Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Breakfast at Sally's

Recently I spent the day in a nearby town visiting and having breakfast with the homeless at the Salvation Army (Sally's). They offer many services to the homeless and needy which include three meals daily.

A friend arranged for me to have a meal and interview Richard LeMieux, (formerly homeless) the author of the book, Breakfast at Sally's. It was an excellent time of learning and I was able to share the gospel with him and others during the day.

Breakfast at Sally's is very well written and informs much about the homeless. 
However, it has very crude and filthy language in several places, language which did not need to be used and distracts from a wider use of the book.

Even though Margaret and I have worked with the poor here in the U.S. and other countries from the beginning of our ministry in 1968, we have a new partial understanding of the homeless and a concern to reach them with the Gospel and compassion. Will you join us?

1 comment:

Guy Coe said...

Hi, Doug--

So glad you were able to meet my friend, Richard LeMieux. So glad the gospel was a good part of the discussion. So glad you liked his book.

As for your concerns about "bad language," please allow me to comment. Richard is used to all kinds of people reviewing his book, and so, it is not a stumbling block for you to mention this concern, but it is a bit of a discouragement --I know, because we discussed it by phone a little while ago.

I have become aware of the many times, surprisingly often, when, in the scriptures themselves, God "offends the mind, in order to expose the heart." The difficulty lies in the practice of translators, where things are "cleaned up" in order to soften the blow of the original language, and the gist of the message gets lost in translation.

This phenomenon is written about accessibly here, in an article online:

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/what-bleep-does-bible-say-about-profanity

It's not just that God "allowed" some authors in Scripture to "use bad language," it's that, as evangelicals, we have to admit that God "inspired" it, within its cultural milieu.

It might even be that the author of the article itself goes too far, in some estimations, in making his point, by the end. But perhaps, that IS the point -- in order to hear him fully, a reader has to be willing to practice grace. Awakening grace in the minds of a hearer is not such a bad thing.

This does not constitute license to use language indiscriminately, obviously --but it is a good reminder to be sure we are majoring on the important things, and not on the incidentals.

Richard's message is lent authenticity and credibility when he used this language in context, in my opinion. Please feel free to disagree --this is a matter of "how much, versus how little" rather than strictly "right or wrong," in my view, and I believe I have backed up my position with scriptural analysis --but, it's scriptural application that's at stake here, and that's where there's freedom to disagree.

In the meantime, thank you for your review, your prayers, and your ministry to and with Richard, and I look forward to meeting you at some future date!

Cheers,

--Guy Coe