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Pastor Mark Driscoll is known for establishing growing churches in urban areas not normnally associated with Evangelicalism. His success has attracted attention--and criticism. One area of concern is the Driscoll's frank use of language. "I'm a missionary to my people, so I answer the questions they are asking," Driscoll says. How do you handle potentially "offensive" language in your pulpit?

Pastor Mark Driscoll is the Preaching and Speaking pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. He is one of the world’s most downloaded and quoted pastors. His audience—fans and critics alike—spans the theological and cultural left and right. Follow his updates at twitter.com/pastorMark.

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Talk about it...

John Modgling

commented on Oct 27, 2012

I guess we need some examples because I have no idea what this video is referring to. I have never heard Mark use offensive language.

R O

commented on Oct 27, 2012

Apparently it was specific types of sexual acts (He briefly alluded to in the video).

Brad Brucker

commented on Oct 27, 2012

Ya, I know Driscoll is bold and sometimes seems to say things for shock value... But this video dialogue didn't really say anything... Hmm... Oh well...

Adrien Thorne

commented on Oct 27, 2012

Eph 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear....Col 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt...Why is this rocket science?

Adrien Thorne

commented on Oct 27, 2012

Eph 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear....Col 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt...Why is this rocket science?

Dan Deem

commented on Oct 27, 2012

There is no mention of Jesus ever using foul language to reach any audience. I will continue to follow Jesus.

Kevin White

commented on Oct 27, 2012

He has a very foul mouth. He has said about the music before and I quote, " this sh-- is awesome. ". That has nothing to do with relating to a crowd. Just shows he is wanting attention for himself and not God

Ray Goddess

commented on Oct 28, 2012

This is why the world is in the mess that it is - we feel that it is ok to change the Bible to suite our needs/world instead of preaching the Word of God as it is - THE TRUTH. If we ignore the truth of Eph 4:29 then what other truths are we ignoring....

Jerry Rogers

commented on Oct 28, 2012

Maybe the answer is simple, He does not operate out of the Spirit.

Dav Ross

commented on Oct 28, 2012

How about the words Jesus used when he called the Pharisees "whitewashed tombs". Culturally, that's a pretty big swear word, certainly wasn't polite, would have seemed unkind etc.... Would have offended lots of folk and been considered unwholesome, yet we see it as edifying. Go figure...

Kevin White

commented on Oct 29, 2012

Do your words studies man! In no way did Jesus use profanity. There is a huge difference saying the Pharisees were dead on the inside and fake on the outside than saying about ur music " this sh-- is awesome". Not even apples and oranges. This is elephants and ants.

Gerald Graham

commented on Oct 29, 2012

Let's face it. If you look into the scripture and Jesus' own words, He was well, offensive at times. But He wasn't offensive just to be offensive. He was offensive with the truth. Whether it was calling Pharisees vipers, Herod a fox, or tossing tables over in the temple. He was always pointed, always truthful and always going to offend someone even though I do not believe that was His main point. I am tired of seeing some Pastors use harsh words and actions "just because they can". It's also destructive. Everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial. I'm all for being bold and using strong words when necessary, but not just because I can and not because I like to swear. I used to do that when I was in the world (a lot!). We are called to be set apart from the world. Not live like we are a part of it.

Rev. Larry West

commented on Oct 29, 2012

Mark Driscoll, "There's alot of people who don't go to Church.." Maybe it's because they've lost hope in what they see, in people LIKE Mark Driscoll. People are looking for hope, a way out A BETTER WAY TO LIVE - not people who are just as dead spiritually as they are. Jesus went into the sinners homes, but he didn't take up there lifestyle. He met with prostitutes, but he didn't become a pimp. He showed them a better way to live and die! Mark is the poster child for the many sin-filled churches of America (notice I didn't say "sinners filled"). The prodigal got out of the hog pen. His dad didn't join him in it! Oh, and having a large church doesn't justify bad behavior.

Mark Baker

commented on Oct 29, 2012

I knew there would be some who would attempt to justify this behavior. So ... if a pastor says several explicatives then it's "okay" because Jesus offended people with the truth?

Rev. Larry West

commented on Oct 29, 2012

Mark Driscoll, "There's alot of people who don't go to Church.." Maybe it's because they've lost hope in what they see, in people LIKE Mark Driscoll. People are looking for hope, a way out A BETTER WAY TO LIVE - not people who are just as dead spiritually as they are. Jesus went into the sinners homes, but he didn't take up there lifestyle. He met with prostitutes, but he didn't become a pimp. He showed them a better way to live and die! Mark is the poster child for the many sin-filled churches of America (notice I didn't say "sinners filled"). The prodigal got out of the hog pen. His dad didn't join him in it! Oh, and having a large church doesn't justify bad behavior.

Betty Draughn

commented on Oct 29, 2012

I;ve never heard Mark speak; but I can guarantee you the pastor would only have to use one word that was a curse word or in any way "sinful", after I went up and slapped him He's my son.) I would walk out of the church. The church is to be set aside. We are "in the world but not of the world." Jesus made this very plain. I'm sorry to hear that such a large church and well-known preacher is using this kind of language. I shall be praying for him. Which, btw, I did not hear one pastor say in these remarks.

Jeff Combs

commented on Oct 30, 2012

So sad that so many see God's church, the body and bride of Christ, as a place where we are to make sinners feel so comfy. What ever happened to preaching the truth and allowing the power of the Holy Spirit to produce conviction,aka guilt? Guys like Driscoll are not "pastors" they are wolves in sheeps clothing. The church is a place where the saints gather to worship almighty God, not a place where sinners are made to feel all warm and fuzzy cause we relate so well to their pain. I, for one, am sick of this kind of so called church.

Maurice Mccarthy

commented on Oct 30, 2012

I don't understand the benefit of what he is doing, or the rationale, engaging in behavior the bible says we shouldn't do is some how profitable? Jas 3:10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Jas 3:11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?

Mark Baker

commented on Oct 30, 2012

"I get to be overly harsh, judgmental, offensive, etc but you can't 'judge' me because I'm popular and plant churches in 'urban areas' not normally associated with Evangelicals." Furthermore, "If anyone does criticize me I have people to attack them and shut down any valid concerns and criticism!"

Mark Baker

commented on Oct 30, 2012

"Christians are so _______ judgmental" or "I'm just being a missionary to MY people" or "Don't worry, I'm just being 'missional.' This gives me behavioral and theological immunity."

Mark Baker

commented on Oct 30, 2012

So ... does this mean that I get to say whatever I want? ... and if I offend anyone I can just say ... "I'm liberal 'culturally'" or "I'm just being culturally relevant" or "It's okay! I'm just trying to reach a hard to reach segment of the population" or "I'm switching hats here: I'm going from 'theologically conservative' to 'culturally liberal' ... so I can now say what I'm about to say..." or

Martin Andrews

commented on Oct 30, 2012

We as a people have no way of telling who holds the truth its God who must decide how he should except praise for praise is intended for god not for man to be glorified love is the only tool we have to see the father all pastors must take some guilt for using Christs spirit to become what is attractive to man

Martin Andrews

commented on Oct 30, 2012

We as a people have no way of telling who holds the truth its God who must decide how he should except praise for praise is intended for god not for man to be glorified love is the only tool we have to see the father all pastors must take some guilt for using Christs spirit to become what is attractive to man

John E Miller

commented on Nov 3, 2012

I find it surprising that SermonCentral gives Driscoll the oxygen of such publicity.

Josh De Belen

commented on Aug 27, 2013

Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: -Philippians 1:15What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. -Philippians 1:18

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