Derek Webb's "Stockholm Syndrome" is too scandalous for release

Well, it looks like he's finally done it: in an email sent out early this morning, Nashville musician Derek Webb reveals that his new record, Stockholm Syndrome "has gotten out of control," meaning that it's too offensive for his label, INO Records, to release it. "It seems I've finally found the line beyond which my label can support me, and apparently I've crossed it," Webb wrote.

Well! Frustrating as it must be for Derek, this may be the best Christian music censorship story we've had in a long time. Judging by our inbox, this kind of thing happens on an almost weekly basis in the industry, but leave it to Derek Webb to make all the details public. Not exactly, as his email has next to zero details ("because of various legal/publishing issues"). Apparently most of the controversy surrounds one song, the most important on his most important record, he says. Given the name of his new charity/activism website (not active yet), it's reasonable to guess that it might be the first Christian song ever to feature the s-word. (Update, May 14: We have confirmed, via someone who has heard the song, that it deals with Christian treatment of gay people, and, sure enough, includes the word "shit.")

Here's the gratuitously mysterious original email for you to peruse for yourself. We'll be watching this one with interest.

friends-
i haven't sent many personal emails to this email list but we're in a situation that has gotten a little out of control and it's time to fill you in.  as some of you may know, i've been working for months on my new record, 'stockholm syndrome', which i've recently finished and turned in to the record label.  they've been very supportive over the years, but this time we didn't get the response we expected.  it seems i've finally found the line beyond which my label can support me, and apparently i've crossed it.

i consider this my most important record and am adamant about all of you hearing it.  we had originally hoped to have 'stockholm syndrome' out this month (next week even), but at this point we're not sure when the record will come out and in what form.  the majority of the controversy is surrounding one song, which i consider to be among the most important songs on the record.  so we've decided it's an appropriate time to break the rules.

but because of various legal/publishing issues we're having to be rather careful with how we do what we're going to do next.  that's really all i can say for now and i've probably said too much.

we have a plan and we're moving ahead, but we're not sure what kind of trouble we might be getting into.  we'll let you know as soon as we know our next move-
derek

 
About The Author

David Sessions

David Sessions is the founding editor of Patrol, and is currently a doctoral student in modern European history at Boston College. His writing has appeared in The Daily Beast, Newsweek, Jacobin, Slate and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter here.

  • http://patrolmag.com/ Tim

    Is the website thing a joke, a little fake thing came up for me.

  • http://www.patrolmag.com/sessions David

    That’s the correct address, it’s just not up and running yet.

  • lumpy

    Derek should release the record WITHOUT the controversial song, and then have it as a free or $1 download from his website.

  • http://theplungen2.blogspot.com Larry

    If it includes the S-word as you say, I find it difficult to support him without knowing more.

  • http://www.patrolmag.com/sessions David

    Well, don’t let me put bad words in his mouth – that was a kind-of-educated-guess-slash-joke.

  • Adam

    If you find it difficult to support him because he says the S-word in a song, you’re missing the point of his music, and you probably never really supported him anyway. It’s just four letters strung together, and there’s nothing offensive about it unless it’s used as such. I’m sure Jesus would have had no problem saying it.

  • http://www.patrolmag.com/sessions David

    Adam’s right – if you’re offended by the s-word in one of his songs, then you’re probably offended by Derek Webb in general.

  • Joel

    “Christian” culture in America has always focused on the petty cultural taboos like the S-word or subtle moral details while ignoring major aspects of the gospel. I think it’s almost cliche to point out the way Christians care more about a leader saying a cuss word than they do about poverty, climate change, injustice, etc… If Derek’s putting new light on this hypocrisy, I’d bet the spirit is leading him to it.

  • http://www.lego.com/en-US/default.aspx?domainredir=lego.com joey

    Depending upon your definition of “Christian song,” other lyrics with the s-word are in:
    Over the Rhine: Daddy Untwisted (Eve)
    Over the Rhine: Give Me Strength (Films for Radio) (Dido cover)
    Bill Mallonee (Vigilantes of Love): Threadbare (Permafrost)
    Pedro the Lion: Rejoice (Control)

    No, those artists aren’t on Myrrh or Sparrow, but they are Christ-followers. Just a little potty-mouthed.

  • micah

    GO DEREK GO! It’s about time a thoughtful, stand up musician who’s a Christian Put his foot down. Reminds me of Mark Solomon writing his book explaining why he left the christian Industry
    Or NINs Trent Reznor bucking the system. I’ll download, send to friends and donate to get it.

  • Sam

    I agree, it’s just a word. It’s an expletive that when trying to convey the sincerity and urgency in which Derek writes is actually appropriate.

  • Brian

    Not the first Christian song to feature that majestic expletive. Who remembers Bazan’s post-Pedro solo project “Headphones” and the song s___talker??

  • Gary

    I disagree with the use of the “s” being appropriate even if it helps drive the point home. I feel that the point could still be drive using other non-offensive words no mater what the context. You may be wondering where I get this viewpoint, well, see Colossians 3:5-8. Especially verse 8.

  • http://livingonthebackburner.blogspot.com Zach

    “It’s just a word” . . . yeah, a word that gets censored on network television, a medium that allows other language, violence, and depictions of various sexual acts. Don’t get me wrong, I love Derek’s music, and I completely agree with the idea that sometimes you HAVE to use extreme or unorthodox language to get a point across.

    But if another leader in the Christian community — say, T.D. Jakes, for example — chose to use the word “shit” in one of his sermons, you can bet people would have something to say about it. It might be just a word, but it’s a word that has a negative connotation throughout our society, something we equate with what the Bible calls “unwholesome talk”. It’s the responsibility of those leaders in the Church to use their gifts wisely.

    Now will Derek Webb get more attention from people outside the church because of this? Probably, and more people will probably get the message he’s trying to convey, which is a good thing. But since INO is also a Christian label, they have to exercise their responsibilites in what they believe is right in the artists they represent, and if one of their artists decides not to adhere to the standards their label is asking them to meet, then OF COURSE they have the option to not release the material.

    If Derek wants to release that record with that song, he probably should go the independent route (which, by the way, Joey, is the same route that Over The Rhine, Pedro the Lion, and Bill Mallonee went with the albums for the songs you’ve mentioned, among others). I’ll still support him, and so will many more of his current fans, but I wouldn’t be surprised if other Christians didn’t.

  • http://www.patrolmag.com/sessions David

    I am slightly surprised — considering that it’s 2009 and we’re talking about serious music here — that “shit” is even an issue.

    But what’s even funnier is how sure we can be that this is the sticking point. Christian music will forgive edgy politics, but never, ever will it overlook shit.

  • Jeremy

    Words are just words but when their context and meaning is still a vulgar one then that’s not becoming of a follower of Christ.

    The Scriptures are clear to avoid all unclean speech. Ephesians 5:3-5 specifically mentions “obscenity” in the NIV. Proverbs 8:13 says the Lord hates perverse speech. And Ephesians 4:29 says to not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth. There is no reason you can’t use a different word and still communicate intensity.

    You can communicate in strength without being vulgar. That is what differentiates good artists from bad ones. I love Derek’s work and have all of it and support him, but i can’t and won’t support any sinful behavior which cursing is according to the Scriptures. No judgment but you can’t just ignore it either.

    I’m hoping this isn’t the issue. Using a word that is strong like “whore” from his first CD may be hard for some people but there isn’t anything wrong with it. Using a curse word is a whole other ballgame.

  • http://patrolmag.com/ Tim

    By the way, the ‘hint’ from Webb on his twitter page is that the song is about sex and race.

  • http://theophiliacs.com adhunt

    More reasons that Christian music can’t grow up.

    What gives a shit whether a great godly singer uses a damn swear word.

  • scott

    sounds like he’s trying to drum up some press for this new “controversial” new album… maybe a documentary is also in the works, a la the christian version of “shut up and sing”.

    let the controversy determine whether something is controversial or not.

  • http://www.pandandrum.com Amanda

    I wasn’t aware that the Bible gave a list of words that should not be used. It seems to me that’s all subjective.

    Whether this is the case with the record or not, I don’t know, but I am rooting for Derek Webb on this one. He has never given me any reason to doubt his sincerity or his stand in the faith.

    Until he does, he has my support 100%!

  • Aaron

    My problem is that if it is the s### word, which twitter suggests it isn’t necessarily, then I’m upset of lack of originality. Tony campolo was doing this 10 years ago.

