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Why We Use ‘Sucks’

March 1, 2005 by

Some people take issue with our use of the word ‘sucks’, and we understand their concerns. Growing up, some on our team weren’t even allowed to use the word, and our moms still don’t like it.

Looking to the Bible, we don’t find a list of ‘naughty’ words to stay away from. In Ephesians 4:29, Paul admonishes us to watch the way we talk. This doesn’t refer to specific words, but to the character of what we say. Looking through the book of Job and the book of Psalms, there are some pretty choice words used by men of God. In Job 3:8, Job says “May those who are good at cursing curse that day” (MSG). There’s plenty of precedence when it comes to being authentic in our emotions and feelings—that includes the words we use.

Which is exactly what we’re doing with the name Church Marketing Sucks.

We’re being authentic. We’re being real. We’re doing the same thing we’re asking the church to do when it comes to communicating and marketing who they are.

Profanity is culturally and contextually defined. There’s nothing inherently bad about any word. In our changing culture previously profane words are losing their original unwholesome associations. ‘Suck’ no longer references a sexual act in today’s context. Instead, it means something disagreeable or offensive (some might say our defense of the word ‘suck’ sucks). Likewise you could be just as profane and unwholesome using clinical language—it’s the context that makes the difference.

In the end we’re trying to help the church. We have better things to do than argue word choice, and we think the church does, too.

Many recall a familiar message by Tony Campolo where he uses the four-letter “s” word. Iterations exist all over the place (including the Internet), but the context goes something like “[This many] children have died of hunger today and you don’t give a s–t! In fact, you are more concerned with the fact that I said ‘s–t’ than [this many] children died of hunger.”

While this story may be a little harsh to those of you who don’t like our word choice, the point remains. Too often the church gets distracted by lesser things and misses the point. Our point is that church marketing is lame and needs some help. We’re using strong language to get your attention and make that point, but the point isn’t our word choice—it’s church marketing.

Read through the site. We hope what we’re doing pleases God and is helping churches around the world, and that isn’t lessened by a word thought to be vulgar once upon a time. If you don’t think so, we apologize for offending you.

In fact, we understand your concern and have made an alternate url available: It will redirect to, but if you have a problem printing the word ‘sucks’ we’d encourage you to use this less offensive alternative. (read our press release Church Marketing Sucks Provides Alternative Address)

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998 and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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115 Responses to “Why We Use ‘Sucks’”

  • Sita-pati das
    March 1, 2005

    When I thought about the name, I thought it could be understood in the sense of “Church Marketing Attracts”, or “Church Marketing Stinks”. I thought it was a good double entendre. I still think it is. If you play up the “Attracts” angle of the word “Sucks” (along with the vaccuum cleaner logo), you may be able to pacify the minds of those who take issue with the language.

  • snozrap
    March 1, 2005

    I thought that ‘Church Marketing Sucks’ was a play on the title of the marketing book ‘Your Marketing Sucks’.
    It’s a shame so many Christians have a problem with it. I remember reading years ago that many Christian bookstores wouldn’t carry an album by Christian punk band Squad 5-0, because it had a song with ‘explicit language’. That song being ‘Our State Flag Sucks’. Sucks was the offending word. Perhaps the anti-patriotism was also a problem…

  • brand1m
    March 2, 2005

    Sometimes the truth hurts.

  • timsamoff
    March 2, 2005

    Now you’ll just have to dynamically change the CMS logo every time someone uses the alternate URL. ;)

  • wendy
    April 4, 2005

    The truth of it is, it’s a just word, it’s witty (vaccuum logo), it gets the point across, AND it gets your attention – I fail to see a problem with that.

  • Anazopyreo
    April 17, 2005

    You know, I just grew up with the word ‘sucks’ and I never associated it with anything wrong until my mother suddenly started letting me know that she hated me saying it. It took me a long time to figure out why and then i wasn’t really sure that was the reason. A few choice bumper stickers made it clear to me. To me it has never meant anything other than something is not good.

    April 18, 2005

    The 10 Commandments Don’t List Profanity

    When I was your age, I could cuss with the best of them. I’d let loose with a string of four-letter words I’d heard from R-rated movies or when my dad let slip when a project wasn’t working. Using swear…

  • Scott Self
    May 4, 2005

    Much church marketing sucks in two senses – one is “suckiness,” and the other is the way in which many churches “suck” out the meaning and mission of their churches when they advertize.
    But I STILL don’t say “suck’s” to my mom.

