Here we go again! More cussing Christians.
In case you haven’t noticed — because maybe because you’re not a frequent visitor to my blog — I’m a huge P.O.D. fan. I’ve shared their two recent music videos on my site. I just downloaded the new album off of iTunes last night, and listened to it straight through and by the time it got to the last song, I noticed something I didn’t expect. The F bomb. I’m inadvertently inundated by language like that on television or in movies, and try keeping my mind clear, despite the impossibility of it.
But to hear it on music I had purchased, well, I was a little surprised.
First, let me get a quick review out of the way and say, that without a doubt this is one of P.O.D’s best albums in years. Much better than their last release four years ago, the so-so Where Angels and Serpents Dance. If you exclude the two videos that come with the iTunes edition of the album I purchased, the album is just barely more 40 minutes long, which seems short for traditional P.O.D. albums.
However unlike their previous two or three albums, this is the first one I’ve listened to straight through without skipping songs. Stylistically, fans will still enjoy this and find it reminiscent of their earlier work from around the turn of the millennium.
They have never been strangers to controversy, as nearly a decade ago they had to prepare a ‘censored’ cover of their album for Christian bookstores. Their 2006 release had a song which had the unfortunate wording of a lyric to imply hearing the song was like a girl losing her virginity. It seems every time they have an album out, there’s just something on it to cause religious people to get their choir robes in a knot. However, I think this time it’s a little more than people being concerned about something trivial.
Is The Controversy REALLY “Necessary To Make a Point?”
For a quick understanding of the song in question, check out this post of Craig Gross’ at XXXChurch.com, where he’s posted the lyrics at length for “I am“. I can’t say I’m surprised or wasn’t expecting that there’d be Christians upset or questioning whether P.O.D. really are sincere Christians, using such superficial standards as this. However, let’s talk about this for a moment.
Why bother using such language in the first place on a Christian album? Some have commented to me on my social media where I brought this up that it’s tasteless and unnecessary. Others think it’s just an attempt to receive attention — which I’m positive it will get them. It was pointed out to me that the question in the chorus, “Who the f— is he?” is being asked from the perspective of someone who is not a follower of Jesus. And that’s how the world asks the question. But, aren’t Christians changed by the blood of Jesus? Hasn’t our nature been renewed, so that we’re not of the world? Aren’t we complete and old things have passed away?
To me, this is not a question of the musicians being unbelievers, really just sheep in wolves clothing. I have a hard time believing that. But, I do wonder the motives behind doing this, and I sincerely question when some Christians are defending it.
For the record, I’m not offended by this, I just probably will uncheck it from my iTunes to have it not show up in rotation when I listen to the rest of the album. It’s as simple as that. Granted, it’s actually censored or edited on the version I heard, so lead singer Sonny Sandoval is not clearly saying as much as it’s implied. As of this writing, I’m not certain if there’s an uncensored version or not.
Cussing Christians: From the same mouth come blessing and cursing?
It’s one thing to say “oh, it’s from the perspective of the world, who don’t know Jesus and they talk like that”. The Christian has had a nature change. We’re no longer like the world because of what Christ accomplished at the cross. For me it’s a matter of maturity. It’s a matter of mind renewal versus being desensitized enough by the things of this world that some of its mannerisms and lingo slip into our mind and vocabulary.
What about kids who are not exposed to this kind of language and learn it from a Christian band instead? As a Dutch friend pointed out to me on Facebook, Jesus led by example by being among sinners yet never sinned. Can you imagine him dropping words that for his culture were taboo or offensive?
I live in Peru. I’ve learned certain things that are nothing to me in my culture are utterly offensive here. For example, a gesture we use to indicate something is excellent, is actually a sexual gesture here. Do I keep making this gesture despite the fact I know “it’s just a gesture” and make other people tolerate that I use it? Of course not. I respect what it means where I live, and don’t use it in front of anybody.
I choose not to. The Bible says to put a guard in front of your mouth, to control yourself and not use foul language.
“From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” (James 3:10)
What are your thoughts? Have you heard the song?
Does knowing the context with which the foul language is used somehow make it less offensive?
Posts Related to Cussing Christians
P.O.D. Rocking Again – Frontman Sonny Sandoval on the band’s hiatus, the new album, and a certain strategically placed f-bomb at ChristianityToday.com
Why I Don’t Use The F-Word by J. Lee Grady
Sipping Saints – Christians and Alcohol – me, elsewhere on this blog.
Cussing Christians – Kurt Williams