  • Dan Wallis

    Interesting – this seems to mirror a similar controversy surrounding equally honest singer songwriter Martyn Joseph, in regards to his live album MJGB06. Check out more here – http://www.crossrhythms.co.uk/articles/news/Not_For_Christian_Retail/26747/p1/. Martyn Joseph affects me in a similar way to Derek Webb – causes me to think, to reconsider, to “Treasure the Question” as Joseph aptly puts it. If you like Webb, I have a feeling you’ll like Joseph.

  • Ben

    it could be argued that the first christian song to include the ‘s-word’ was “rejoice” by Pedro the Lion. although calling him a christian artist is kind of stretching it if you ask him.

  • http://warjianrumoelliu.wordpress.com Warren

    David Bazan and Jars of Clay are musical heros of mine, especially with regard to their treatment of sensitive or deep subject matter. Along the way they may use offensive language: Dan sings “whores” on Jars of Clay’s “Oh My God” and David sings “Cum” on “Indian Summer.”

    Derek Webb would lose no credibility in my eyes, not because he’s using an edgy word… but because he’s an artist, and artists can use anything to get their point across.

    The label reserves every right not to release it as well, and I find no reason to judge INO for this. Derek should go independent.

  • http://www.churchleaderlinks.com Chris

    It is predictable and juvenile to use profanity to get attention, obviously baiting conservative Christians who protest. Tony Campolo has been using that schtick for a while now. Meanwhile there are tons of charity groups, churches and individuals that have been going about their Kingdom-of-God business quietly and respectfully, who haven’t felt compelled to announce to the world that THE GIVE A SHIT! Why does every great cause now have to be announced to the world with a trendy name and/or conference and/or slick website? Why must everything be ‘edgy’ and envelope-pushing?

    James says that perfect religion is not just helping orphans and widows, but also keeping ourselves unstained by the world. People seem to think they’re entitled to neglect the latter if they major on the former.

  • Ryan

    In scripture, Paul uses the Greek word, “Skubalon” to describe our works of righteousness. The most literal translation of skubalon to English is the word, “SHIT.” Move on and deal with it.

  • Travis

    Well, two things:
    One, if there ever was a artist that can support himself indie, it would be derek. But I think that he wants the major label support so that it can reach out. There is at least a chance that Mardels and Family Christian could carry it if there is label backing. And that is most likely who he’s aiming at.

    Second, I feel the tony campolo quote an appropriate thing to put up here so: I have three things I’d like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a shit. What’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night. (copied from rethinkingyouth.blogspot.com/)

  • http://CuSunday.org Dan

    What is the S word? If it is so bad that everyone here feels it is too bad to even “spell” out here and he does not “print” it in his e-mail then i would surmise it too fould to be in a Crhist Centered song or this is a publity stunt. THe bible has direction on potty mouth. In Anycase noone can make a decision till we hear it. If is is so iimportant to the artist them as One person already suggested do the album with out it and give the inmort message away free or print the lyrics and then have it availbe to buy as a mp3 single

  • Stephanie

    Oh boy…I knew this would happen. Especially since most CCM labels flip a you-know-what when they hear a “Christian” artist use the word “damn” in a song. Which is stupid because any meaningful message and/or strong theology should not be canceled out by a stupid word.

    Oh well, more power to Derek! I love his music as well as his message, and I look forward to Stockholm Syndrome.

  • Jeremy

    “These days/
    I mostly watch your mouth/
    When I don’t know what you are saying…”

    Saying the “s-word” for its own sake is probably gratuitous (and one of the reasons it is censored on television), but Webb, a gifted wordsmith, has always been trustworthy with the language.

    My suspicion, if the s-word rumor is true, is that some of the ideas Derek Webb presents will have the potential of being far more incendiary than the word itself.

    And this is why we love him.

  • http://jadkring.blogspot.com Joseph Glenn

    Decency and ethics that is… I think as a Christian musician there are always so many artistic and creative ways to convey a point rather than just be expletive in using filthy words. Not because many uses such word or other similar words justifies that Derek should be given a go signal. Well in the end it would be up to us if his music would really be something good to hear. Allow me please to quote Paul when he said, everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial…

  • http://derekneighbors.com Derek Neighbors

    It is sad that labels are still so draconian in their views.

  • Sinner James

    I doubt it’s a single word. Webb removed the word “damn” from his song “Saint and Sinner” prior to its album release because he didn’t want to be known as the guy who fought to have a curse word (so-called) on a Christian album. It does seem a petty fight, doesn’t it? And he doesn’t want to fight. Perhaps his attitude has changed, but I can’t see a single word causing so much controversy as to entangle the album’s release on a label that’s supported him through some rather challenging albums. If this is about one song, it’s almost certainly about that song’s subject matter, which, if I were pressed to guess, I’d guess contained some sexual content not normally discussed in “polite” Christian company. This because Webb has said multiple times that this record covers race and sexuality, and A) since Christians are stereotypically known for their kneejerk reactions to ban/censor/block anything remotely sexual in nature; B) while Evangelicals are stereotypically known as closet racists, I’d personally doubt the label’s willingness to shy away from a record that challenged Christians to be less racist or whatever it says.

    Also, to those who keep copy-pasting Scripture references to support their claims that the Bible pooh-poohs potty language: it’s all about cultural context, my friends. Bono might say “Oh, f*ck” in Ireland the same way you say “Oh, man” in the States. “Faggot” might mean different things on different continents. You’ll accept “whore” from Derek, but not “damn” or “shit”? Hypocrites. Most people won’t accept “whore.” Language and its slang not only evolve, but they mean different things to different people at different times in different places. (“But right now they’re bad words and Derek Webb shouldn’t say bad words!” They may be bad to you… but don’t assume he’s only singing to you.) This doesn’t mean you have to use them or even like their usage, but you shouldn’t presume to damn anyone for using them. Not your job. In matters uncertain, charity.

  • http://brodyharper.com Brody Harper
  • vagabondsoul

    Mike Roe, Mike Knott, Mike Pritzl, Bill Mallonee and others were using the word “shit” and other “cuss” words – in context – way before Derek Webb came along.

    I have noooooo problem with what Derek is doing.

  • http://biasedbulldog.livejournal.com Mark P

    The whole “just a word” business… Words are how we communicate truth. Of course whether the word is a good choice or not is circumstantial and contextual. But that doesn’t mean it’s “subjective” nor does it mean that the choice of a word is arbitrary, or that words are merely placeholders. If Derek Webb uses “shit” and uses it well, that’s fine—but not because he could use shit or crap or mahogany and it would all mean the same thing because what matters is how feels about it…

  • http://www.myspace.com/thedifficultstranger Curan

    “shit” is not a cuss word unless used inapproriately, and i know Derek is an intellectual guy and has always a reason for using such…

    the only thing i dont like is when people use God’s name in vain as in vainly spitting out” praise the lord” or “jesus” or putting “God” right before the “damn.

  • Kit

    Well well a Christian record label won’t release a record with the s word on it. How is this a surprise to anyone, including Derek? I’m a non-believer and I can actually see the record company’s perspective here. Derek’s not the first Christian artist to try and get a naughty word onto a record. It’s just not going to happen. If you want to have complete artistic control, you shouldn’t be signing with a Christian label.

  • Peter Elliott

    No one will probably read this, but it pisses me off when people say “oh it’s just a word”…NO!! Words have power, every word. Every word should be choosen with care and consideration; even “but” or “like”. It makes me sick how much we water down words these days! With that said, Derek, I believe, knows the power of words and when he chooses to use one, he chooses it on purpose to convey something. Using “like” or “hate” too many times or without proper judgement is just as bad as saying fuck without proper judgement. Oh, and saying “f” or spelling it “eff” isn’t hiding anything….you still mean fuck, you just aren’t mature enough to own up to your poor language choices!

  • http://duodigest.blogspot.com Chris James

    Perhaps the most memorable sermons I’ve heard in my lifetime of church-going included the word in question. Tony Campolo said to 2000 conservative Christians at Wheaton College “Millions of people are dying of AIDS and you don’t give a shit Actually, you care more about the fact I just said shit than about the people dying.” Then again, I’m not sure he was invited back – and I’m not surprised Derek’s label fears the christian outcry apparent in the comments above. Seems to me Christians are in need of a better theology of language.

  • Jason S. Kong

    Link: On the usage of the ‘s-word’

    Does Paul Tripp trip up over a similar issue?

    Personally, no. The issue is context.

  • Lance

    Is Shit a God-Damned word or a society-damned word? Think about that…

  • Seminarian

    It seems to me that Paul used the Greek equivalent of the word in question in Philippians 3:8. S### is not “swearing” according to the biblical meaning of swearing; Derek wouldn’t use it to “curse” another person; it is merely a “low class” word that is not considered polite. So what, exactly, is the problem?

