!@#$: For Christian Use?

July 30, 2005 — 9 Comments

Cotton, police, dogs, plastic bags, a large book, a wallet, CD’s, microphones, grass, cheese, a piano, and codfish.

What do all these items have in common with one another?

Absolutely nothing.

So on to the real post!

Imagine:

If I was given a chance to meet President Bush and his cabinet, I would be absolutely thrilled! I would prepare by getting some really nice clothes, doing my hair, brushing my teeth (twice), and just simply cleaning up.

Even if I didn’t agree with the President, I would show him honor and respect. And the last thing I would think of doing is cussing in his presence.

But we still have Christians who believe that profanity is a normal part of our language, and those of us who say it’s wrong are legalists.

Take for example my comments on a Christian site that promotes the use of profanity:

“Could you refrain from cussing? I mean, you want to be a good example, but foul language won’t get anywhere. Just a word from a fellow Christian…God Bless…you’re on the right track with Harry Potter. As a teen myself, I’ve been researching and studying this, and I think you’re pretty much right.”

The blogger’s response was “Are you a legalist?”

My response to that:

“Don’t worry, no legalist. Shoot…I think a better way to state it is: “When I hear someone cuss, I don’t think that person’s being like Christ.”

But hey, you’re right. I’m not one to cast the first stone. I just wanted to mention that I don’t believe it’s right to do that.

My comment wasn’t one supposed to be “You’re not a Christian because you cuss!!!” or anything like that. I’m not one to do something like that.

I don’t believe that God wants Christians to blatantly promote profanity. And that’s not my opinion. It’s God’s Word.

This bloggers views are:

With hundreds and thousands of commands in the Bible, people are still “all over” her “***” for something that she claims isn’t even commanded in the Bible.

My first point would be to refute her view that the Bible, when talking about edyfying others and the importance of the tongue, only refers to content and not to particular words.

Does it need to list the words not to say? Our words make up our message.

But she says that I’m adding to the Bible’s message and that I have a “****” of a lot of nerve to say something like that.

Let’s look at Colossians 3:5-10:

“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”

Verse 8 in the Amplified version is very interesting:

“But now put away and rid yourselves [completely] of all these things: anger, rage, bad feeling toward others, curses and slander, and foulmouthed abuse and shameful utterances from your lips!”

And also in the Message:

“But you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk.”

We are not to hold on to our earthly nature. We are to be people of clean lips. We are not to be hardened by this world.

But listen to what this blogger’s daughter does when she hears foul language:

“My daughter doesn’t blush or gasp when daddy says “Isaac’s kickin’ your ***.” (And why was this word delted out in this blogger’s Homeschoolblogger site and not the main site that is run by them?)

She claims that some words found in the Bible (that are profane now) are not Holy, so why can’t we use them?

Because their purpose is NOT to express disgust. That’s not their meaning. Using a word to express anger or disgust is the definition of profanity.

Profanity is not our everyday language. You fool yourself to think that. This article puts it well:

“In a world that has devised perverse usages of language to communicate sinful anger I think the Christian should avoid it. Further, as commonplace cussing is in today’s uneducated and lazy society the Christian should do his best to “rise above” and not “conform to.”

Take, for example, my story of meeting the President. I would not swear in his presence. Yet many people do it before One who is much more important than our President.

What will you say before God?

I sure hope it’s not profanity.

In an article on this blogger’s site, they posted an interesting article by Christianity Today Here’s a short excerpt:

“Jesus did not demand that those he talked with clean up their act before they approached him. He loved them, listened to them, and went to work on the heart, knowing that was more important than starting in on the surface details.”

Number one–I don’t demand that someone can’t cuss before becoming a Christian.

Number two–Jesus went to work on the heart, knowing that what’s in the heart flows from the mouth.

When the Bible is talking about profanity, is it only talking about God and Jesus being used incorrectly?

But the argument goes on for profanity: The culture does it–it’s in the movies–since when did God say I can’t say ****?

The blogger keeps using verses against “unwholesome talk” and saying that they are about our “message.” Our message being “what is helpful to the edification of others.” She says that what’s vile to one person isn’t vile to another one. It’s just “colorful.”

“Blankety-blankety, blankety-blank” is not our every day language! That’s something we don’t do in Church! Why should we do it elsewhere?

Not cussing is showing common decency.

As to the verse the blogger mentions, it’s not talking about our message. It’s talking about our “talk.” That would be our speech. Speech is made up of words.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Profanity is used when we’re mad, angry, or…uh…mad.
Colossions 4:6 says:

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

Not “colorful,” but “seasoned with salt.”

“For,


“Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from deceitful speech.
He must turn from evil and do good;
he must seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?”

1. Peter 3:10-13

Where are the verses that tell us profanity is perfectly fine (other than instances where a word is used in it’s original meaning)?

The blogger’s response is:

Sorry, but I think I’m going to laugh at you because this whole **** thing is ridiculous.

Why? Because you want to hold on?

