Chuck Swindoll dropped from Radio Network

Pastor Chuck Swindoll and his radio program, Insight for Living has been dropped from the VCY Radio Network (never heard of them) for crude language.

According to the press release from VCY Radio Network, Swindoll has used a number of bad words since 2000 (yes, apparently they’ve been keeping a tally for 7 years now): buns, heck, crap and balls. They also said he mentioned and encouraged the viewing of — get ready for it….. “The Lion King.” (gasps, screams, a woman just passed out in the back!)

From the VCY press release:

The decision to bring termination to the IFL program arrived on March 5, 2007. VCY and listeners were highly offended by Chuck Swindoll’s use of crude and uncalled for language. His message was entitled, “Male Leadership 101″ which was a presentation given to men at his church. Although a disclaimer was given at the beginning of the program, Swindoll had a sustained laugh as he stated had he known this would be on radio at the time of speaking he probably would have changed things around because he tends to be “a little loose and a little free.” But he says he found “people appreciate that”. The specific area of offense came when Chuck stated:

“The sons of Issachar understood their times, they were men who had discernment and the sons of Issachar were men who had direction. They could make decisions. They saw through all the fluff of that culture. They stood strong when others were fading in the shadows. Patton would say they had guts. You’d say at work, they had balls. Or maybe that’s a Greek rendering of another verse.” (Laughter)…

Knowing this was Part 1 of a message, VCY pre-listened to the March 6, 2007 broadcast. In this message Chuck Swindoll addressed accountability, sensitivity, purity and integrity. These virtues were compromised when he spoke the following:

“The battle still goes on. It will never end. In fact I had my physical the other day and Cooper who has a finger that long (pause and lots of laughter), that long (continued laughter). And while he was up in there said, ‘Now that’s your prostate.’ I said (Swindoll yells) — ‘I know that’. Was this anatomy class? (Laughter). He’s a very sick man. (Laughter). Got through prostate, checked out great. I bragged about that to Cynthia about three hours. ‘I’ve got a great prostate.’ She said, ‘get a life, honey.'” (Laughter)

VCY finds it unacceptable to broadcast Chuck Swindoll’s re-counting of the length of the finger of his doctor and describing it in his body while checking his prostate. This is both crude and offensive.

It is VCY’s position that this language is gutter talk, is crude, and vulgar. VCY stated to IFL that such language is uncalled for, is unbecoming a pastor, and is inappropriate for our listeners.

Read the full press release.

And of course you know out in the blogosphere there are great responses to the announcement from VCY. From Verum Serum:

It is such a relief to know that Ingrid and the rest of the gang over at Slice (along with the others in the watchdoggie litter) are there defending the faith from the dark machinations of the Evil One who has perverted one of the longest running Christian teaching programs in America. To be sure that we get the salient points and to be sure that we are all on the right judgmental spiritual page, here’s what we have learned:

1) Commonly used social colloquialisms and slang are to be avoided at all costs, and to fail to do so draws into question the amount of Godliness within one’s soul.
2) Discussing the physical realities of life (such as medical examinations) is off limits, especially if it is done in a light and humorous manner.
3) Never, never, EVER expose yourself or your children to any sort of stories or fairytale involving magic, magical lands, magical/talking animals, etc. Magic is always evil, no matter what, so anything that tries to portray it in any other light is anathema and must be shunned and/or stoned and/or burned at the stake of heresy.
4) Words like “heck,” “darn,” “shoot,” “crap,” “dang it,” “darn it,” “dang nabbit,” and the like are all suger-coated cuss words to be avoided at all costs.
5) A literal belief in six 24 hour days of creation is ESSENTIAL for a proper understanding of the Christian faith and thus for salvation. Any other belief/interpretation is heresy and should be treated as such.
6) The consumption of any food or drink that the world seems to approve of is to be avoided. In the case of alcohol, anyone who drinks it has allied themselves with the world and the prince of this world (the Devil). The consumption of alcohol is grounds for immediate condemnation to the bowels of hell. In fact, doing anything for fun and/or pleasure that is also done by the world must be avoided. Besides drinking alcohol, the list would include: eating chocolate (or any sort of food with a pleasant flavor), listening to music (even hymns), dressing in anything but sack cloth (longs skirts for women and suites and ties for men stimulate feelings of pleasure at one’s appearance, which is sinful, besides the fact that such articles of clothing have been conceived by and created by nonbelievers in the world), reading (even the Bible, since reading anything but Leviticus can lend itself to an enjoyable passing of time while one reads about the movement of God in the history of the world), watching movies (even G rated movies, since again they have been developed by nonbelievers and are thus tainted by the impurity of their thoughts and actions), etc.
7) Any reference to any male or female anatomy located below the shoulders and above the knees is to be avoided, lest it stimulate carnal and/or otherwise inappropriate thoughts. Besides the obvious ones, the following words should also be avoided: chest, bosom, breast, crotch, groin, thigh, derriere, bottom, rump, butt, buns, bum, and arse.