  • http://www.churchleaderlinks.com Chris

    How about not using the word shit because it offends some Christians? That’s what Paul seems to be getting at in Romans 14. And how about writing artfully to get your “huge” “uber-important” ethical message across, instead of resorting to shock tactics?

    Like I said in my other comment, Campolo has been using that profanity gimmick for awhile now — or perhaps I’ve just been hearing it for a long time. I get his meaning already, but the thing is tired. Show people some respect and use the English language in a dignified way — then I might listen to what you’re saying.

    Shock is EASY. And the efforts of Christians who dabble in shock look pale and corny next to those of the unbelieving world anyway.

  • http://joshuakeel.com Joshua Keel

    I’m really not sure why we’re even talking about the word ‘shit’. We don’t know whether Derek used this word or not, and if you ask me, I’ll tell you I think this is either a) a fantastic marketing gimmick or b) not about words but about the controversial ideas Derek tends to be known for.

  • dsweetgoober

    Don’t tell me I have never been a Derek Webb supporter just because I believe the Bible when it says that no “filthy communication” should be coming out of a Christian’s mouth. If her wants to use “Whore” and “Hell” for effect I understand that but if it’s just gratiutious language to shock and offend then he needs to be knocked down a peg or two. Talent and popularity do not give you the right to put yourself above the Biblical principles of Chritian conduct.

  • dsweetgoober

    I like him but any Christian who thinks the importance of what they are doing allows them to suspend the Biblical rules of Christian conduct (Let no filthy communication proceed out of your mouth, etc.) is no different than Jimmy Swaggart or Jim Baker. The importance of what they are called to do gives them authority to break the rules? That’s just pride and arrogance.

  • http://www.youcanknowgod.com Michael

    it’s not just a word. it’s a word that many find offensive. and intentionally polarizes people. i don’t let my 7 year old say it, and I don’t appreciate it in a song…christian or otherwise.

  • Bill Elliott

    Would it not be prudent to actually know what Mr. Webb said before we villify his music and intentions? There is a lot of scripture referenced in the various responses to his percieved offence. Let’s also check scripture on judgement, grace and gossip. If you don’t want to listen to his music, then don’t, but don’t presume that your opinion is the same as mine. In this difficult time in our history, we have larger issues with which to deal than an artist using a word that some find offensive.

  • Justin

    IF this is what it’s about (And remember, this is all just hearsay right now), then I have to agree with Aaron#21 — that’s a fair amount of copying the oft-quoted Tony Campolo. Been there, done that, got the T-Shirt. I went to a very Evangelical School where our former president used the same word in chapel. We laughed (we were 19, what did you expect?) and, yes, it did drown out the substance of the message.

    Still, Derek is on a Christian Record Label — aimed at Christians, done by Christians, and its business is sent to Christian Bookstores. It makes sense for a label like this to hedge themselves about a song with profanity in it. He’s signed to a CCM label — what else would you expect? Yes, you may have the freedom in Christ, but if your primary concern is your own freedom….wait – I think Derek wrote a song or whole album about this.

    And David is flat-out wrong in assuming that those of us who wouldn’t approve of profanity in songs don’t like Derek in general. That’s the kind of “us vs. them” thinking and judgementalism I’m told both Mr. Sessions and Mr. Webb don’t like. I can love Derek’s music and disagree with this (100% rumored at this point) decision. You can love people and disagree with their actions —- again, this sounds like something Derek Webb has written about.

  • Wes

    I like Webb and seen him in concert, but to be honest, I would agree with his label. I’m not really sure why it would be so incredibly pivotal and important to have the s-word in a song? I mean I use the S-word myself at times, but don’t necessarily want to hear it in my car’s ipod everyday. I’m sure the entire record doesn’t revolve around this one word, and if this word is missing or changed, the album will fall apart. The label is a business and has to protect itself.

  • Leah

    I read the article and some of the comments. I’ve actually never heard of Derek Webb so I don’t know a lot about his music. If this is a fight over a swear word then he should back down. Is the word that important in the song? I’ve never understand the use of the s-word. The are other words to use. If the song is really about sex and things like that then is it appropriate for the album? His music? Is will the album fall apart if the song’s not on there?

  • Rochelle

    When Paul says to “count all as rubbish for the sake of knowing Christ” it is actually a very strong word that equates to our word for “shit”. If you search the Bible, you can see that it sometimes uses strong language, so we have the liberty to use it as well. I hate how Christian culture has been transformed into an image of the straight-edged and well-adjusted. Yes, we are to be holy because God is holy, but let’s have an accurate definition of what that really means for us. If Paul tells people to emasculate themselves and uses a word equivalent to shit in the God-inspired scriptures, I think that Derek Webb probably isn’t out of line here.

  • Matt

    3 Things:

    — 1) http://www.giveashit.org would potentially be Derek’s campaign to fund sanitation projects (ex: latrines) through Blood:Water Mission in parts of Africa as about 70% (546 million) do not have access to improved sanitation.

    — 2) You guys have jumped to gun to suggest that a song has been rejected based on the word shit. That’s not confirmed. It could be any number of things (likely all equally undeserving). Slow down on the hearsay.

    —3) Shit or any word are only problematic in their usage. You legalists need to stop building a fence around the Law. God’s bigger than linguistics and you should be too. Matthew 5:21-22 – God’s concern is the heart behind the tongue not the word. If I post the word shit 50x on this post, but call one of you commenters a ‘jerk’ in sincerity, I think we all know where I fell short. And as many others have rightly said, equivalent language is used throughout the Bible in proper context without fault.

  • Paul

    Where is the line???

    Have you become so secularized it is now blurred with the s-word? Does it get redefined at the f-word and on and on…

    Many people are in the club called Christianity but fewer are in a bonding relationship with the God head (Father, Son, & Holy Spirit) that would circumvent this blending with mediocrity. We are called to be Holy and set apart, while at the same time stumbling and falling all over ourselves because of our sin nature.

    The problem here is the use of a secular expression to emphasize a point of importance by a person claiming to represent the Kingdom of God. I feel the same way when it comes to hand jesters (no not the middle finger; rather the pinky, index, and thumb used to signify a “rock-on” type of expression), vocal sounds, melodies, dress, attitude, etc. So many “artists” in the Christian Industry pull their identity from the secular side. Why can’t “Christian Artists” come up with some “art” that drops the secular competition faster than a right hook from Evander Holyfield?

    Saying the S-word, F-word, or smoking crack for that matter won’t send you to hell but it sure does ask the question: How are you set apart from the world? Then again, if your just in the club, I guess its ok.

  • Joe

    “i consider this my most important record”

    years back National Review had a line about it being hard to take Rolling Stone too seriously when it toolk rock music so seriously. That’s what I thought of when I read Webb’s statement. It’s pop music … entertainment. of course, I am writing this in a culture that thinks film is the answer to literature…

  • tomthespud

    1. Webb is trying his hardest to be a combination of Keith Green (giving away free albums, although he is nowhere near as committed to this as Green was) and Larry Norman. I consider Norman to be the greatest Christian rocker ever, but he did spend a lot of time whining about ‘censorship,’ particularly relating to ‘So Long Ago the Garden.’ Lots of ‘no one will ever hear this record the way it was intended….’ Webb knows the Christian music industry as well as anyone, and he knows what will be released and what won’t. If his music is so ‘important,’ he should take steps to ensure that people will hear it. I am left with the impression that he is looking to score ‘coolness’ points by making a martyr out of himself.

    2. In regards to ‘importance,’ – music is only important in hindsight. U2 is important because it turns out that professing Christians can say things about their faith, Jesus & the gospel in their music and still become the biggest band around – but no one could have known that when they recorded ‘War.’ Resurrection Band’s first album is important because after Star Song took the gamble that no other Christian record label would take, it turned out that church people did want to buy Christian hard rock. Daniel Amos fans want to say that ‘Darn Floor Big Bite’ was important, but it wasn’t – very few people ever heard it, and most of those that did didn’t like it enough to actually wade through the lyrics. (including myself) The album’s influence is almost nil, despite protests by the bands few remaining fans. So, yes, it is grating to hear Webb going on about how ‘important’ his music is, and how necessary it is that it be ‘heard.’

    3. Looking in hindsight at the careers of Keith Green, Larry Norman, Resurrection Band, U2, and even Bob Dylan’s gospel albmus – if Webb wants to be shocking, use foul language, write and sing about controversial topics, and still be heard and make any kind of difference, he should be on a secular record label like U2, or he should bite the bullet and finance and distribute his own music like Green, and accept that only a few in the church will hear him.

