Marsha West
Profane preachers contribute to killing the conscience
By Marsha West
September 27, 2012

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. — Luke 6:45

There seems to be a growing trend in the Church for the clergy to feed the sensual appetite through their sermons. What we are dealing with are pastors who have dirty minds and potty mouths. The word that best describes them is profane.

The following definition of profane is from the Merriam Webster dictionary:

1: to treat (something sacred) with abuse, irreverence, or contempt: desecrate

2: to debase by a wrong, unworthy, or vulgar use

So profanity is language that shows disrespect for something sacred, such as the name of God. Not taking the Lord's Name in vain is one of the Ten Commandments:

Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain (Exodus 20:7).

Some pastors use obscene language that is often sexual in nature. Telling a dirty joke qualifies as obscene. The Bible makes is clear that:

Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. (Ephesians 5:4).


Pastor Mark Driscoll, founder of Mars Hill Church, Seattle Washington is highly regarded in evangelical circles. Pastor Driscoll sometimes uses profanity from the pulpit and has become known for his crude stand-up comic style preaching. The self-described theological conservative and cultural liberal has been accused of trading reverence for relevance. His congregants, most of whom are young people, take delight in hearing sermons laced with crudity. Not surprisingly, early on in his ministry one of his friends referred to him as "the cussing pastor." Today he's criticized for more than cussing; he has been accused of making "disgusting comments" of "dirty talk" and turning Bible verses into punch lines for crude jokes.

Mark Driscoll holds a Master of Arts degree in exegetical theology from Western Seminary so he must know that James 3:9-10 says, "bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be."

Critics of the superstar pastor say that he's coarsening the hearts and minds of generation Y. Here's an example from Pastor Driscoll writing about the biblical character of Queen Esther:

She grows up in a very lukewarm religious home as an orphan raised by her cousin. Beautiful, she allows men to tend to her needs and make her decisions. Her behavior is sinful and she spends around a year in the spa getting dolled up to lose her virginity with the pagan king like hundreds of other women. She performs so well that he chooses her as his favorite. Today, her story would be, a beautiful young woman living in a major city allows men to cater to her needs, undergoes lots of beauty treatment to look her best, and lands a really rich guy whom she meets on The Bachelor and wows with an amazing night in bed. She's simply a person without any character until her own neck is on the line, and then we see her rise up to save the life of her people when she is converted to a real faith in God. (Source)

This is disturbing on so many levels. Because space does not allow further comment, those who wish a complete analysis of Driscoll's disgraceful teaching on Esther read Mark Driscoll's Bizarre World of Queen Esther the "Bachelorette"


Boyce College professor Heath Lambert wrote an extensive book review of the New York Times best-selling book by Pastor Mark and his wife, Grace, Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together, for the Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Lambert lamented:

Make no mistake: men and women will be introduced to pornography because of this book. For almost my entire ministry I have been talking to at least one person a week who struggles with pornography. I do not live in some sheltered ministry context away from people with perverse struggles. As true as that is, the Driscolls taught me a lot about pornography I wish I never knew. The Driscolls introduce their readers to the titles of pornographic books, magazines, and videos; they provide technical names for specific kinds of pornographic films; they list the names of celebrities who have starred in pornography; they even provide web addresses where readers can meet people for sex. As I look back on that sentence I am overwhelmed that a Christian minister could be so irresponsible. I can tell you for an absolute fact that there are young men and women all across the country who will read Real Marriage, have their interest piqued by some of the details the Driscolls provide, will turn to Google for a search on those things, and will not come up for air again for hours — perhaps months and years. If you or someone you love struggles with pornography the Driscolls' book will do serious damage. (Source)

Dr. Lambert's conclusion:

I pray that you ... will spare yourself, those you love, and those in your ministry the many troubles of Real Marriage by focusing on a Christian book on marriage that is more helpful.

In Grunge Christianity Pastor and Bible expositor John MacArthur cautioned:

The problem with the "grunge" approach to religion is that it works against the sanctifying process. In fact, in one of the messages I listened to, Driscoll actually boasted that his sanctification goes no higher than his shoulders. His defense of substitutionary atonement might help his disciples gain a good grasp of the doctrine of justification by faith; but the lifestyle he models — especially his easygoing familiarity with all this world's filthy fads — practically guarantees that they will make little progress toward authentic sanctification. (emphasis in original)

Christianity Today had this to say about Mark Driscoll:

Though not a Baptist, he has won a following among many young Baptist ministers and church planters, particularly those who share his Reformed theology. But Driscoll's history of using risqué language, and the fact that he drinks alcohol and talks about sex, angers those who say his approach undermines his message.

Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, would agree. Dr. Mohler spoke at a conference and during the lively Q&A session someone in the audience asked him to respond to the effects Mark Driscoll's teaching has on college students who listen to him preach on his website or on YouTube. The man wondered how he could best prepare to minister to them. Dr. Mohler prefaced his response by saying:

"Wherever the gospel is found, we need to be happy about that. And I'm thankful that Mark Driscoll believes in, teaches and preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I appreciate and admire his boldness and tenacity."

He went on to say that he has grave concerns over Driscoll's "excessive contextualization." After discussing the implications of this sort of teaching, he moved on to the obscenity issue:

"There are some things that gospel pastors never need to talk about, ever, because they are not on the screen of a gospel application — they're simply not there. Other things should never be talked about in the full congregation."

After explaining his reasons Mohler says:

"There are certain things that Pastor Driscoll speaks about that I would never speak to anyone about. I don't think it is the responsibility of a gospel pastor to even have to talk about some of those things."

He then lowers the boom:

"I would not be comfortable speaking the same way, nor would I want my students to do that. I think if they did, we'd have a pretty stern conversation."

Mohler's opinion of going to church on YouTube?

"It's a lousy place to go if you're not discerning and if you go for hero worship and you're [thinking] 'this guy is cool and I want to be like him.'"

He supposes Driscoll would agree that hero worship is not what anyone should do. (Source)

On one blog I visited, someone took issue with Driscoll for referring to Jesus as "dude" and snapped back, "Jesus Christ was not a dude, He was a King!"

To be fair, Mark Driscoll is not the only "foul-mouthed narcissist rock-star pastor" in the visible Church. I singled him out for three reasons: 1) His growing popularity; 2) His growing influence, even among pastors; 3) His unbiblical teaching. ( More on Mark Driscoll below)


Certainly the entertainment industry has contributed to killing the conscience. But a strong case can be made that profane preachers are likewise guilty of dulling the conscience.

What we have in some of our churches — not all of them by a long shot — are crowd pleasing shepherds who seem not to worry about feeding dung to their sheep. Moreover, they make little or no attempt to "rightly divide the Word of truth." (2 Tim. 2:15) In fact some of our clergy are so spiritually bankrupt that they think nothing of holding the Holy Bible while using profanity and crude examples to drive home a theological point!

It is not a stretch to say that some preachers seem to believe that the Lord Jesus is so pleased by their provocative preaching that they actually envision themselves receiving a high-five and, "Atta boy, dude!" the very moment they emerge in heaven.


In Jesus Christ the holiness of God appeared in the flesh. God himself reminds us:

"Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be you holy: for I am the LORD your God" (Leviticus 20:7).

"[H]oliness is regarded by many as a moral attribute of God," says R.A. Finlayson, "having the sense, positively, of purity, and, negatively, of complete freedom from sin. It is thus a general term for the moral excellence of God, and His freedom from all moral limitations in His moral perfection, or as Habakkuk called Him: 'of purer eyes than to behold evil and cannot look upon sin'" (Source)

My objective continues to be to address the many issues we find in the postmodern (liberal) Church and in this case to warn that there are professing Christians such as pastors, teachers, authors, conference speakers, televangelists, and entertainers who contribute to killing the conscience. Until now, many of you were unaware that famous pastors deliberately use inappropriate language in their sermons, likewise in their blogs, emails and tweets. No doubt some of you find this hard to believe. Well, the cat is out of the bag. And, as I said, it's a growing trend.

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron (1 Tim 4:1).


Mark Driscoll: Is he qualified to lead? — By Cathy Mickels

The rape of song of Solomon — By John MacArthur

John MacArthur on "Profanity in the Pulpit," and my two cents — By Greg Laurie (Note: It is disappointing that pastor and evangelist Greg Laurie felt it was important to add his two cents to what Pastor John MacArthur wrote on Mark Driscoll in 2009, and then in 2011 agree to join Driscoll and others for the Elephant Room 1 conference. Later Pastor Laurie decided to "hang out" with Mark Driscoll as you will see here.)

Highway to Hell — Pyromaniacs blog — Here you will see 2 videos of popular Pastor Perry Nobel deliberately use profanity. With him in video #2 are pastors Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald.

The Holiness of God — By Professor R.A. Finlayson

Video: (Graphic)

"I see things." Mark Driscoll claims he has a visual ability to see things that happened to people in the past. He goes into detail about what he has seen such as people being beaten, raped, molested, children dedicated into a cultic group and demons come upon them...and more. He believes this is the gift of discernment. In response to "I see things" Phil Johnson wrote: Pornographic Divination.


Mark Driscoll explains his use of profanity

© Marsha West


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)


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