Thinking Out Loud - Ms. Green

Commentaries from a female, conservative Christian worldview. Intermittent observations on human behavior and current events. Occasional bursts of personal tirades,confessions, and discoveries. Frequent discussions about my "Narrow-Minded Faith".

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Christians and Profanity

I recently had a cordial exchange with a man professing to be a follower of Christ who had curse words interlaced in his posts on his weblog. These were not even what some would call “mild” expletives, but included “the ‘f’ word” multiple times. I challenged him, asking how the lost might perceive such language coming from a Christian, and our next few emails back and forth proved fruitless. He was steadfast in his defense, or as I called it, his celebration, of his right to curse. We parted ways amicably, but the subject still disturbs me greatly.

We all have proclivities toward certain sins. Mine tends to be pride and unforgiveness. However, I know these two things are sin, and I strive daily to die to self and surrender to the Holy Spirit in order to avoid these sins that hound me so ferociously. And if there is a sin in my life that I am unaware of, I pray it will be brought to my attention, either through the Word or through a brother or sister in Christ who cares enough about me to bring it to my attention. I don’t celebrate my pride or my unforgiveness. I sorrow over them.

A Holy God calls on us to be likewise. “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 20:7. “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” I Peter 1:15-16

Sanctification is being “set apart”. Jesus prayed, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth…And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” John 17:16-19

The Greek here for sanctify is hagiazo, meaning to render or acknowledge, or to be venerable or hallow; to separate from profane things and dedicate to God.

Christians are not to be like the world. We are to be different, peculiar. A saved person who looks, dresses, acts and talks like the world is what is called a “carnal Christian”, which Paul says is a “babe in Christ” (I Corinthians 3:1). Scripture says “… the carnal mind is enmity against God...”(Romans 8:7).

If your sin is profanity and cursing, you can overcome it through Christ. “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)” II Corinthians 10:4.

One of the accusations that this individual leveled at me was that I was taking Scripture out of context to support my belief that cursing was wrong. I have since made a list, though not exhaustive, of some additional Scriptures that support the notion that Christians should not curse.

My prayer is that he will eventually become convicted of his sin and allow God to change him and give him victory over it.

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Cor 7:1

Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. I Cor 15:33

A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. Gal 5:9

But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Colossians 3:8

O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. Matthew 12:34

Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Exodus 20:7

And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. Leviticus 19:12

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. Matthew 12:36

All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils; My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit. Job 27:3-4

My words shall be of the uprightness of my heart: and my lips shall utter knowledge clearly. Job 33:3

Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. Ecclesiastes 5:2

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At 8:40 PM, Anonymous Scott Howard said...

I agree that we should speak kind things out of our mouths and always be honoring God in what we do.

At 10:19 PM, Blogger nanc said...

when my husband saw the light, it took him a good two years to give up the foul mouth - now he notices more when others use foul words and is appalled.

he's not perfect mind you and slips up once in awhile, but usually out of righteous anger. i will even occasionally make up a word to put in place of a curse word...shame on me.

At 10:28 PM, Blogger Ms.Green said...

Nanc, before I was saved I had one of the most foul mouths around. I had no qualms about cussing someone out if they made me mad. In fact, I didn't even have to be angry - I'd curse in every day conversation. So I know it is a hard habit to break. But after I got saved and realized that a Holy God had kept me from the hell I deserved, I determined that I would surrender to His will for my life and strive to do as Romans 12 tells me to do - live for Him and be transformed by Him.

I still occasionally but rarely "think" profanities once in a while, and have to admit that there have been a hand full of times since my salvation where I failed and blurted out something I shouldn't have. And each one of those times, I shed tears over my lack of discipline - and even more over the pain I caused my God with my sin. I'm so glad God is a forgiving God, and a second-chance God. I confess, He forgives. How good is that!

At 11:32 AM, Blogger D.Daddio Al-Ozarka said...

I must admit--I fail at times.

However--I justify my actions when using the occasional expletive by making sure that it is not an idle remark. When the usage of the word accentuates the message offered, it is not idle speech.

Just adjectively correct!

I do watch myself most of the time.

At 10:02 AM, Blogger Ms.Green said...

Ok Daddio - hard question... then how do you deal with this in Colossians: "But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.? (smile)

At 12:09 PM, Blogger D.Daddio Al-Ozarka said...

Sometimes a questionable word can be used for emphasis--it's not idle communication--not really "dirty".

For instance: "Dumb***"

Yes, there are other ways to express that a person is unkowledgable, foolish, ignorant---or whatever. But sometimes just using that just fits--that's all! And no other descriptive noun could express the emotion and truth behind the thought.

I agree--there is plenty of filthy language that is offensive to many people. People should be aware of their audience.

But some words that are considered profanity are not really profanity when used effectively.

That's all I'm sayin'.

I like to type the letters "F.T.U.N." sometimes. It just feels GOOD to type those letters in that configuration, you know? I mean....nothing offensive to the reader....really....the intended point is clearly and unashamedly made....even though the phrase the assembled letters and puctuation represents is graphically--if not literally--offensive to many.

Anyway---If you are EVER offended by what I write---please e-mail me!

At 12:44 PM, Blogger Ms.Green said...

I try very hard not to be offended. Psalm 119:165 says "Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them." I try to live by that as much as my "old man" will let me.
You have never offended me by the way.

At 9:26 PM, Blogger D.Daddio Al-Ozarka said...

Psalm 119:165 is one of my very favorite verses, Ms. Green.



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