Be sure and read the full version.

About VCY Network:

The VCY America radio network is a satellite distributed full-service program schedule consisting of Bible teaching programs, live call-in programs on issues of concern to the Christian community, news and commentary, programs reaching children with the Gospel, and conservative, uplifting Christian music. Programs are selected for their ministry value and their biblical content, rather than financial considerations. There are currently twelve VCY-owned stations across the midwest on this network, plus others that take our programming for a number of hours each day, some of them full-time.

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Jonathan Blundell

I'm a husband, father of three, blogger, podcaster, author and media geek who is hoping to live a simple life and follow The Way.

19 thoughts on “Chuck Swindoll dropped from Radio Network”

    1. Neither the Lord nor Paul were politically correct. Do I have to quote it for you, Scholar?

      Some like to think that they are more godly than God

  1. Ray Jr.,

    “What sin was committed by Mr. Swindoll. Help me out.” Sure Ray Jr., let me help clear the new evangelical semi-pelagian postmodern fog for you.

    For example, Swindoll said: “Patton would say they had guts. You’d say at work, they had balls. Or maybe that’s a Greek rendering of another verse.” Sin is the word “hamartia,” which is an archery term meaning to “miss the mark.”

    What is the mark? Good question; I’m glad you asked. The perfect righteousness and Example of Jesus Christ. One could hardly conceive of Jesus making such a crass remark at work, and certainly not behind the pulpit of God.

    So Swindoll widely missed the mark of Christ here. Therefore by the “Greek rendering” Swindoll commited sin. I’m glad I could help you out here. 🙂

  2. “The perfect righteousness and Example of Jesus Christ.”

    Ken, I’m sure you measure up to this standard 24/7, no?

    By the way, in reading all these blogs, when do you have time to compose sermons? You’re not hitting sermons*r*, are you?

  3. Sorry, Ken. I was too busy dismissing you as a hypocrite.

    By the way, have you talked to Ingrid about of her use of the term “fanny shaking” yet?

  4. Ken, you have vacillatingly pointed out iniquity, which is comendable. Many people, Christians especially, find no reserve in their presentation of godliness nor do we, as humanity, spend time to consider what say before we project our opinions.

    I have attended Chuck’s church here in Texas since it was a few chairs set up in the CCCC gymnasium. Chuck does have a lack of refinement in his choice of words and that helps the common man (or woman) to relate. It is vulgar and unexcusable when he says things like “balls”, etc. I can garauntee you he has said much, much worse… so have I, for that matter, but that was a long time ago and a different story altogether.

    Point being, while he may have his struggles, so does everyone else, that’s what makes us FAMILY. And I’m proud to be his brother just as much as I am proud to be yours or anyone elses that may disagree with what I’m writing. I’m sure you have read the bible, you know the greek translation for chata’ah and know where the bar has been set.

    Why am I stroking your ego? Well, frankly because I know where you’re coming from. Been there, done that. I’m no better than you, but I’m certainly no worse. We stand at level ground… isn’t that awesome?! The only contention I have with your remarks is that it lacks the ad hominem you mock. G-d does have a standard, yes, but HaShem also has compassion. That’s the beauty of Yeshua HaMashiach.

    Pride is a trait that comes with the Christian, Jewish, even Muslim community. There is something so glorious about being exposed to the word of Adonai, that we feel compelled to drench ourselves in it. It’s a fountain of knowledge, as the proverb says, “The beginning of wisdom is the knowledge of G-d”. But, the Advesary, as we all know, is crafty and appeals to our ability to have G-d’s word “written on our hearts and on our minds”.