    4. Regarding crude language – I was intrigued by a sermon I saw from Marc Driscoll, saying that since crude and offensive language is used occasionally in the Bible, then we would be unbiblical if we did either of the following:
    steadfastly avoided any crude or offensive language, or used crude or offensive language regularly
    His suggestion to be Biblical is that we use it, but rarely and carefully. He cited the ‘filthy rags’ passage in Isaiah, suggesting that the Hebrew would read more like ‘bloody tampons.’ I don’t know Hebrew well enough to know how much of a cultural taboo that Hebrew phrase was breaking at the time it was written – probably no one does today. I also don’t know if references to feces in the Bible would be more correctly translated as ‘dung,’ ‘poop,’ ‘c**p,’ or ‘s**t.’ If God chose to use the more offensive terms occasionally in His own word, we should probably make ourselves a bit more comfortable with it. If the Greek and Hebrew words are really closer to ‘dung’ or ‘poop,’ then we should stick with those. Do you happen to know?

  • Pastor Bill

    Couldn’t this just be a bit of a ploy to get out of a contract or to promote a new release?

    This talk about art is silly to me. Are we going to see the first warning for explicit lyrics in our Christian bookstores? This isn’t an artistic leap that needs to be made. Feces is not artistic. In 2000, there was an “artist” that used his own feces to make art. This is just silly to me. Imagine going to church this weekend and singing a Chris Tomlin song with that word in it. Yeah didn’t think so.

    I remember Christian rocker Ken Tamplin from Shout/Tamplin that had a song that said, “money talks and bs walks, but I think they go hand in hand”. (he actually used “bs” not the actual word. Did we know what he was talking about? Yes. Did it still get the message across? Yes.

    I’ll sign off with this, I think Tamplin was right and I think I can see Derek Webb’s “christian artist” career going bye bye.

    This is just another small drift in Christians bending to be more like the world. This isn’t biblical.

  • Lance

    I think the problem is that american society goes to great lenghts to avoid anything unpleasant and that has carried over into american evangelical christianity. If you read the bible and take it seriously, There is some fucked up and very unpleasant shit in there. Far more unpleasant that the word shit. And it’s beautiful. If you avoid the unpleasantries, you may miss the story. His story. Isn’t that why they crucified Jesus…The things he said were unpleasant and made people uncomfortable. I think we (especially myself) should try to stop being personally offended by what people say and do and start loving the person. At the core of it all, that is really all there is to do and it’s the only thing that means anything.

  • Andrew Elliott

    Grace.

    We are human. Please, in the midst of all of this, take a moment to realize this simple yet profound truth.

    I understand this is controverstial and needed conversation, but many of us are villifing each other in this process.

    Derek is human, he may make mistakes. (I don’t believe this is one of them. My own opinion.) That doesn’t mean don’t support him as our brother in Christ. Please, just take a momment and think about it.

    Derek, I wish you well! May God guide your steps and place the words in your mouth that he wants to be spoke, not society.

  • buffalo Buffalo buffalo

    “James says that perfect religion is not just helping orphans and widows, but also keeping ourselves unstained by the world. People seem to think they’re entitled to neglect the latter if they major on the former.”

    I notice you didn’t include the KJV translation: it says “Bastard”.

  • Tomis

    LOL @ Christians if you seriously think that an album “crosses the line” because of the word “shit”. Having this perpetual hang-up about curse words, manners, and public image is the height of hypocrisy, pretension, and self-righteousness. I seriously don’t think Jesus would give a shit.

  • http://- James

    He can support Christ and his message, or he can wear his ego on his sleeve and go ahead with doing something that clouds the message just from a desire to come across as “that serious” about this. How indie.

    A lot of good points have been brought up here…one of the best was Joe’s comment about the Rolling Stone (#56).

  • Tomis

    the only way you could assume saying “shit” would cloud his message, is if you’re assuming his only audience is a group of sadist Christians who aren’t looking for freedom in Christ, but to be offended by anything out of their cultural bubble.

  • Pattie

    Yeah for Derek Webb and his marketing team for figuring out a way to really get attention for his music… hahaha…Evanescence did it and became millionaires! This is why the Christian music market irks me so…THE most judgemental people out there!

  • Sinner James

    Allow me to reemphasize my point in #33 and to say: I highly doubt it’s a single word causing this “controversy.”

    I’d like any of you who think he’s being egotistic by calling his record “important” to take a brief look at his Twitter feed, where he says: ‘just for the record, i never said my record was “important”. i said it was important to ME. why else would i be doing it, risking so much?’ …and the two updates that follow that continue the thought.

    Seriously, folks, it’s disgusting how so many “Christians” are popping up in this thread ready to take Mr. Webb down a notch for saying shit and thinking he’s so important when HE HAS ACTUALLY DONE NEITHER OF THESE (as far as we know, regarding the former). Jumping the gun much?! All this “bs” about this being a marketing ploy or some kind of clever gimmick is pretty sick as well.

    Cannibals.

  • Michael

    If he wants to put out a record that either has curse words or controversial messages, go with another label. His currant label wont answer to anyone but God for what standards they choose to uphold or compromise & that goes for Webb or anyone else. There’s plenty of labels that will push anything for an extra dollar. Is Christ really being honored by this?

  • Cassandra

    I work for an organization that doesn’t allow me to drink alcohol. They do believe it is biblical, but they just don’t allow it. They believe that if I want to drink alcohol, the Father would work through me, but they cannot facilitate.

    I’m sure this label has the same issues. It’s not that they don’t think the Father can do thinks through Derek’s music, it’s just that they can’t put their name on it according to pre-established principles.

  • http://matthaeck.com Matt

    i get the feeling nobody here grew up on a farm. what’s that smelly stuff the pigs wallow in on a farm? Answer: SHIT. It’s a word people.

    OH! And some have been calling it a “Curse” word. REALLY?! You haven’t even thought about this. Even if it were a “bad” word, it is not a curse word or a swear word. You don’t use it to curse or swear. Apparently some don’t give a shit about the definition of words or about being honest about their sin. Our own “righteousness” really is shit in God’s eyes. Those are his words, not mine.

  • dsweetgoober

    Hey Matt, I guess you never read the Bible much on the farm huh? Why would God inspire Paul to tell the Ephesians to avoid “filthiness” in thier conversation? Why would he tell the Colossians to “put off all filthy communication out of your mouth”? Why would he tell the Thessalonians to “abstain from even the appearance of evil”? Using profanity to augment the truth for shock value shows a lack of faith in God’s word. It is the power of God unto salvation for all those who believe and does not need to be laced with profanity to accomplish that or any other task like, exhortation, teaching, rebuking sin, etc., listed in the Bible. If you want to become like the world to accomplish God’s work you’re like those who say “Let us d o evil that good may come”. You’re wrong.

  • Groz

    It is really sad that this is an issue. Derek Webb and the people arguing for him should be ashamed. Since when does a christian musician’s “artistic expression” supercede biblical authority. Try to justify all you want but a true Christian basing his views on the word of God (e.g., DSWEETGOOBER) can stand up against anyone who is basing his views on what he feels. I can’t imaging that God would approve of using tactics such as this to get more people to hear the word. And Travis I do care about the 30,000 children who will die of hunger. I also care about the people who could be hoodwinked into a diluted, substitute faith and end up in hell for an eternity. And ADHUNT, if Christian music has to “grow up” in your words, then why have Christian music.

  • Dusty

    DSWEETGOOBER, Matt is just quoting the apostle Paul , maybe you should read the Bible a little more. In Philippians 2:8-9 Paul says he counts all his good works as the Greek word “skubalon,” which is a shock value word for cow dung, or translated into modern English “shit.” Paul also in Galatians describes the Jewish sect that was requiring keeping the law, as performing “katatomh,” or in what English translators call the mutilation, as opposed to circumcision. This word has extremely vulgar connotations to it involving the fact that instead of “cutting around or away” they were “completely severing.” So either when the apostle Paul said let there be no filthiness in your speech, he was talking about in particular situations, or he didn’t consider the use of words like shit, and particular sexual vulgarity to be included. Not only did the apostle Paul use this type of language, but so did the apostles James, John, and Peter, who often used strong language. All three of them used the word “kuon” at least a few times in the gospels. This word is often translated gentile dog in English translations, but would probably be better translated “bitch,” or “bastard,” or the equivalent, and is often translated in that type of fashion in extrabiblical literature.

  • dsweetgoober

    DUSTY filthy language is a matter of cultural determination and simply defining a word that Paul used as meaning “dung” is in no way proving that Paul or any other disciple (much less Jesus as some have suggested here) was swearing. I can use dung, manure, crap, poop or plenty of other words without being vulgar or filthy so it clearly goes beyond the mere meaning of a word and becomes a matter of “idiosyncratic expressions” within a culture. Paul clearly takes a stand against such usage and you’ll never convince me that he would then turn around and violate that command when it suits his purpose. If Derek doesn’t like the restraints of Biblical Christianity then he simply needs to go out into the world on his own sell his music as a secular artist. A sheep in wolves clothing of you will.

  • Dusty

    These words are clearly offensive, look at the way they are used in extrabiblical literature. When Achilles uses “Koun” when speaking to Hector in the Iliad, he is obviously using it as a vulgar or profane word. So either the apostles use a vulgar or profane word in a non-profane way, or their use of this profane word is not sinful in the context. Or how about the way that Lucretius uses “skubalon,” it clearly has a vulgar context to it, that entails the filthiness and complete lack of beauty or redemptive qualities in it. Sounds sort of like the way Paul was using it to describe our righteousness. So this usage of vulgar or profane words may not be necessary, and may sometimes be sinful, but it can’t be said to be sinful in every context and every usage.

  • Nate

    Because Jesus Never Called the pharisees Whited Sepulchers, which at the time would have culturally been considered uncouth and vulgar, nor did gentle Jesus eve Violently drive out the money changer from the temple.

    Come on people HOLY is a way of the heart not a way of the tongue. those that practice holiness by rote are the same people Jesus was referring to when he said whited sepulchers.

  • Tyler

    Folks like DSWEETGOOBER and GROZ seem to be confusing vulgarity with culture curse words. DSWEETGOOBER says that “crap” is OK but “shit” isn’t. Why? It seems quite arbitrary.

    DWSWEETGOOBER: You says that “filthy language is a matter of cultural determination”. Says who? Personally, I think that using the words “retards” and “fags” is a whole lot filthier than saying “what the hell”.

    Condemning certain words because they’re “of the world” is both hypocritical and illogical. After all, these words were deemed vulgar based on “the world’s” standards. If you’re actually looking for a biblical standard for what is and isn’t vulgar, I don’t know that using “the world’s” measuring stick is the way to do it. Hell no.

    Denouncing something simply because it is “of the world”—not because it is specifically unbiblical—is nothing more than selective legalism used to reinforce your preexisting opinion. Look, I don’t like Crocs, but I don’t say that Christians shouldn’t resort to wearing them because “they’re so worldly”. If you’re serious about reviling all “worldly” things, say goodbye to baseball, rock ‘n’ roll, Twitter and hamburgers.

    If you think that your relationship with Christ is superfantastic because you don’t use words X, Y and Z, only listen to Christian rock and don’t make the ‘rock on’ sign—yeah, I’m looking at you ‘Paul’—I feel sorry for you.

    • For the record, I’ve put “the world” in quotes throughout this because earnestly using that term makes me feel like I’m in ninth grade youth group listening to Audio Adrenaline all over again.
  • Jay

    DSWEETGOOBER & DUSTY:
    What if I told you I left the “church”(haha,) because of pharisees..I mean people.. like you? So frickin legalistic! Do me a favor.. Get over yourselves, please, and point that condenming finger of yours elsewhere…

    …Oh, SHIT !

  • http://wearethestories.blogspot.com/2009/05/derek-webbs-stockholm-syndrom.html Eric
  • Jay

    Oh. I forgot to add… I worked missions for a year in India (YEAH! I love Jesus Christ, but said SHIT! in my last post!!!!) and just FYI, everybody over there says shit. Kids, teachers, and even corporate leaders. Like its no big deal. Its not a “bad” word to them.

    Why is it different here? Well you see, people like DSWEETGOOBER and DUSTY like to put standards and legalism on Salvation. Talk about being SALT OF THE EARTH!!

    Well, pharisees, its been fun but I don’t want to hold you up any longer with this post. You have some more condemning to do!

  • michael

    Well…80 responses including this one…if you want to do some pre-release marketing, this is sure a good strategy.

  • Josh

    ::satire:: This list of comments is why Christians should still be in slavery to Rome and not know their own Scriptures; they should still be in Latin and out of the hands and minds of the common folk ::satire::

  • Brian Q.

    I don’t really have a problem with the s-word per se. Many have made good points here on both sides. What I have a potential problem with is how he’s using this controversy to market the album. In the supposedly sincere latest email, there’s a coded message to go to http://www.paradiseisaparkinglot.com where he’s giving clues about the album, ala an ARG. So what seems like a plea for help and understanding is really more marketing. Maybe. I’ll give it a while to pan out.

  • marcelo

    i find it hilarous that u all keep writing “the s-word” or “s@%^T”. Just write “shit.”
    Otherwise, you are just proving you are offended by how the letters are strung together, as opposed to the actual meaning (regardless of context). And if it’s the meaning you are having trouble with, don’t read philipians, since the word paul uses for “rags” in greek has a very similar connotation as “shit”.

  • http://www.thisisluke.com Luke Ramey

    aw shit… who cares. Release the album, INO is not the guardian of Christ or His church.

    and this probably has publicity stunt written all over it. Cause from what I know of Derek and INO… I don’t think they really give a shit.

  • http://none Shane

    It’s probably a rhetorical device similar to that the people like Campolo have used before. “And you treat homosexuals like shit, in fact you care more about me saying shit than you do homosexuals”

  • Drew Cunningham

    I don’t know if anyone has discussed this yet, but please go look up the greek word Paul uses in Phil 3:8 that is translated “filth” or “dung”…. yes, the word is skubalon and is translated as “shit” in most greek lexicons. Yes… Paul was not above using the word shit.

  • Stephanie

    Perhaps the church would be more effective if “liberal” Christians didn’t bash “conservative” Christians for being legalistic and actually went out and did something to help others.

  • Landon

    Oh my brothers and sisters! There is as much hate and contentiousness here as I find on forums of the as-yet unredeemed. We will never all agree on our use of the English vocabulary. Can we agree that Jesus died and rose again and that salvation is through faith in him and that the world we know him through OUR LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER AND OUR UNITY? Wouldn’t it be nice if Paul could write us a letter and clarify his language? I fear however that all we would receive is a reprimand and a plea to be of one Spirit. My heart is broken for all of us, family. Let us repent!

  • dsweetgoober

    I entered into this discussion knowing full well it is hypothetical, because we don’t even know what Derek says yet, but the discussion is good. Jude wrote that we need to “earnestly contend for the faith that was delivered to the saints”. What I find humorous here is two things….no three. One, my words are being twisted to the point where I am a pharisee teaching that people can’t be saved without giving up swearing (a ridiculous idea I never would even consider); two, so many people are willing to reason their way around clear scriptural injunctions concerning filthy talk to the point where I am supposed to believe that paul would teach one thing and practice another—-in scripture! It reminds me of those who “professing themselves to be wise became fools”; three, it is actually amusing to me how so many of you have used this as an excuse to use the word in question in your posts in the most offensive way possible.

    Your salvation doesn’t depend on your language, your standing with God does not depend on your language (that was settled at the Cross), it’s what kind of witness you are being to the world that matters. All you can do is whine about what you can and can’t get away with instead of counting the cost of what it takes to reach other people. Believe me, the world is not impressed when you bend over backwards to sound like they do and prove the “liberty” available in the Gospel. The Bible says not “to use your liberty as a cloak of maliciousness” or “an excuse to do evil”. God set us free so that we would be free to to do good, not evil.

    The issue comes down to living according to the other persons conscience, something that Paul uses three chapters to express in I Corinthians. If you can’t lay down your right to use foul language for the sake of the lost then that’s your problem but don’t spend your time trying to convince others that they are in bondage to religion because they are obeying the scriptures.

  • http://wearethestories.blogspot.com/2009/05/derek-webbs-stockholm-syndrom.html Eric

    Stephanie:

    It’s a bit ironic when you ask “liberal” Christians to go out there and do something instead of bashing “conservative” Christians. I’d have put it the other way…

  • Shawn

    May each of you, including Derek, be reminded by The Holy Spirit that you are accountable for every word, thought, action, consideration, motivation, etc. (with your accompanying reasons for such) during your years on the earth. I encourage each of you to consider and discern the consequences of what you have said to each other on this thread as if you said these words (complete with underlying motivations and intentions) to The King of Kings Himself. May God be glorified by those who seek Him above all else, and may He fill the mouths of His true disciples with words that will further His Kingdom !

  • nan

    as a mom I would not want my children to be listening to music with me hear that word being sang whether in a holy way or not and think its ok to run to church or school or anywhere in that matter and speak it out. It gives a wrong message to the children as to what appropriate language of a believer should be. Not a good influence. Won’t be listening to that song. If its a problem for his record company he should be submissive to them otherwise the message he wants to convey will not be heard. Is that worth one word??? I would just remove the word.