  • Reub
    May 22, 2005

    i run an outreach project called “THE VERB… talk is cheap”. to help support your ministry here are some alternatives to my organization’s name:
    “THE VERB… talk can be sucky”
    “THE VERB… don’t use sucky talk”
    “THE VERB… talk without action sucks”
    ;) my witty comments must suck at least a few of you into checking out my website ;)

    • D. R. Leach
      December 3, 2012

      Yes, if you repent you are.

    • Jill Straug
      March 14, 2014

      Who cares about your ‘sucky’ website. And No, I won’t be visiting it. It probably sucks just like your comment.

  • Joe
    June 29, 2005

    SUCK SUCK SUCK. Yup, I’m still a Christian.

    • Mike
      September 14, 2010

      Yes, and while God still sent His Son for you and still oves you, He would probably still wish you’d use another word.

      • Doreen
        July 27, 2011

        Could you fix the ‘L’ on loves?

    • Nick
      June 21, 2012

      Insistence on practicing worldliness is not a Christian character trait.

  • Melissa
    August 1, 2005

    I assumed you used it because having “church” and “sucks” in the url made it exceptionally easy to get the domain you wanted! Or that you were also raised close to your delightful, Godly, British Grandmother who often referred to negative things based on the fact that they “sucked as the bitter of a lemon” …. a most common and acceptable thing to say :>)

  • Alison
    August 11, 2005

    Hmm. Try removing the word “marketing”

  • Aaron
    August 19, 2005

    I found this site through a Yahoo search and when I saw the title “Church Marketing Sucks” I knew it would be GREAT! The name is liberating!

  • James Dickerson
    August 20, 2005

    I say suck in my Sunday sermons alot (along with a few other choice words my Granny would wash my tongue for using). This I do because we are branded as a “reality church”. After careful study of surveys we conducted in our area (St. Louis, Mo) we found that many people don’t attend church because “people in church are fakes”. With this in mind The Community OF Faith Church developed a “Keepin’ it Real” approach to ministry and marketing.
    That is why I visited this site in the first place. “Church Marketing Sucks” said to me “Keepin’ it Real”.

  • J.C Jennings
    August 23, 2005

    Keep up the good work. I love this site and I’m checking it often. Our Church is looking for ways to keep up with today’s culture and verbage is a huge area. I used to sub “inhales quickly” for “sucks” but no more.
    I spoke at our church this past Sunday and I actually used a post from this site as research material. And I said Sucks too. If you’re interested in listening. Check out our url and look for the Aug. 21st message “The Standing Army”

  • Rob Adcox
    August 25, 2005

    Well, here’s something for ya: I’ve been cheated out of a lot of student loan money (about $60,000 worth, a conservative estimate) by so-called “Christians” in three universities. One of them was Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, another was Liberty University, and the third was Radford University. The “Christians” who ran the programs I was in thought nothing of giving me the ol’ shaft-a-roonie, but Heaven Forbid that anyone in their presence should let slip an impolite word, because THAT would be VULGAR, now wouldn’t it? The lesson I learned in the “Christian” schools, and among the “Christian” department heads and professors in secular universities, is that cheating and back-stabbing are okay, but foul language is unacceptable. GAG. The hypocrisy sickens me. As far as I’m concerned, the so-called “Christians” at those universities all S-U-C-K.

  • nartz
    August 28, 2005

    haha, i thought at first the use of suck was an ironic retort at how churches, through the use of marketing, are becoming so worldly. guess not. haha

  • Jon
    August 31, 2005

    You people are ridiculous. “Looking to the Bible, we don’t find a list of ‘naughty’ words to stay away from.” you have to be kidding me. I’m going to yell the ‘F’ word next sunday in church as loud as I can and say, “The bible doesnt say you cant say that.” Your using the Holy Bible in a way it wasn’t meant to be used. You can’t just extract things out of the Bible and use it to say see this is okay or see thats okay. You can pull anything out of the bible out of its context and use it in an argument. Anyway. Jesus rocks and he’s a lot cooler than you guys. Good luck.