    Notice the sentence above is passive. I have intentionally wrote it so, because G-d said that He would fulfill that promise, it’s not us, it’s His Spirit that has given us this wealth of retention. REJOICE!

    So, in conclusion, (finally, right?!) I agree with you, totally. Chuck says very inappropriate stuff, especially on our Sunday Sabbath and he should give it a rest (pun intended). However, we should recognize it in humility-understanding that we ourselves are imperfect and not hord lofty rhetoric over our brothers and sisters who stand in disbelief or who make simple commentations.

    Understand, I appeal to you as a brother in He who sits above us all. Just as you’re trying to be iron sharpening iron, I am too. None of us are above reproach, that’s why G-d chose to come down to us and teach us in our terms: so we can relate to each other.

    In G-d’s love and grace,

  5. Ken,

    You nailed it. You define sin. You give a Greek word. You define the mark. All factual and/or Biblical.

    Then, you go into YOUR OPINION about what “[o]ne could hardly conceive”. And nowhere do you note that you have switched from fact/Scripture to opinion.

    “One could hardly conceive” of any explanation except that you hold your opinion at the same level as God’s Word.

    (And yes, that’s MY OPINION. And it can be discredited a whole lot more easily that what Jesus may or may not have done 2000 years ago.)

  6. I loved listening to Chuck. He was REAL!! If you folks are so well versed in scripture, please tell me what Jesus meant when He said “judge not, lest ye be judged”. Also; “let he without sin cast the first stone”. This kind of “self righteousness” is a bigger sin than Chuck ever committed with a few mistaken words. You people make me sad.

  7. What’s sad is that the radio network should have gone to Swindoll with their concerns (per Matthew 18:15) and worked it out privately. To publicly brand him a sinner (while making a big ‘to do’ about dumping his show) seems just as unChristian and undignified as what Swindoll said.

    1. Diane,

      This sites use of hyperbole, misrepresentation, and exaggeration to villify their ”enemy”(VCY) is what is vile in my estimation. Respect and accuracy are necessary for any profitable discourse.

      If I was given correct information, VCY personnel did privately contact IFL. Swindolls response could have been ”Sorry, I shouldn’t have used those words, I know they went over the line. I’ll try to avoid that in the future.” Instead, ”Too bad, Get over it. We use those words in order to be relevant in todays world” approximates IFLs reply.

      VCY carried Swindoll for nearly thirty years. This wasn’t done without careful consideration. If you request, VCY will send their printed position on the separation from ISL.

      If I understand correctly, VCY separated, not because of the words, but because IFL was proud of them and wouldn’t issue an apology.

      I was far more appalled with Chuck when he rode a motorcycle into a Promise Keepers event to the tune of a double entendre rock song that described intercourse. Perhaps he was just being ”relevant”. I suppose ignorance of the songs meaning is a prefered alternative. Maybe someone should have checked out the song for him. I bring this up because edginess seems to have become a pattern with him. Spurgeon addresses this in a brief message:

      I’m disappointed with Chuck, not because I think he’s a bum, but because his teaching has meant so much to me over the years. I can’t recall a better exposition of Romans 4 than Chucks from around 1980.

      Michael Farraday set a tremendous example for us, when even though he was sure he was right, he apologized for the sake of the unity of the brethren. I’m afraid his virtue is scarce in our celebrity Christianity.


  8. It is called legalism and it is joy killing. Some day people will realize real grace and regret all the “rules” that are futile in the light of Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross.

  9. I love the way Chuck writes. His books are many in my modest library. One day on my way to work I heard Chuck use the word balls when describing something. I was jolted and disturbed by his using that word. Although he was wrong in using that word I still buy and read his books.because of his honoring the Lord in everyone of them. I pray for him and hope he doesn’t use that term again on the air. After all, I have never used a bad word in my entire 64 years and as a believer for 35 years. Sorry to say that if you believe what I just said you don’t know that everyone at one time or another will allow their flesh to take over as I have done probably more than Chuck did. It’s a battle. By God’s grace we win most but our flesh still stinks. We all still sin. Can’t wait to get to heaven where sin will cease forever.

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