  • Joanna

    using profanity in a Christian song is simply not acceptable for me. (What is the point of listening to Christian music, instead of secular music, anyway, if they’re going to express their feelings using the s-word?!?!) which, by the way, in my opinion, is most definately a bad word.profanity.what ever you want to call it – i say, if you wouldn’t say it in church. . . don’t say it at all!!! I haven’t really been a fan of Mr. Webb, ever (i never really listened to him), but I certainly will not be supporting him now…I listen to Christian music,and I want it to be clean, because I listen to it so I do not have to listen to the dirty secular music, and because I want to glorify God by listening to it. If people decide to let a little s-word slide in a Christian song… you have to ask yourself, what’s next? Also, Christians are supposed to in the world but not of the world . . . if we talk like the world, how can we be a witness to unbelievers?!?!

  • JC

    I have listened to and enjoyed Derek Webb’s music for years ever since the earliest Caedmon`s stuff. I have always thought of him as the “torchbearer” of the best in Christian song writing (handed down from K. Green and R. Mullins). However, if his album contains this profanity I cannot purchase it. I know this is a stumbling block to me and do not want to fall back into an uncontrolled tongue. He has the freedom to use it but I have to be discerning in what I listen to for my own spiritual growth (as we all do). I would be so very disappointed if I couldn`t buy the album though. All the best Derek. Trust you are praying through this.

  • Matt

    to think that listening to “christian music” somehow gives you a leg up in your sanctity is precisely the self-righteousness that Paul himself called “shit”. …and it makes you “OF” the world but not really “IN” it.

  • http://www.jamiecarrollmusic.com Jamie Carroll

    Reading the above entries is much of the reason I “left” the “Christian” Music Industry to begin with. Funny how we look for anything to pick out that we consider wrong or bad, etc. Funny how all the good the Derek has done goes un-noticed over the word SHIT. Funny how in other cultures that word (among others) is NOT considered “offensive” rather just another word. I for one am sick of pleasing people in word OR deed. If you’re looking for “scripture” to bakc that up, then by all means see Galatians 1:10. I generally choose not to “USE” scripture AGAINST anyone for any reason. I believe we in the USA have forgotten that we seriously do not have a clue. It’s simple: If the word offends you, don’t say it or listen to music that uses it. Keep in mind that there is certainly something in ALL of us that SOMEONE out there would not like or consider offensive. I am finished with this kind of religious rule and opinionated urging. My wife and children are happy with me just the way I am and I am happy with Derek Webb just the way he is (I’ll bet God is too). LOL

    For more of my ramblings visit http://www.jamiecarrollmusic.com

    I opened for Derek twice. He is a great man. A normal man. No high and lofty religious mask to be found…just truth and love.

    Jamie

  • JC

    Open-ended question:

    Would you use a song with “shit” in it during a church service? Why or why not?

    I personally think we have the freedom in Christ to use it and we in North America are tied to much self-imposed righteousness. However, I would not use it in a church service for fear of this being a stumbling block to myself or fellow brothers/sisters in the church.

    Thoughts?

    (BTW Jamie, God is never happy where we are unless we are perfect. His work of sanctification is ongoing. He does save us where we are though, and that is amazing.)

  • Will you take the Blue Pill?

    Contrary to what this website declares. Derek’s album is being released, and he is doing it via the mysterious message. If you go to his website you will uncover hidden messages (codes) in the text and a couple links (4 links on the page: 2 hidden, 2 not) If you follow those as well, you will find more information that will show you this is the most brilliant social media marketing scheme ever.

  • Mike

    People are starving, people are suffering,
    and a lil’ boy with a guitar is whining

  • TJ DeBoue

    Does anyone else fear that Jesus will come back overturning tables?

  • http://www.me.com/matthammon Matt Hammon

    Derek Webb is the “freaking shoot”

  • http://web.me.com/matthammon M Hammon

    Derek Webb is the “freaking shoot”

  • B Brothers

    I’m with Derek on this. Anyone remember Mike Roe’s first solo release, “Safe as Milk”? There was a curdled version (for Christian Bookstores) and a non curdled version (for every place else). All this because of the tune, “It’s for you”.

  • Joanna

    I’m not sure if the 95th comment from matt was directed at me or not, but if it was, let me put what I was trying to say this way: (I am not very good at saying what I want to say.) I’m not trying to offend anyone by saying that I think I am “self righteous” by listening to Christian music. I do not think this. While Paul may or may not have called self-righteousness the s word, I think it was also Paul who said that if what we do causes others to stumble, we should not do it. Even if the s-word is “just a word”, if someone who is new Christian, or someone who is struggling, and they know we are listening to “Christian” music with profanity in it, it can become a stumbling block for them. Honestly, it almost makes me want to swear, seeing all these people who think that Derek Webb is doing the right thing…when you think about it, yes, it does seem “silly” to be debating “just a word” unless this word turns others away from Christ. I am not trying to judge anyone, but I do hope that Derek Webb will be praying through this time about his descisions.

  • Hannah

    I agree with joanna on this she is right.

  • Mike R.

    #95, I think you meant to say “not merely in it” instead of “not really in it.”

    Jamie, thanks for the perspective. It’s really a testament to the point DW is trying to make when everyone is getting so riled up about an insignificant word or about being gay or any other thing that we get our knickers in a twist about. NEWSFLASH: We are all sinners, no one person more than anyone else. We do need to love in word AND in deed and I don’t believe that is happening. Thanks again Jamie.

  • Ethan Perkins

    I think that none of you know what you are talking about…

    I wish you guys would take your little 10 year old argument to a message board and leave this site to updates that people find.

    If any of you actually knew Derek you would know that saying shit is not a big deal.

    Derek talks often about being open and honest as an artist. If he replaced the word shit it would not be true to who he is.

    You guys are annoying.

    NOW

    any updates?

    My cousin is Josh Cobia, he lives in the Bay Area, he just happened to be visiting a school in LA. LUCKY BASTARD!

  • Hannah

    The s -word is a bad word no mater who says it. I don’t think that he should call himself a christian.

  • lanceropolis

    To comment 108. There are no such things as “Bad” words, just bad intentions behind words. And IF it is something that displeases God, that is rather shortsighted to just throw him out of Christianity like that. The God I know and love extends grace… Have you done something that displeases God as of late? Did you get thrown out?

  • lanceropolis

    This pertains to comment 87.

    Well as a conservative Christian (and I am under the assumption by your comment that you are) what have you done that outweighs what a liberal Christian has done lately? I have no idea what either is doing, so I can’t comment either way, but I find it a bit presumptuous that you would make that comment. As well as comment #90. I just don’t know what to say about who is right, I feel both are wrong. Just love each other. We are on the same side here…

    I don’t know all of what to say about this without sounding weird. It just seems works based. Not that I don’t do things for people, but my main objective is to just do what I feel the Lord is asking me to do at any given time… I am a liberal to some, and conservative to others, so I don’t know even what category I fit in… But seriously, how many on here see this as shooting at flags instead of foundations? (referencing a quote about shooting at a castles flag to overtake the castle, and not at the foundation which will topple it) All I know is I am saved. You are saved. Jesus has won, and God help me fight my way through what is left of this short life.

  • Older bro

    Come on, 109. That’s semantics, pure and simple. You could say that there are no bad words, and there are, believe me, but what does it matter? Your argument is that the intention behind a word is all that matters. Well, how can one judge the intentions behind a word? Hmm? Can you see into Mr. Webb’s heart? Into his soul? Do you know his intentions?

    I can safely say that, unless you’re some kind of mind-reading alien squid-person, you have no idea what Derek Webb’s intentions were. And since humans cannot judge intent, why should we give any reason for people to doubt our intentions?

    What I mean is this. Why say a word that, by social contract, is considered “bad”, when you can say another word that might convey the same meaning? Basically, even if his intentions WEREN’T bad, the word he used didn’t show it. “Out of the attitude of the heart the mouth speaks.”

    I think INO records is perfectly justified in withholding this from the Christian music market. What kind of example do we show to others when our songs are just as filled with profanity as others. (Maybe it’s not that bad, but still. It’s the principal of the thing.)

    What I see here is a load of misguided young’ins (I’m a young’in myself, but not misguided. :-P) who really want to hear Derek Webb’s new album, and are setting aside their principles to do so. As Christians, we are the salt and the light of the world. You can say that “Christ would have forgiven Derek Webb” and sure, he would have, but when you say “Christ would have had no problem saying the s-word” (I’m looking at you, #6.)you’re entering into:

    A. Blasphemy.
    B. Liberal thought, the destroyer of humanity.
    C. Weak, watery Christianity.
    D. Silliness, plain and simple.