  • Keith Brenton
    September 1, 2005

    I suspect the stigma associated with the verb “sucks” now that Dish Network is running a series of clever ads about TVs that suck because they’re on cable.
    Soon, my 9- and 12-year-old children will be using the word and I will cringe at first and then grow used to it and remind them not to say it when we visit Grandma.
    Do words lose their power from overuse? Their power to shock, inspire, convict? Will we have to coin new ones? Will the name of this site eventually have to be changed to ‘Church Marketing Snorks!’ or ‘Church Marketing Flunts!’ or even something as vile as ‘Church Marketing Audits!’?
    We shall see.

  • John
    September 3, 2005

    WOW, my wife hates that word too. So in jest, I looked up “suck” in Webster’s and found out that it meant “to inhale profusely.” So I’ve started saying “that inhales profusely”, instead… That really sucks!

  • Brian
    September 12, 2005

    I LOVE your message. I love what you are saying. I get it. I’m 27, worked doing graphic design for a couple of years, and now am a Pastor and I love it.
    However, there are two things that I want to throw out for you to think about…
    1) Finish reading Eph 4:29… it continues to talk about what communication should be: edifying. (To edify means to build up.) I’m not saying you are or aren’t being edifying, but you cited Eph 4:29 as a defense saying it doesn’t prohibit the use of any word… you missed the point, and the people you want to communicate to would find your point highly debatable. Don’t cite a scripture unless its a strong defense. It weakens your point and credibility with those who most need to hear what you have to say.
    2) As my grandma used to say… “You catch more flies with honey…” Where I live, most people my age or younger are so familiar with the word “sucks” that a lot of them wouldn’t even realize its contriversial. They also seem to have a good perspective as far as art, communication and the church go. So I’m guessing they aren’t your “target market.” On the other hand, who needs to hear your message? Sadly, people who aren’t going to read much past your name. Sad for them that they miss out on being free from laws God never wrote. Sad for you in that your attempt to communicate to them failed.
    Again, I LOVE it. But I already get it. There is nothing wrong or sinful about it. Just make sure you always seek the Lord and really pray that you would be as effective as you can in communicating your desperately needed message to the people who need to hear it most. (Eph 4:15a)

  • Nick
    September 13, 2005

    I cannot believe that you call yourselves Christians, but think it okay to use words that refer to a man’s penis. Do you really think that God is glorified?
    Even the passage you refer to Job 3:8 does not mention the curse word.
    Not only will I NOT use your site, but I will not tell others about it as that would only spark their curiosity and then give you more traffic. Get behind me Satan.

  • kevin
    September 13, 2005

    So, Nick, I can’t use words that refer to a man’s penis?
    Yet you said “penis”.
    Oops, I said “penis”.
    You missed my whole thing about profanity being culturally and contextually defined, didn’t you?

  • Rosanne
    September 15, 2005

    I don’t think the word “suck” is in of itself “evil”….everything depends upon how a word is used in context. However, it is a low-class, rough-around the edges, “common” word for which there is only one substitution in the Thesaurus–”stink.” A little * near the word says “vulgar.”
    A recent TV ad has taken to using it to describe why you should switch from cable to dish, ie using the phrase “your TV really sucks”… as a baby and other items are drawn into the TV set. We’ve become a “common” culture and it shows in our choice of words. It’s unfortunate that you use the term, because I like what you have to say on your blog.

  • kevin
    September 15, 2005

    I don’t think this is what you meant, Rosanne, but it sure sounds like you’re saying we’re not supposed to use “low class” or “common” words. Are we supposed to be high class and haughty then? Use big long words?
    I thought Jesus came to destroy class lines–you know, the whole king born in a barn thing?

  • Kevin Parker
    October 11, 2005

    Let’s get something straight: Words have no inherent meaning and are therefore arbitrary symbols. They vary from one language and culture to another. The only thing that gives a word meaning is (not Webster’s, but) context. Just like Scripture. Plenty of Christians take Scriptures out of context and call it good, but the context is everything.
    Next, why is it so offensive to good Christians to use a “vulgar” word to make a point? First, “vulgar” doesn’t just mean “offensive,” but also refers to “ordinary people’s language.” The New Testament was written in vulgar (i.e., koine) Greek, not the proper Greek of the sophists. I’m not a fan of guys using the “F” word to make a point. But even the revered apostle Paul was not above using a vulgar word for dramatic effect. Philippians 3:8 says “I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” The word translated “rubbish” (or “dung” in KJV) is actually closer in meaning to “crap.” But most even as far back as some patristic writers have attempted to alter the meaning of skubala because they were offended by it. I think Paul made his point. And so does this site. (But I’m really glad you didn’t call it “church marketing blows”.)

