There is much talk about how to contextualize the gospel to a particular culture. Missionaries do this all the time as they study the language of a people group and then seek to communicate the gospel story in that language. But are there times when we take it too far? Especially in music performed by Christian artists who use questionable terms to communicate their message. In the following video, Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile comments on the trend of cussing in Christian music.
When it comes to speech, according to Anyabwile, we must take our stand with Scripture. Human speech is one of the most unique things about people and our God-given ability to bear the image of God. This means that our words are imbued with a profound sacredness, and therefore every Christian must take into account what is presented in Ephesians 4:29: “let no corrupting talk come out of your mouth.” The only things that should come out of our mouths are things to edify, build others up, and to communicate grace to the hearer. This is a really clear criterion for our words.
As Anyabwile argues in the following video, there is nothing about art, culture, or context that grants us permission to sin. It is actually blasphemous to raise art, culture, and context above the very commands of Scripture. We are sinning if we try to reach people in ways that Christ disallows. Christ determines our goal and our method in reaching others with the gospel. This is a sober warning for Christians who seek to knock over fences in order to reach others and thereby compromising the straight and narrow path to eternity with Christ. Watch the whole video to hear and see more of Anyabwile’s thoughts.