I’m busy teaching a course on exegesis as a pre-term booster for our senior students. The whole push of the course is encouragement to pay careful, rigorous attention to the text, so as to responsibly discharge our duties as servants of the Word entrusted to us. As I reminded our students, if we were merely orators-for-hire, no one would make a trip to come and listen to us. Hardly any of us are interesting enough to draw a crowd. We’re only valuable in so far as we throw light on God’s message.
I serendipitously happened across a pastor whose video went viral for noteworthy badness. He provided a wonderful example of what happens when study is sidelined. I recount the horrors here not to rub in the ridicule of this guy, but as a mostly serious call for all preachers to catch a wake-up. Misunderstanding scripture and abusing the grave responsibility that the preacher undertakes is not actually a laughing matter. We have more, better resources for study than any generation to date. Can we really justify their obvious, widespread neglect?
The video can be viewed here:
For the rest, below is the transcript of the featured clip, for your masochistic pleasure. The bracketed comments are mine, in case you’re confused.
I’m going to close with one thing. I was reading my Bible this week, and I kept seeing this phrase jumping out at me in the Bible.
And you’re not going to like this, but you haven’t liked the sermon up ‘til now, so why would I try to please you now? You’re going to be mad no matter what. [I like this bit, because it clearly falls prey to the fallacy that goes something like: ‘the congregation’s non-enjoyment of one’s sermon = not teaching what itching ears want to hear = being courageously faithful to the hard and unpopular truths of the Bible’. It’s very much like the fallacy that goes: ‘People hate me. Pharisees hated Jesus. Therefore I am like Jesus, and my detractors are Pharisees’. But I digress].
But I was reading the Bible and I kept seeing this phrase, and I studied this phrase in the Bible, and it’s used six times, and its used by God. It’s used out of the mouth of God, and it’s when the prophet was preaching to the king of Israel, Jeroboam the son of Nebat. He says, ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ he said, ‘I will destroy from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall.’ Have you ever seen that phrase in the Bible? Him that pisseth against the wall? You see that in the Bible. Its used six times in the Bible.
And, you know, six is a significant number in the Bible. It’s the number of a man. You know there are different numbers that represent different things in the Bible. Like seven is the number of completion. Five is the number of death, and you’ll see that all throughout the Bible. People being killed under their fifth rib. Genesis 5:5. Acts 5:5. On and on. You’ll see different numbers and significance in numbers, and six times this phrase is used in the Bible. And you’ll say, ‘Aw, I can’t believe you speak that way, it’s vile’. Well, I’m sorry, but the Bible says that the words of Jesus Christ are wholesome words, and the Bible says every word of God is pure, so don’t accuse me of using bad language. That’s what the Bible says. He said, ‘I will destroy him that pisseth against the wall.’
Now did you ever stop to think, ‘What did God mean by that?’ Does he mean, ‘Well…’. What did he mean? Obviously what is he talking about? All the men, right? He said I am going to kill all the men that come from Jeroboam. Because there’s a difference berween men and women. Only men piss against the wall. Women don’t. OK.
And so God said… He used that language, He used that expression… And by the way, that expression is only used in the King James Bible. The New King James eliminates it. This is what the New King James says. [Adopts effeminate nasal tone] ‘Males’. ‘All the males’. And, you know, the guys who made it, they are males. They’re not men. And God said, a man [emphatically now] is somebody who pisses against the wall.
Did you know this? When I was in Germany, and you’re not even going to believe this… See, ‘Why are you preaching this?’ Because it’s in the Bible [emphatically again].
OK. I was in Germany, and I went to use the restroom in Germany, in several different peoples’ houses, I mean, totally different people. And even in public places they had a sign that prohibited a man from peeing standing up! I’m not kidding! I mean, you can ask… my wife is from Germany, and I was there for three and a half months. They had a sign in peoples’ houses… they had a sign in a public restroom [spitting the words now] that prohibited… it had kind of a circle with a line through it, and it’s… ‘no… peeing standing up’. And I asked my wife, and I said… I thought it was like a joke… I was like, ‘Is that a joke? It’s kind of a crude joke.’ She said, ‘It’s not a joke.’ She said, ‘No man in Germany pees standing up’.
[Long, long pause.]
That’s where we’re headed in this country, my friend! We’ve got a bunch of pastors who pee sitting down! And we’ve got a bunch of… and you say, ‘Oh, you’re being vile’. I’m n… Hey! Then God’s being vile! God’s the one that wrote the Bible, my friend! We’ve got pastors who pee sitting down. We’ve got a president of the United States probably pees sitting down. We got a bunch of preachers, we’ve got a bunch of leaders who don’t stand up and piss against the wall like a man.
And I’m going to tell you something. That’s what’s wrong with America. You don’t like it? You don’t like an old fashioned Bible that tells you what being a man is all about? Because it’s called the King James Bible. And if you don’t like that term ‘piss against the wall’, then you know what? Go to the bookstore this afternoon and buy a New King James. It’ll take out that word, it’ll take out the word ‘damnation’, it’ll take out the word ‘hell’ about half the time, it’ll take out the word ‘Jehovah’, the name of God. It’ll take out anything in the Bible that has any power to it! It’ll take out anything that tells you how things are supposed to be [getting quite worked up now]! But 400 years ago, pastors used to stand up and preach that [shouting] a man needs to be a man!! … Not a male [homosexual impression again]…. Not the males… It’s because the editors of the NIV pee sitting down. It’s because the editors of the New King James, they all pee sitting down… I’m going to tell you something, I’m not going to pee sitting down. I don’t care if it’s Germany… I’m going to Germany in about a month. You’d better know I’m going to stand up everywhere I go.