    • Dave
      November 28, 2011

      Best comment on here! Well written and to the point.
      I laughed out loud at the end.

  • Pete Gall
    October 12, 2005

    I’ve recently finished a book that’s been drawing some fire from people about this issue. The URL I’ve offered is a direct link to one exchange.
    My partner and I included the Tony Campolo story in the visual edition of Philip Yancey’s “What’s So Amazing About Grace?” (you can buy it here:, but the “look inside” function is jaked…you can see some of the inside at my portfolio site: We’ve also just finished a visual edition of Lee Strobel’s Case for Faith. Someone else just finished a visual edition of Ragamuffin Gospel.)
    The original version, intended for the church audience, used hyphens or stars or something to keep from spelling “shit.” In a review meeting with the senior editorial staff, including the company publisher, we decided to spell the word out, or else we’d be missing Campolo’s point entirely. We also included bastards and faggots, and underlined all of this stuff with photos. The quote from the Zondervan Publisher (say what you want about the subculture – you have to give credit to his having nerve) was: “We’re going to piss a lot of people off – let’s make sure we do it for the right reasons.”
    There ARE appropriate times to use inappropriate language. Words have the value we place upon them, and sometimes choosing them builds bridges.

  • james
    November 18, 2005

    First, Ephesians 4:29 actually does refer to the actual words. The word “logos” is used (πᾶς λόγος σαπρὸς ἐκ τοῦ στόματος ὑμῶν μὴ ἐκπορευέσθω, ἀλλὰ εἴ τις ἀγαθὸς πρὸς οἰκοδομὴν τῆς χρείας, ἵνα δῷ χάριν τοῖς ἀκούουσι) and not “rhema”, which would be the word to denote “a speech” (collection of words)or the character of a message as a whole. On this basis your proof-text, well, it fails.
    Second, while I understand “suck” to refer to something that utterly fails or does not work (as the proof-text above adequately demonstrates), how is it that your website seems to promote and support Church Marketing, yet the title implies that Church Marketing is, let’s just say, unpreferrable?
    Should it be “Church Marketing BLOWS?” That is, “to inflate, puff up?”
    Just wondering.

