Act 1 l Act 2 l Act 3
Dave (not his real name) was a missionary in Eastern Europe. One Sunday, he was preaching to a church full of nationals. Not yet experienced with the language, Dave unknowingly uttered an obscenity from the pulpit. It was not an ordinary, garden-variety obscenity. No, it was about the worst thing that anyone could say in that language. Then, seeing the audience wince, he assumed that they were under conviction and repeated what he had just said. At last, he went on with his sermon, never guessing that the congregation didn’t hear another word.
After the service, the pastor explained the problem to Dave. Of course, Dave was mortified. He was still embarrassed when he told me about the episode years later. He said, “The problem is that nobody tells you about the bad words until after you say them.” The pastor also told me about it—separately—and then added, “I was praying that the Lord would kill him before he could say it again.”
Dave was a spiritual man who was skilled in handling the Scriptures. He understood all the biblical principles, but he was unable to apply them to the particular expression that he had used. In order to apply the Scriptures, he first had to know what the expression meant. Ignorance of the language kept him from knowing how the biblical principles applied. Read more about Fundamentalists and Theater: Act Four, Says Who?