    Any of you who have no problem with saying those four little letters (and other worse four letter words) ought to take a serious look at your behavior. Are you glorifying God and Christ with the testimony you are showing to others? Are you behaving as Jesus would have had you behave? Are you showing love with your tone of voice, with your words?

    Do you have the Fruits of the Spirit in your life?

    Are you even truly a Christian, or just a misinformed teenager who wants to be different?

  • Joanna

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you #111 from the bottom of my heart…what you just said was exactly what I tried to say and probably failed… I hope not, but I will be the first to admit, I was never the best with words. thanks. :)

    …. will be praying for Mr. Webb.

  • lanceropolis

    Thank you #111. I will respond to your letter in portions. First of all I really appreciate your approach to entering into this discussion with me.

    “Your argument is that the intention behind a word is all that matters. Well, how can one judge the intentions behind a word? Hmm? Can you see into Mr. Webb’s heart? Into his soul? Do you know his intentions?” I think this pretty much sums up my point. I don’t know his soul, and his intentions, and if I came off as judging him in one light or the other I apologize. That was not my point. The questions you ask pretty much take care of 95% of the posts on this board.

    As far as being semantics, this whole board is about semantics, so I don’t think you can solo me out on that one. I guess the example I would use is this. If you are in an abusive relationship, and you are scared to leave, it is because you have given power to the person that is the abuser. (I have been in one, this is first hand, before I get flamed…) Much in the same way we give power to words. I can not stand when people use the term “bad” words. All words are inherintly neutral. The association can be negative or positive, but a word itself is not bad nor good. It is a word. That is my point. You cannot judge a persons soul by the “language” one uses from their vernacular. I think you summed that up in a much more brilliant way than I ever could have by your question.

    “What I mean is this. Why say a word that, by social contract, is considered “bad”, when you can say another word that might convey the same meaning? Basically, even if his intentions WEREN’T bad, the word he used didn’t show it. “Out of the attitude of the heart the mouth speaks.”” Amen… but… If it is agains your social contract don’t listen, don’t read, don’t participate. Unfortunately there are many in this world (and by world I mean earth in general) that do not have the same social graces that you may, or may not have. If the meaning is the same, why does the spelling matter? It is what it is. It holds the same meaning which society holds as “unacceptable” or “acceptable”, then what really is the difference. Maybe the song isn’t aimed at you. Maybe it is… I chose not to use vulgarity in my everyday language because I think intelligence can be shown in using a more creative approach, but do I use them occasionally? Yes. Do I feel bad? No. I think with the word damnit with the word God in front of it there is a sketchy, sketchy ground. Basically you curse whatever you say that in reference to. I’m not so big on curses. But using the word that this whole blog about is not a curse, not a threat to a persons life, it is a word. The word “Jesus” to me is precious. That is the name of someone that loved us all so much, that he died for us. But to a hindu, the word “Jesus” can have quite a different meaning.

    I feel like everything I want to say can be summed up in this statement. It is time for those that follow the tenets of Jesus to get out of a pious box (and I am not calling any one particular here pious, rather I am including myself and making a broad statement) and start living the gospel. Not just flippantly talking about it once a week. In the scheme of things, does it matter if DW said shit? I kind of doubt it. Some may be offended by it, and if that is the case you are entitled to your offense, and you can hang on to that if you so choose. Once we get out of our box and choose to love, really love… Christ like love… than so many things will become dim and the true kingdom will light right up. Our focus should be on Him, and Him alone. Not on an “artist” saying shit. I don’t think you will argue that with me either.

    “Christ would have had no problem saying the s-word” (I’m looking at you, #6.)” because I doubt #6 is still reading this blog, I just want to know, and this is an honest question, didn’t Jesus call the temple sellers wares when he overturned the tables “capreon?” (I don’t know the spelling, forgive me oh those that speak greek :) ) If you translated that into modern speech I think he would have said something like “This is shit. Why are you selling this in My Fathers house?” I honestly could be wrong about this, but I have always wondered, and it seems like a wonderful time to bring it up.

    You asked earlier “how can one judge…” (I just didn’t want to type the whole sentence) So I ask you, aren’t A – D judgements? And as far as B goes, Liberal thought is not the destroyer of humanity. Sin was, and can no longer hold claim to that title. Jesus didn’t die to save us from liberal thought… (wasn’t Jesus considered a liberal in his day?) I also think it is important to say here that if your faith is a closed minded based faith, where you have not allowed yourself to listen to our current societies logic, and reasoning, and STILL chosen to believe in God, are you really solid in faith? Closed mindedness is the root of anger, imo. I choose to listen, but my heart always goes back to the same place. He loved me to his own hurt, He loved me to where his scars bare the surety of my acceptance, how can I not love Him back?

    And to answer your questions at the bottom, Yes I have the fruits of the spirit in my life. And I am truly a Christ follower. I unfortunately passed being a teenager quite a few years ago, and I could care less about being different.

    Again Older Bro, Thank you. I genuinely mean it, and hope we can continue this discussion :)

  • Ethan Perkins

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  • lanceropolis

    Oh and #111, just to clarify something, to YOU there are words with a “bad” connotation, as to me some have negative connotation, but prove to me that a word is “bad” without using social context, and I will gladly accept your point of view.

    And just to clarify what I meant about “you make my point for me”, is that you are asking me if I can judge DW’s heart. The answer is no, and neither can anyone else, and that includes you.

  • Matt

    “Stepped in a pile of shit” is the same as “Stepped in a pile of crap”

    American Christianity has constructed a wall/difference between the two…

    “I want a new law”

  • Bella

    Wow. I have not gone to church or listened to Christian music in quite a while… but if this Derek Webb fellow is truly writing music about genuine spirituality and social justice, then he can say shit and other non-blasphemous expletives all he wants: he’s got my attention. I have a feeling that the Jesus who said that ineffective Christians were “not fit for the dunghill” would approve (Luke 14).

  • Bella

    Also, you Christians who seem to think that “shit” is still a bad word according to the “social contract:” it seems that you associate only with other like-minded Christians, because that word is everywhere in the adult world except for prime-time TV. It’s in classrooms, law offices, buses, and coffee shops. You have no idea. Most of society at large, except for grade-school teachers and conservative Christians, has given up this as taboo, because it’s just so silly that the Victorians turned it into a bad word. It’s in Shakespeare, for goodness’ sake.

  • Joanna

    to 119: Shakespeare has nothing to do with anything. What is really confusing me is why everyone here is arguing about this word, whether it’s acceptable or not. I’m assuming all these people are professing to be Christians… so, if that is right, why would Christians tolerate it? Why does the majority here seem to think that it’s just fine if the body of Christ looks exactly like the world, when we are commanded to be a light shining for all the world to see? Give me one good reason why an artist professing to be a Christian should use the s-word, even if it is everywhere else in the world, in his music and call it a Christian song… tell me that and I will shut up.

  • Joanna

    Also, to 118: Maybe I am wrong, but I don’t think most people use the s-word to literally mean “poop”. They use it as a swear word.
    So, in Bible times, they didn’t have plumbing….. they would have to have a pile of waste somewhere. I belive in Luke 14 Jesus was talking about such a pile… he was not swearing. I’m not trying start a war here, but Jesus would NOT be okay with the s-word.

  • Joanna

    Also, to #118: Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think most people use the s-word to literally mean “poop”.
    So, in Bible times, they didn’t have plumbing…. they would have had to have a pile of waste (a ‘dunghill’) somewhere. I believe that this is what Jesus was referring to in Luke 14. I’m not trying to start a war here, but Jesus would NOT be okay with the s-word.

  • Joanna

    sorry i didn’t mean to post that twice. whoops.

  • Lanceropolis

    Joanna… Here is my response to you asking for one good reason…

    Because Jesus is far greater than the word “shit” and DW may just have included a portion of Godless society that wanted nothing to do with the church due to previous hurts or wrongs. These people look for someone to RELATE to, and unfortunately no human alone (except Christ) can reach all people all the time.

