That’s Local Funny

This is one of those things that is funny and not funny at the same time, isn’t it? I’ll admit I find it hilarious for all of the wrong reasons. Look at your neighbor and say, “F you.

What’s the lesson here?

  • Some things are funny on paper, will work live, but probably aren’t appropriate.
  • You really need someone to look over your notes before you preach/teach/speak in public. A true friend would have gently said, “You know what? This is really funny. And it makes a great point. But no. Don’t do that.
  • Sometimes your creativity has unintended consequences. Like you congregation walking around at work the next day going, “F all of you!

HT to Britt

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in Ahwahnee, California.

10 comments

  1. Oh my!! I can’t believe he said that from the pulpit. Okay, I may have laughed, but still not appropriate.

  2. I didn’t find it inappropriate. He made it clear that forgiveness was the focal point and kept going back to it. You’re probably underestimating the congregation’s intelligence if you think they will leave that service and forget the context and meaning of “eff you” in the world outside.
    The “text your exes” part was my favorite!

  3. It’s a totally often used preaching tool. Take a cultural norm and turn it on it’s head. The “world” uses “F” as a swear, let’s use it instead as a blessing. I loved his statement “I wish I had 25 people who would said ‘I forgive you!'”

    Also, you have to take cultural aspects into consideration. Black preachers are infamous for pushing the boundaries of analogy in preaching. It would probably not work in a white church, but I didn’t see any of the congregants in the video seeming insulted at all.

    Your last point is actually VERY demeaning: “Sometimes your creativity has unintended consequences. Like you[r] congregation walking around at work the next day going, “F all of you!“” Congregants are smart enough to avoid stuff like that. And if they aren’t, it’s a great teaching opportunity.

    Your advice is correct, sermons should be checked with trusted friends, but I think you’re off the mark in regards to this video.

  4. Yeah, I’m not laughing at all. I wanted to laugh, but.. nothin’. Going off of what the ending tag said, I was not “encouraged, blessed or inspired” by that. Nobody was. I imagine he had somewhat good intentions, but instead, it’s just something that gets attention, but can not possibly affect change. Forgiveness just isn’t hip. It’s not fun.

  5. Forgiveness needs to be sincere, not flippant (like you’re giving someone the finger). The brain doesn’t work that way. That’s like going up to someone who’s wronged you and “Ha Ha, loser. You can’t hurt me, cause I forgive you.” Inside, you’re still hurt and not really forgiven. As Matt said above, I understand cultural differences change the reception of the message, but at the end of the day, what’s different? Now people can say “F you” and now it’s OK? I’m curious if he took it deeper afterward. If so, that may change things quite a bit.

  6. @Jason, you’re taking it waaaay too literally. I’m CERTAIN the preacher had no intention of having his congregation running around saying “F you!” to everyone. He intended for people to become more courageous in extending forgiveness to each other — the OPPOSITE of “F you!”.

    Preachers have lots of “tools” in their tool boxes. One of them is exhortation (which this isn’t), another is wordplay which this is. And the point of wordplay is just to help you remember the content of the message. Obviously, everyone who heard just this 2 minutes clip already remembers the content of this message clearly. Well done pastor!

  7. I don’t think I’m taking it too literally… (and I imagine that doesn’t convey well online). I know most people know what he’s saying… I can, though, envision all the middle school kids running around saying it over and over again (and not really exuding forgiveness) then claiming, “My pastor told me to say it!” I’m not saying it’s horribly wrong. I do doubt it’s effectiveness. Just seems like more ‘shock’ than anything else. I’m just not a fan of shock for shock’s sake.

    There is a scene in Mr. Holland’s Opus where Richard Dreyfuss’ character (during the 60’s) states, “…I will use anything within my power, whether it be the Beatles, Beethoven, or Billie Holiday, to teach these kids to love music.” We should have that kind of mentality when it comes to sharing the love of Christ. I’m all up for radical ideas. I didn’t get it, and I just think this one missed the mark.

  8. Yeah, I laughed, but for the wrong reasons. I like to push the envelope when I preach, and I’ve been called inappropriate, too, but I think this one is way off the mark. It shocks, and shock is a good tool, but this is just wrong in my opinion.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: