to use WTF, (which i sincerely liked) have the “balls” to acknowledge that the larger context, Maron not withstanding, is that pretty much every one using that abbreviation defines it as “what the fuck”. Stand up for what you seem to believe- namely that “bad words” won’t send you to hell and defend your writing. I don’t think you intended it any other way than how you spoke of, certainly the context would support ideas of frustration and confusion over sexuality. While i sincerely applaud your willingness to critique Chandler on how he approaches suffering (there he is clearly doing some proof texting and out right poor hermeneutics) as i have similarly been frustrated, i would say this- you seem to care about christianity, and the health of the church, maybe the last thing it needs is christians speaking condescendingly about each other. I think the primary idea of your article has significant merit. I sincerely applaud someone calling Chandler on doing poor work on the subject, and i even think theres people in the “church” who have condescension coming. I like that you used profanity because it challenges people to see someone with knowledge, depth, and care for the church that doesn’t conform to arbitrary rules they’ve created about which words are ok, because its so much easier to tell ourselves that when we are commanded to watch what we say it means bad words, not pointless gossip, or bs (thats bull shit) bitching. (you know things that actually cause damage to people) When i see Chandler, i see someone who does genuinely care, and try to live out his beliefs. Its a guy who gave up money for ministry, and stuck with God in good times and bad. He does need to be called on his half assed approach to scholarship, but of the guys with his speaking talent, he’s one of the few willing to call the church on some of its crap, and not grub for money or shy away from tough subjects. I think poor scholarship is a major sin of the emergent church types and chandler is guilty, but few are inspired to a faith based on a love so weak that its adherents can only sling poo at each other, and love has little room for condescension. I guess in short i’d say my problem with you language had nothing to do with profanity but rather with your more damaging arrogant tone. In full disclosure i’m just an atheist but i do want the best for the church, because the less damage they do the better- and while all ministers eventually damage some people id be willing to bet Matt’s percentages are far better than most and at least (i used to know him and some of his friends personally, though i would not characterize us as having ever been friends) i know he’s the same guy on and off the pulpit- as much as anyone could reasonably expect. If i’ve read your bible correctly isn’t a little grace, compassion, and humility, sort of a trademark for your faith when dealing with each other?

  5. DageshForte

    Hi Justin

    Thanks for your interaction. BTW its your Bible too.

    We disagree on WTF. Maybe I’m being too much of a construction grammar nerd, but its a chunk that is used apart from the “perverse” sexual usage of the F in WTF. I totally agree that bad language doesn’t get one sent to hell, but I don’t think WTF is bad language, just a little on the crude side (much like a pic of bovine testicles).

    Either you’ve missed the point of my post or I haven’t clearly communicated. My “arrogance” and “condescension” was not directed at Matt Chandler. As I wrote, I’ve heard him preach many times as a kid. Now as an adult, I was greatly disappointed to see that he is actually a very poor Bible teacher though he is an excellent communicator. I don’t think its arrogant or condescending to tell a Bible teacher that they’re teaching the Bible wrong. He clearly doesn’t read Biblical Hebrew or he wouldn’t say things about Hebrew that are 100% wrong. He clearly doesn’t think theology through to say that we must wait 10,000 years to realize the hope we have in Jesus. He’s bad at teaching the Bible. And I don’t think its arrogant or condescending to say so.

    But my post is obviously angry and annoyed, but not at Chandler. My anger is specifically aimed at my own church family who has incredibly low standards when it comes to Bible teaching. We spend our tithe dollars on the garbage that Right Now Media puts out and it makes me angry. Right Now Media does not allow comments on the videos they put out, so the only way to discuss them online is through blogs and social media (BTW I did tweet Chandler about his Hebrew mistake but he didn’t respond). I have talked to folks in my church family about this issue and expressed my feeling that we have the lowest of low standards when it comes to Bible teaching that isn’t from one of our ministers. I have also found that my church isn’t the only one with such low standards and others are just as mad about it as me. So, I shared my thoughts with others here on Joel’s blog. The feedback I’ve gotten has been all positive except for the comments here.

    Yes, our language is supposed to be marked with grace and compassion. But sometimes frustration takes over and we can be angry in our language, just like anybody else. Joel has already pointed to places in Scripture where this happens. I could point to loads more. Believers are supposed to live and act certain ways, but what about when they don’t? What’s the answer? Should I shut up or tame my words to be more acceptable to you and Just Sayin’ and John (who’ve commented above)? Maybe, but I already didn’t. So, you can choose to ignore me as an arrogant, condescending jerk who can’t practice what he preaches, or you could read closer and see what I’m preaching before y’all lay your own expectations on me. I’m really fine with either.

    I think what’s more important when language gets rough is for people to continue to love each other even though they might not like what the other is saying. I’m happy to report that this is kind of relationship I have with my church family. We tell each other what we honestly think (without rules on language) and we are committed to working though issues as a family. You ever cussed your own family? I have. We still love each other.



  6. I’m not a fan of your crudeness, I think it’s a weak attempt to be culturally relevant. That being said, your are absolutely correct to call out Matt Chandler on his horrific hermeneutic. Sadly this is nothing new with Chandler. I used to attend his church and after a while, just couldn’t take the error filled sermons any longer. In fact, the second half of his book, the Explicit Gospel, is based on a faulty understanding of the ministry of reconciliation. This is a symptom of the problem so common in evangelical churches today who elevate men to a position of leadership/prominence based on their charisma rather than their ability to “…rightly divide the word of truth…” Of course, the reason this happens is because most elders/deacons and pew sitting members haven’t the slightest clue about proper exegesis based on a sound, consistent hermeneutic. Thus, we have leaders who are a reflection of the people they are supposed to lead. Leaders like Chandler with no theological training who jumble truth and error together like a tossed salad. Thankfully, Chandler gets the most important things right, but when anyone with half a brain and an ability to read anything in any document in context listens to or reads a guy like Chandler, they can easily discredit the truth by pointing out the error. Until more people hold guys like Chandler accountable, this will be an ongoing and troublesome problem.


  7. I’m a little late in posting here as I just found out about Chandler two years ago and just now found out that he had an apologetics study…I haven’t watched it, but I read your post. I think you missed his point. Chandler is my age. I have been all over the world and seen much suffering. Since you are a bit younger, regarding your mention of Chandler speaking at your youth camp and your use of vulgarity, I would beseech you to slow down and stop throwing rocks at men of God. You can always write them a private letter or e-mail and let the Holy Spirit do the rest. You write well, use that to encourage, exhort, and correct but in the appropriate setting. Blessings.


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