  • bryan
    November 23, 2005

    Here are a few verses to consider.
    I Cor. 6:12 (NLT) – You may say, “I am allowed to do anything.” But I reply, “Not everything is good for you.” And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything.
    I Cor. 8:4-13 (NLT) – 4 So now, what about it? Should we eat meat that has been sacrificed to idols? Well, we all know that an idol is not really a god and that there is only one God and no other. 5 According to some people, there are many so-called gods and many lords, both in heaven and on earth. 6 But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we exist for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life.
    7 However, not all Christians realize this. Some are accustomed to thinking of idols as being real, so when they eat food that has been offered to idols, they think of it as the worship of real gods, and their weak consciences are violated. 8 It’s true that we can’t win God’s approval by what we eat. We don’t miss out on anything if we don’t eat it, and we don’t gain anything if we do. 9 But you must be careful with this freedom of yours. Do not cause a brother or sister with a weaker conscience to stumble. 10 You see, this is what can happen: Weak Christians who think it is wrong to eat this food will see you eating in the temple of an idol. You know there’s nothing wrong with it, but they will be encouraged to violate their conscience by eating food that has been dedicated to the idol. 11 So because of your superior knowledge, a weak Christian, for whom Christ died, will be destroyed. 12 And you are sinning against Christ when you sin against other Christians by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong. 13 If what I eat is going to make another Christian sin, I will never eat meat again as long as I live – for I don’t want to make another Christian stumble.
    Following are some anecdotal points that support the use of the previous verses.
    1. I led a mission trip to Brazil where we were opening up a youth center. We had music, dance and drama teams, a skateboard team, etc. We had a large crowd of mostly unsaved people. These people are huge fans of what we would call Classic Rock and 80′s metal. Between sets, one of our bands started messing around playing “Back in Black” by ACDC. The crowd went berzerk. I asked the band to stop playing that kind of music and they bristled up and made a defense similar to yours that they could play “secular” music and it wasn’t harmful because they weren’t worshipping the devil and it wasn’t in an ungodly context. Here’s the problem. For them to play chords on a guitar, and a beat on drums is not evil in and of itself because, as you say, it is the context that causes the problem. But, regardless of the fact that they can play that music and not be ‘worshipping the devil’ there are people in the audience living a lifestyle VERY much apart from God and a godly lifestyle that associate that music with all kinds of wrong living. Same music, different associations. Kind of like the word ‘sucks’. Whether or not they want to face it, the band was causing people to partake in something their concience told them was wrong, and Paul makes it clear that that is a sin against Christ himself.
    2. I don’t believe that having a glass of wine with your dinner in and of itself is a sin. Again, your context argument would apply here. My wife had a drinking problem when I met her, and before she became a Christian. (Let me state for the record that because I’m a minister and don’t want to cause anyone else to stumble I will not drink.) While neither my wife, nor I feel that it is a “sin” to have a glass of wine, my wife’s conscience convicts her about partaking because of her past abuse of alcohol. Therefore, I won’t engage in it for her benefit even though it is ‘lawful’ for me to do it.
    3. Being authentic about your faith means that you are real about the fact that you are growing and improving all the time. It is showing a heart of mercy and compassion for those who stumble while also being willing to pick them up and push them toward a higher way of living. Being authentic is NOT embracing and proudly pronouncing your ‘freedom’ to engage in certain types of behavior that are, at best controversial, and at worst unacceptable. It is pure foolishness to purposefully engage in questionable behavior and call it “just being real”.
    I am not a religious or judgemental person. As a matter of fact, in our ministry we are noted for being a ‘friend’ to sinners and all types of people, but I must say that I do not understand the desire by some to fight for their right to embrace the lesser instead of reaching for something higher.
    You can get cute with semantics all day about the word ‘sucks’, but I have always known it to be a euphemism for one thing, and one thing only, and it has a crass conotation. While many Christians may use this word in everday conversation and would be hypocrites to pass harsh judgement on others, I do not think a word generally regarded to be coarse and off color has much place in the same sentence as the word ‘Christian’. And, more importantly, it is not a becoming use of the Holy Word itself to justify the use of what many consider to be vulgar language.

  • Rob Adcox
    November 25, 2005

    With regard to my earlier post, in which I referred to some backstabbing, hypocritical pseudo-Christian faculty and staff members at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, Radford University, and Liberty University, if the “s” word offends thee, then I shall state my feelings of despair thus: the educators at the aforementioned universities engage in the artful practice of oral vacuum. Thanks, and have a great day.

  • steve
    November 28, 2005

    To be authentic and believable, one must be true to the word.
    I would suggest you throw away your (MSG) Bible and return
    to a translation where the flaws are known and well documented.
    Every attempt to translate the Bible brings new errors which takes years of
    Study to bring forth the truth again.
    The Job 3:8 errors in this (MSG) translation is laughable:
    Job 3:8 (LXT)
    (Sorry, you do not have the correct font to display the LXT. Please use an on-line study guide to read the LXX Septuaginta edited by Alfred Rahlfs)
    Which translates to:
    Job 3:8 (NAU 1995)
    8 “Let those curse it who curse the day, Who are prepared to rouse Leviathan.
    One must study the Word in order to bring forth the Truth you have talked about. We must build from the Truth. I agree that many Biblical terms could bring about a derogatory thought in today’s society. However, after study the metaphorical or allegorical sense of the word brings out true meaning.
    The Bible is not fast food like McDonalds.. it was never meant for a drive-through society, life in the fast lane. We need to slow down and enjoy all the beauty of each and every word. This is the truth which we must talk about.. slowing down.. loving what we read in the Word and Loving our neighbor. Then you will not have to write an essay defending your current choice of titles.
    Defending man’s choice of words loses God’s thoughts…

  • joe
    November 30, 2005

    It is so funny to me to see your posts stating the site’s views on language. It is funny because a couple of years ago, due to the Holy Spirit’s leading, reviewing of scriptures and my open-mindedness, i came to the exact same conclusions! It is hard to share this old forgotten truth with those in the church who would rather excommunicate you than openly examine scriptures.
    My revelation all began with (but is not limited to) asking the question that from exclusively God’s point of view, what is the difference in the words heck and hell; or poo, crap, and shit; or in this case stinks and sucks?
    I do not often pull out single verses in making points and would encourage anyone to go back and review the context to know that this is truth. Compare these two verses:
    Matthew 5:22
    22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother[b]will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,[c]‘ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
    and Matthew 23:17
    17You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred?
    Jesus is the one speaking in both of these texts and I believe demonstrates that it is not the words spoken, but the context in which they are used.
    Finally, if truth is in scriptures, it can’t hurt to go back and test the words of the Lord and hunt for exactly what we should and should not do.