    Seriously everybody, I think there are bigger battles than to argue this point. I highly doubt Joanna and I will ever agree, but she is someone, that once I get to heaven, as does she, that I will look up and have a hug for and with. After all it is the eternal we should focus on, not a vulgarity…

  • Joanna

    I agree that Christ is far bigger and greater than any word… but I do listen to Christian music for a reason – to glorify God – and I have a hard time believing that God is really glorified by ‘shit’. I don’t care if somebody wants to put that word in their music, even if it’s for people to relate to, but then don’t sell it as Christian music. (I also think that as Christians, there are other words out there for us to relate to besides shit.) I will not be listening to it. There are way bigger battles than this… but if people ignore this, let this little tiny four letter word slide, what is next? From what I can see, things don’t usually get better… they get worse. The f-word is only four little letters…hmmmmm. It’s kind of like smoking… “it can’t hurt if I just try it” turns into “it’s not really that bad” and before you know it, you’re addicted to nicotine. Or when you’re dating someone you really like. Maybe you start with holding hands… then maybe you might start kissing them… you usually don’t quit and go back to just holding hands. The human nature will push you further unless you know where to stop. Maybe I’m exaggerating, but somehow I don’t think so.
    One more thing… is Lanceropolis your real name?
    … if that’s not too nosy. :)

  • lanceropolis

    lol, no Lance is my real name. I would be angry if my mom named me lanceropolis. By the way, that isn’t nosy at all. :)

    I know what you are saying, and I think I am just going to say I agree to disagree. I don’t want to argue or belittle anyones belief, especially when we ultimately worship the same God, and the same Son.

    The only thing I will respond to is that I don’t think the
    “relating” would come from current christians, but perhaps non christians. Sorry if I didn’t make that clear. :)

  • Older Bro

    “The association can be negative or positive, but a word itself is not bad nor good.”

    Ok then. Howabout the f-bomb? Think about it for a minute. I’m going to use an example from popular science-fiction television programming to illustrate this.

    Frak. Ok? In Battlestar Galactica, Frak is a euphemism for the f-word. Now whereas the actual f-word just sounds offensive, saying frak, which has exactly the same meaning (or close to the same meaning), is in some way acceptable for the majority of television-watchers. It’s because the f-word is just offensive. It SOUNDS offensive.

    And think about it. When you say the f-word, you’re basically saying the word “rape”. Rape is the worst thing one person can do to another (basically) and no matter what “association” you put on the f-word, good or bad, it will still mean “go rape yourself”.

    And to 119. John Jacques Rousseau was a philosopher who came up with the idea of the “social contract”. Without going into detail, the idea is that the will of society will dictate how things go, what is acceptable and what is not.

    The majority of American society would be people who profess a religion and the baby boomers (who still seem to have some kind of “values”).

    Basically, society has for a very long time dictated that the s-word is a “bad” word. Only in recent modern times, when morals are degrading and the media is growing ever more lenient, has it become relatively acceptable to say it out loud in public or include it in television programming.

    Even then, Christians hold themselves to a higher standard of purity. The crux of the argument is this: One should not market a song with profanity in it as “Christian” unless they want to cause a great deal of controversy.

    No, scratch that, one should not market a song with profanity in it as “Christian”, period.

  • lanceropolis

    127.

    If you had read my entire posting, you would have realized I discussed the “f-bomb” and its origins. The “f-bomb” is not just a verb, so it depends on the context with which you are saying it, it changes from verb to noun to pronoun. And no it doesn’t mean rape. Dictionary. com has quite an extensive definition if you want to look it up.

    And to respond to your comment about social contract, and John Jacques Rosseau, I don’t care if a philospher said that, he isn’t who my heart belongs to. I don’t see him mentioned in the scriptures, so I am just running on the assumption that he is a regular man, with a far larger brain capacity than I.

    For a long time “society” viewed medicine as witchcraft and voodoo. Just because “society” believes a certain way, does not make it true… at all.

    Older bro, you still haven’t answered some of the questions I have asked. I really would like to hear what you have to say in response.

    My wife made an excellent point. For years the Christians have seen the record labels as “their friends” in making sure that what gets to them is pure and holy. This is where a loud buzzer should sound. It’s marketing. INO is a company that sells a specific product to specific people. Their genre. It’s a business, and the quicker people realize this, the quicker it is to get over this conversation about shit. INO is not going to protect your ears, not for protections sake at least. They will because you are the target demographic, and they don’t want to lose your business. Argue that if you want, but it’s the truth. I can very much say these things in authority of what I am saying. I do not feel that INO should release this record. It doesn’t help them in any way, and it doesn’t help their target demographic. So surprising as it may seem, I do not believe that this record should be released, if DW is insistent in keeping this song on there.

    “One should not market a song with profanity in it as “Christian”, period.” … Honestly that sounds to me like judgement. It is a terrible shame that you would discount something as “non-christian” merely because of a word. Context, context, context… CONTEXT

    As for saying the majority of american society, and baby boomers (and I’m leaving words out, you know what I am referring to) still have some kind of “values” is almost laughable. You are kind of arguing against yourself. What values? What you see on TV and what you hear on the radio in large, is dictated by the PEOPLE WATCHING IT. 16 million viewers watching American Idol’s finale, is a large number. Are values found in objectifying women? Are values found in commercials that make fun of certain social groups or classes? Where are the values? If Frak is a valueless word, why do you thing Battlestar Gallactica is such a HUGE show? Because that is what society, the american society at large, wants to watch. They don’t want Sandi patti live at red rocks, they want their Battlestar gallactica. They want thier fill of frak and the cylons. So basically your view of society is narrow, and not realistic. If you think that America holds values, then you really need to step back and take a look. This is a fallen world. Porn is produced and exported from what country? What is the #1 product on the internet? That is society. It is cruelly sick and twisted, and of no value at all. The ONLY thing, and I mean ONLY thing that has any value in this world is the faith and knowledge that Jesus Christ died for us all, and we are redeemed SOLELY by his blood. That’s it. That’s the only REAL value any of us can ever hope to understand.

    Older bro. I don’t mean to single you out, or attack, but I have to know. Do you really believe that Liberal Thought is the “destroyer of humanity”? How do you get that? That makes zero sense. Where in the bible does Christ talk about this? Jesus never said “Close your mind to everything. Liberal thought will lead you down the path of destruction.” The pharisees were the conservatives of the time (and as I recall Jesus was none to fond of either the pharisees or the saduccees). Why? Because they were legalistic and they all missed the point. The point wasn’t the rules, and the do this and don’t do that. The point was the relationship. That’s it. A real living breathing completely accepting relationship with God whom Jesus’ death built a bridge so we could connect with him intimately and deeply. Don’t you see? Saying shit has nothing to do with any of the real stuff… Nothing.

    (any my point is about pharisees and saduccees, not conservative Christians, just to make that clear. Conservative Christians today, would be seen as the most extreme liberals of that time period, so please, please, please… I am not attacking conservative Christianity…)

  • Joanna

    126: I know what you mean about non Christians relating. But aren’t there plenty of secular songs out there for them to relate to? If Christians are going to witness to non believers, shouldn’t it be our differences from the world that they see? We don’t listen to the same music as them, they ask why? We tell them, and become a witness for Christ. (And maybe they don’t even ask; maybe they just see how we are different.) We can’t be salt and light in the world if we are exactly the same as the world. And when you say it is a matter of the context the word is used in, well…not everybody thinks that far. To most people, the s-word is a swear word from whichever way you care to look at it. So even if some Christians can remain strong and firm in their faith while listening to ‘questionable music’, it may be different for a younger Christian. If what I do causes others to sin, even if God may not directly say in the Bible, ‘do not do this’, it is a sin to me also.

  • lanceropolis

    129, I am only going to respond to one portion of your post, simply because I do not have time to do it all.

    “I know what you mean about non Christians relating. But aren’t there plenty of secular songs out there for them to relate to?”

    Which is better, a secular influence or a Christian one?

    Sigh… Ok, I want to respond to it all. :)

    We aren’t witnesses because we tell people. We are witnesses by our life, and our living. All I am saying is that there are people that one would consider worldly, who if a “christian” artist said “shit” they would be more apt to listen because they are able to relate to them, and then they hear the message. It can happen both ways (meaning swear word or not).

    If your faith waivers because of listening to a song with the word “shit” in it, I would say you probably need to revisit your faith… just my opinion.

    I appreciate what you say about being a stumbling block. Good point. But in this case, if he doesn’t say shit he becomes a stumbling block to people who don’t care, and then think he is a hypocrit (sorry, brain foggy don’t know how to spell right now) for pulling it for censorship, or he is a stumbling block to a portion of believers for even entertaining putting the word in there in the first place.

    “We can’t be salt and light in the world if we are exactly the same as the world” … Saying shit doesn’t make you the same as the world ;)

    I appreciate your convictions Joanna. I sincerely pray that the Lord opens your eyes … (just kidding) I sincerely pray that God blesses you for standing strong to your convictions, and challenging yourself by asking these questions. :)

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