Christian Megachurch Pastor Who Casually Said “Nigga” During Christmas Eve Sermon Issues Pseudo-Apology January 16, 2015

Christian Megachurch Pastor Who Casually Said “Nigga” During Christmas Eve Sermon Issues Pseudo-Apology

Earlier this month, I posted a video of Christian Pastor Perry Noble seemingly saying the word “Nigga” during a Christmas Eve sermon:

As I wrote at the time, I didn’t think Noble was being intentionally racist, but I know what I heard. The church denied that he said it, saying he just got his words jumbled… even though I have no clue what he *meant* to say.

It turns out he “apologized” during a recent sermon. Why do I put that word in quotation marks? Because he doesn’t acknowledge doing anything wrong.

After blaming people online for pointing out what he said, he tried to explain what happened:

Let me promise you something: That’s not the word that was in my heart. My words got jumbled. It’s not the word that was in my heart… my heart is for racial reconciliation… If you watched that and you felt like I said that word and you were offended by that, I am deeply sorry. Please know that’s not what was in my heart, and that’s all we are gonna say about that, and we’re gonna move on because we’ve got people to reach for Jesus.

Yes, he’s the real victim in all this…

And notice he never addresses whether or not he said that word. It may not have been what he *meant* to say, but the video’s right there. He said it. He didn’t apologize for saying it. He apologized for saying something we interpreted that way. Not the same thing.

I thought Andy Gill, a student at Princeton Theological, put it well (emphasis his):

Asking Noble to apologize, without passively blaming the victim or misinterpreters, for seemingly saying the “n-word” is a completely rational, and even biblical, move. He’s a public leader that is human and makes mistakes. Nobody is questioning his motive [at least I’m not]. I, personally, don’t think he should be fired but I do think he should be humble; a pastor who lacks humility and believes that because they are now an evangelical “celebrity” they’re some how exempt from reproach, in my opinion, should in fact temporarily step down — John Piper did this, and I respect that, I don’t remotely agree with his teachings but I respect his humility in confessing his pride [and because of this I’m willing to listen more often and more closely to him, regardless of my lack of agreeing with him].

I didn’t take Noble seriously before, but I sure as hell have no reason to do so now.


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