  • randy Kirk
    January 5, 2006

    I don’t care for the word either, but have another view. When I grew up, when we said something sucked, we meant “sucked wind,” the nautical term for when a dramatic wind shift messes up your sailing experience.
    So when my 16-year-old says something sucks, I mentally add “wind.” It helps a little.

  • Kerry Sanders
    January 7, 2006

    I was a little put off by the name of the web site when I first heard about it on the pixelZion podcast. I came to the site anyway and found this post. I do not feel bad about it now. What you say makes a lot of sense.
    God bless you and the work that you do!

  • Richie Rich
    January 8, 2006

    The fact that you even have to have an entire page dedicated to this makes me think that Christians are living in another world entirely.

  • Pete Goebel
    January 30, 2006

    Richie Rich said it perfectly. Absolutely perfectly. The problem isn’t any particular word; the problem is that Christians are so insular and clueless that they have lost all sight of how ridiculous and unappealing they look to the outside world. Would any non-Christian want to become the type of person who has to agonize over the parsing of the word “sucks”? Come on! Can we please focus on more important things than this? Just do us all a favor, guys, and take this page down. Please.

  • Tippy Cup
    February 4, 2006

    It rhymes with another word too, no . . . I think you should stick with sucks.

  • eric b
    February 15, 2006

    To me personally, the people who bring up what the word was originally popular for are much more profane than just saying the word. I don’t want to hear about penises (penii?), and even to chide in about “that word comes from a sexual act” is more lewd and profane than it would have been if you hadn’t brought it up! Believe it or not, language is cultural, and it does change over time.

    What all that means is this: welcome to the 21st century. if you don’t like the website (or its domain name,) then you suck.

  • Steve
    March 20, 2006

    It seems that “sucks” has done a great job of frustrating. Which the church is in desperate need of.
    It also gets attention, and there is nothing wrong with the word, or its effect. Particularly because it is obviously so bloody effective.

  • Chuck Green
    April 10, 2006

    The use of the work “suck” is no small matter–whether you like it or not, it is a barrier to entry to some. To my way of thinking, it is a mistake, in most cases, to pursue concepts that have built-in negatives. Using the term may be “right” but in our desire to be right we often sacrifice access to the very audience we believe most needs our counsel. Any campaign that allows the execution to get in the way of the message is flawed. Thanks for an excellent resource.

  • Nerdbeard
    April 17, 2006

    I assumed the URL meant, “evangelism is bad.” If only.

  • robert
    April 24, 2006

    Can I simply ask why the church or the believer has taken the stand of “I’m going to say whatever I want and use whatever language I want and if people are offended then tough”? And we use scripture to justify what we want to say or do rather than letting it control what we say or do. It seems to me that Christ was controlled by the Spirit and that we should do the same. Christianity seems to be using more and more “shock value” to get their message across as if they need to. What ever happened to the verse “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men to myself?” Churches, believe it or not, are now using sex as a drawing card to get people in the door. But it’s shock value, it draws a crowd. That doesn’t mean it was directed by God nor does the results it yields mean that its God’s results. In my experience, there is an underlying rebellion to all of it mixed with a bit of pride. Whether it’s a rebelling against what one has grown up in or just going against the norm or the idea of “I’m going to do what I want to do,” or the “I want church my way” mentality, there’s very little God in it.

  • Mandy
    May 1, 2006

    If my memory of Greek class serves me right, Paul used some pretty strong words to get across his point. In Phil 3:8, the word usually translated as “garbage” actually refers to excrement.

  • Rob Adcox
    May 14, 2006

    No mention of the Golden Rule? Shocking.

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  • Paul
    June 8, 2006

    I can’t believe this is still an issue. I noticed, though, that the outofur blog uses stinks instead of sucks. Wimps!