Profanity is wrong. It’s up to you to listen to the Lord. It’s not me. I’m not being a “legalist.” You can call me that all you want. You could cuss me out, but I will go by these verses. By God’s Word.

(Please no profanity in the comments. It will be deleted anyway and I don’t have time to waste when letting them through.)

Though I haven’t read this other article in full, I believe it to be a good bit of information that is worth reading.

Tim Sweetman

Posts

Tim Sweetman is a young writer, blogger, and student who lives near our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. He has been much more widely known by his “code-name,” Agent Tim. This name also served as the name of his popular blog, which received over 750,000 visits between 2005 to 2007. In 2005, he quickly rose to become a leading teenage spokesperson and cultural critic within the booming blogosphere, taking on issues such as MySpace, alcohol, homeschooling, pride, racism, tolerance, and other topics relating to our culture today. His blog has come to the attention of people such as Albert Mohler, C.J. Mahaney, Alex and Brett Harris, and La Shawn Barber. Tim’s written work has appeared in Lifeway’s Living With Teenagers (February 2012), Lookout Magazine, FUSION Magazine, The Brink Online, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Virtue Magazine, Regenerate Our Culture Online Magazine, and on many other blogs and websites across the internet like Marry Well and the Lies Young Women Believe Blog. He has also been featured in WORLD Magazine, The Towers Magazine, and Maryland Newsline. He is scheduled to have an article appear in Veritas Magazine this December. Most recently, his work can be found on Focus on the Family’s Boundless Webzine. His personal interests include writing (surprise!) and sports, both watching and playing. He is a die-hard Washington Redskins fan.

9 responses to !@#$: For Christian Use?

  1. I would venture to say that most people would tend to agree that cussing is not clean language. The opposite of clean is… filthy!

    I would not recommend cussing, we are in the world but not of it.

    I could go through some more reasons, but to me, those two are enough for me. The first one alone is all I need.

    Just some thoughts from another teen.

  2. Great post Tim. We’ve talked about this at church some, and I may bring it up again using some of the info from this post.

    Keep it up!

  3. Wow… you know, I’ve often wondered about this topic. I mean, who detiremined what was a bad word and what wasn’t? Canadians have a few different cuss words then Americans, i know from my canadian friends from bible college… I really like how researched this. You’ve actually explained it much better then my own parents did when I asked them the same question. Of course, being married to a salior, I’ve just about heard it all (not from him as much as the guys he works with).

    There are certianly acceptable words that I think ought to be cuss words. but I really have to re-read this and think over what you and the others you’ve quoted here have said…

    thanks!

  4. Excellent post, Tim, and very well put!

  5. Hi! Your blog is amazing. I’m really glad I found it.

  6. I am a bible believing Christian, but I think that you and many Christians continue to take a *very* broad and vague approach to interpreting the bible to defend your views on not saying specific “cuss” words. I think there are plenty of times where it would not be beneficial to use certain “cuss” words, but just as many times when it would be permissable. I think that most of the verses used as the basis for your stance when taken in context mean something else entirely. The issues Paul seems to be warning against are malice, anger and ill-will towards others, i.e. matters of the heart. I think that the real issue is love. are the things we say said in love? with a good motive? God is able to see into the heart when we are not.

  7. I find it funny that a response to your post about cursing inspired the question, “Are you a legalist”? It really pains me that so many Christians now days are more interested in exercising their freedom than they are in seeking after righteousness. I’m not a legalist, that’s for sure (I came from a legalistic church, so I know what a legalist is). But at the same time I believe that the very nature of profanity (which is degrading, demeaning, and in generally poor taste) goes against the very nature of God who is loving, uplifting, and full of integrity. Even if the Bible made no specific references to “filty communication”, which if you look at the Greek is referring also to profanity, the picture of God in the Bible would be enough to tell you it goes against His nature.

  8. The oft-used but still applicable example is this: Would you curse in the presence of Jesus?

    I say no.

    Why?

    Simply this. God is all that is holy and pure. If you show disrespect in His presence, you degrade all of what He stands for. Not only that, but you degrade Him in front of whoever happens to be listening. If you’re a Christian, be sure that people are watching how you act. You are Jesus to them! Is this how you want your God to be presented, by words that slander His holy name? That mock and exemplify sin?

    I think not.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Agent Tim Online :: Culture And Theology--Hand In Hand - January 20, 2007

    [...] About two years ago I penned a post on profanity that stirred up a small controversy among a few bloggers and readers. I wasn’t fully prepared to defend my position with stunning words and arguments, yet even then I did a very good job defending my point clearly, at least on my own blog. The situation was this: I had stumbled upon a homeschooling mom’s blog, and found that she was a Christian who was promoting the use of profanity, and claiming that Scripture supports it. Initially, I was appalled, and left a comment asking her if she could “refrain from cussing.” Her response was simple and to the point: “Are you a legalist?” I guess at the time that was something I had been afraid of being called, so I decided to restate my stand on the issue. [...]

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