Those cussin’ Christians

Posted: April 20, 2008 in Soul Food

I think that this brutha is asking some legitimate questions here (profanity is used).

I would also take it one step further. Even if a Christian does not use profanity, is it okay to partake of entertainment that uses profanity?

The Bible does touch on this topic starting with Colossians 3:8 –

But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

Ephesians 5:1-4 touches on it as well, but I do not think that it just applies to someone using 4-letter words –

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

I think that most people have a serious problem dealing with professing Christians who use profanity. Why? Because they know that there is supposed to be a difference with those who profess to be like Christ (same goes for other areas, but I’m just sticking with profanity for the moment).

It is the goal of the Christian to become like Christ. This passage I found on this website lays it out for us

Are we being transformed? Scripture says that we are. Perhaps it seems slow, but it is still real. There is much more to come, of course — we will be like Christ in his glory (Rom. 8:29; 1 John 3:2) — but Paul’s point is that we are already being transformed into the likeness of Christ. He is already being formed in us. That is what salvation is all about: We give our lives to him on a daily basis, and he shapes us to become more like him. God is saving us for this very reason: that we become like his Son.

How is it done? Colossians 3:9-10 gives an answer: “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.” Ephesians 4:22-24 gives a similar answer: “Put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Out with the old, and in with the new! Put off wrong ways, and put on the way of Christ. (Or rather, let him put it inside you, so it is in your heart and not just a pretense.)

This is the lifelong job that we Christians have, a daily duty, a daily joy as we experience our true identity in Christ. Our life is centered on Jesus, who not only shows us the Father, he also shows us what we can be like as we follow him.

Over the years I have met Christians who overtime have learned to discipline themselves in the area of profanity. On the other hand, I have met Christians who frankly are not willing to try to discipline themselves in this area. While I do not believe that this is a heaven/hell issue, I do believe our speech is a strong indicator of the condition of our hearts.

“The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. (Luke 6:45)

So instead of looking down on folks who are weak in this area, those who are disciplined in this area should pray that these individuals would desire a heart that is fully submitted to him. I believe that in praying for such individuals in such a manner will allow God to reveal to you those areas in YOUR heart that are not submitted to Him.

Related:

Those divorcin’ christians

Cursing, Swearing, and Vulgarity

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Comments
  1. avery says:

    okay, so i think i have a literal answer to your question, and then a caveat to my answer.

    literally, i don’t think that the biblical injunction against ‘filthy communication’ can literally apply to our modern cuss words, since the majority of what we consider to be ‘cuss’ words aren’t curses at all. they’re simply words for bodily functions. (the f- word and its progeny don’t really fall into that category, so we can leave them out for the time being.) moreover, the only difference between ‘shit’ and ‘feces’ or ‘defecate’ is that the latter are latinate in origin, while the former is anglo saxon. that, and the former can occupy multiple parts of speech. aside from that, they’re literally indistinguishable, which means that one can’t be “right” while the other is “wrong.” linguistically speaking. i mean, i could go into more detail than that, but i think you get where i’m headed. that’s not biblical, that’s cultural. as an example, there are some christians who get offended by the word ‘piss,’ which just demonstrates to me that they’ve never read the old testament in the kjv.

    now actually, i think something like this would, for me at least, be covered by the ‘don’t ensnare your brother with your freedom’ verses in 2 Cor. knowing the etymology of most cuss words and more specifically, why those words got to be the “bad” words, my natural inclination is to call BS on the whole thing. however, because, as you mention, many people regard cussing to be some line of demarcation between a christian and a non-christian, the potential damage it would do to somebody else is probably more costly than any potential gain.

  2. Duane says:

    my natural inclination is to call BS on the whole thing. however, because, as you mention, many people regard cussing to be some line of demarcation between a christian and a non-christian, the potential damage it would do to somebody else is probably more costly than any potential gain.

    Right!

    Paul talked a little bit about this in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. I’ll just post it here for now.

    19For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more.

    20(To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law;

    21to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law.

    22To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.

    23I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.

    It’s one thing if a Christian uses profanity. However it becomes something totally different if that person cannot or will not–for the sake of winning more to Christ– learn to put that kind of speech to the side.

    My personal rule of thumb is that if it is an expression that is not widely accepted in any open forum, then I keep those expressions to myself. Or better yet, what I have been working on for sometime is if I can’t say it in front of my kids, then maybe I should chose better words.

    >>But that is how I chose to live<<

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