  • Dee
    June 9, 2006

    I don’t know, man, the word “sucks” isn’t all that shocking to me. However, when I’m teaching the kids in Sunday School, and that word passes from their lips in conversation, I will say, “Oh that does stink.” :) Not because I’m offended by the word, but to save them from the wrath of the blue hairs who would unlovingly crucify them for such an utterance, as if saying that word meant they were Satan’s spawn.
    I think a balance needs to be struck between having pure hearts and mouths, and being approachable and relatable, because, after all, there are a lot of little things in life that come down to personal conviction between you and God. :) I think the usage of the word, “sucks” is one of those. It’s symantics, folks. It’s nothing to get yer knickers all bunched up about, because it isn’t a big issue, and bickering over the miniscule only causes division within the Body. :) Fight the bigger fights.
    And, to stay on the topic of this site, the majority of church “marketing” does not strike me as relatable or approachable. I don’t know that from what I’ve seen that I could call it “marketing.” It’s more like spotty, cheap advertising here and there. And most of the advertisements aren’t that good, frankly. One could even say—they suck. :)

  • daryl
    June 12, 2006

    My oh my! Conforming to the culture of our time, the same way those you criticize do. The coarsening of dialog in America is documented fact. As people find it increasingly hard to reason through their beliefs and articulate them with clarity, they resort to shocking their listeners with “bad” words in the mistaken belief this will get their point across. When Christians do it, they get co-opted by the very culture they wish to stand opposite of. Net effect: zero.
    Cursing in the Bible did not mean four letter diatribes that we use today. It was an invocation to powers beyond the realm of mortals to intervene in disfavorable ways towards ones adversaries and opponents. Cursing today carries no such connotation. It is merely a venting of ones spleen, however mild or severe the choice of the invective may be. These are the unwholesome words God tells us to avoid.
    That people are not aware of the etymology of the word “suck” today, is debatable. It is possible that ten or fifteen years from now the word’s original meaning will have been forgotten(or replaced by something far worse–see below), but today we are in transition. Most of us do remember and know exactly where the word came from. We also know why it is being used in a “new” way now. The etymology is still with us, I’m afraid. The power–if you want to call it that–in the word lies in its ability to evoke the degrading image of someone performing felatio on a man. I say degrading, because in the homosexual world where most perverse sexual practices have their origins, the performer is generally scorned and coercised into playing that role. They are not respected for what they do. Despite your contentions to the contrary, that image comes with your choice to use the bad word, and thus soiling the truth you wish to communicate.
    There is a strong rationalization streak in your apologetic. (The appeal to Tony Campolo’s example is sad and does nothing to justify what you do) That rationalization may prove to be of greater disservice later on. Beware the slippery slope you stand upon. When our popular culture someday decides the word “suck” no longer conveys the shock value it used to, they will likely choose a far worse word to enter into regular service that sounds very similar. I fear that you will be first in line that day, and that I will read on your website about how the “f” word is now very useful to communicate the gospel.
    When we choose to incorporate filthy words into our vocabulary as Christians, we serve the purposes of our Adversary more than our Lord. We tear down the fruits of self-discipline and love for others that the Spirit is trying to construct in our hearts. We do not have to become like the world in order to communicate with it. Please come to your senses and stop and choose more honorable language. The Lord will be pleased if you do, and will bless your ministry.
    –a brother in Christ

  • Emmett Manley
    June 12, 2006

    Cursing in the pulpit? How does that square with Philippians 4:8-9, Ephesians 4:29 and Colossians 3:8? Come on…

  • Rev. Geoff
    June 14, 2006

    Daryl, I hate to remove the dark and ominous cloud you’ve placed over oral sex among homosexuals; but most men who perform oral sex on another man are not “scorned” or “coerced” into the act–they perform it with relish. And to say that “they are not respected for what they do” merely demonstrates that you are all too unfamiliar with the activities you condemn (for those who perform it well are highly respected!).
    By the way, I recall many years ago my mother wrote the Rev. Billy Graham to ask him if it was sinful for her to perform oral sex on my father. His response…”The marriage bed is undefiled.”
    Perhaps your own personal hangups are clouding your perception regarding acts of intimacy between other consenting and caring adults. You might want to consider therapy.
    When our puritan American culture learns to respect and honor loving relationships (be they same-sex or opposite-sex couplings) with equal access to marriage, the “marriage bed” truly will be “undefiled.”

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