Unfortunately a lot of things are a sin as we live in a broken world since the fall of Adam and Eve. However this issue and topic has come to mind recently, especially with a conversation with a friend. In that I notice some language that just made me uncomfortable after an evening out late with friends. To me it was something out of character for this fellow young believer, and something I didn’t expect.
So it led me to ponder a few days about how a believer should speak. How someone who claims to be saved, accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior, being “born-again” and receiving the Holy Spirit, becoming a “new creature” in Him. So it comes to top of mind again in a topic that crossed my FaceBook page with this particular pastor by the name of Jefferson Bethke with the topic of his video post, “Is swearing a sin?” Below is a link to his video post from youtube and Godtube
Pastor Jefferson Bethke blows through this topic rather quickly and you may have to pay close attention to all that he covers and backs it up with bible. Watch it again, if you need to, as he covers it pretty well in a very short period of time.
Now, no one is perfect and neither are those who are “born again”, followers of Christ, and what may be called Christians. We all fail, me included, and thank the Lord we have grace, and can be forgiven through Jesus Christ. I believe the church is not a museum for saints, but a hospital for sinners.
However, I also believe, as fellow believers in God and being someone who has a relationship with Jesus Christ; we should be different. We live in the world, however, I believe we should not be of the world. There should a light in us that is different, that is good, and that should draw others to the goodness of Christ. That goodness may take many forms and Christians may have a variety of “convictions” whether it’s the way they dress, whether or not the drink “adult beverages”, the way they act, the movies they may watch, the types of music they listen to, or establishments they gather or purchase goods from.
I believe I take a more contemporary approach, especially given I was formerly involved in the fundamental baptist arena of denominations in the past, and now and for the last couple of decades I have attended and served in a more contemporary “seeker based” churches. There is certainly a contrast in music and attire. I also often attend and serve in church with a pair of jeans and button down shirt. In the summer it would not be unusual for me to be in shorts, t-shirt. and flip-flops.
However with me some foundational aspects have not changed. I believe in the Trinity. I believe “once saved, always saved” which is the “security of the believer”. I believe baptism is the outward “act of obedience” and is “not essential to salvation”. I believe we are all sinners saved only by grace in the gift of salvation in the belief of Jesus Christ saving us from our sins in the death, burial, and His resurrection with Him serving as intercessor for us at the right hand of the throne of God; who believe. I believe once your are truly saved, your are given a comforter in the Holy Spirit, then given seeds of Spiritual Gifts that are nurtured and grown through studying of the bible, prayer, attending and learning at church, and applying what is learned, repenting and living out a life striving to be more of an example of Christ. Now that’s a mouth full right?
Once I started surrendering to Christ, attending church, and seeking after Him and more Godly things long ago; my habits changed, my language certainly changed, and things that gave me lasting happiness changed. Maybe that can be attributed to becoming a “new creature” So lets just talk about one aspect, since that is the topic of the message this pastor gave, and what the title of this post is all about. Our language and “is cursing a sin?”
I was never one to really curse. Especially not in my home growing up. You would get in serious trouble for cursing, and certain words may get your mouth washed out with soap. However it was a little different around the “boys at school” or amongst my very early 20s when it was nearly common language to drop a few curse words. It certainly was amongst many of my friends at that time. However, even then, to me it was not appropriate around ladies, authority figures, certainly not around my parents.
As I grew closer to Christ in my mid 20s, cursing, foul language and gossip was nearly non existent. It was something I didn’t want to do, felt compelled to do, nor I felt was appropriate. The people I respected the most and I seen as the most wise, I never heard curse. Now I shouldn’t ramble on about this topic without throwing a few verses in as well. It wouldn’t be like me not to support a bit of my ramblings without scripture.
Proverbs 8:13 “To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.”
“The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be cut out. The lips of the righteous know what is fitting, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.”
Once I had a child which was about the time I was serving regularly in church, for me to curse, I would of had to smash my finger off to do so. This was something that became internal throughout my life even to this day. To hear me curse, or to even lose my temper would have to be astronomical, intense and rare circumstances. With my faith, I believe as a Christian we should be speaking life. What do I mean by “Speak Life” Well that can be a whole other long post with a list of verses and applications which I may do in a future post. However, in context of this post, lets talk more about “cursing.”
Our conversations should be uplifting and not down grading. It should be more positive, than negative in my opinion. I believe cursing, in most circumstances is degrading, not to just those hearing, but to someone speaking it. To me it disrespects the person cursing and the people hearing it. Other than being somewhat rude, it also sounds rather immature. There are so many wonderful words in the English dictionary to get a point across other than using profanity to do so. There is some truth in the adages, “You may become what you may eat”, “You may become what you may think” or even “You may be, what you may say.”
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not some sort of strict prude. I have let a word or two slip, however it is as I said, I would of had to seriously injure myself and be caught completely off guard in the realms of pain, or being unusually very angry and reckless with my words in the midst of that anger. However, I cannot even remember if I have ever been in so much pain, or in so much anger that I would use the Lords name in vain such as with the “GD word”, or maybe even the “F bomb”. Again, please don’t get me wrong, I am not being judgmental, and I would not automatically judge someone for cursing. I hear it often among people of all ages at a variety of gatherings. However, I do expect more from people of faith, that are claiming to be chasing Jesus and leading in a church. Especially if I plan to have my children around them.
I also believe there are times that cursing is necessary. It does provoke a certain action when needed. For example, I know several strong Christians that love God, however their professions were in military leadership. They had told me that they do curse when trying to get a result of tear down a new soldier to build that soldier back up. In other words, they would elude; “Would you prefer that I ask a soldier in the midst of battle in a soft gentle voice if they would ‘please pick up that nice rifle of theirs and point it at that enemy and if you wouldn’t mind to terribly, pull that trigger and fire the gun at them’ or do you think it may be more effective and create a sense of urgency to clearly and loudly demand, ‘Pick up that !#@!^%* gun and blow that !!(#^! away before they $!#@ our heads off!?’ ” Sometimes a forceful and properly placed profanity can provoke immediate or better results in certain circumstances. Especially in training warriors for battle.
My oldest child is all grown and I have a couple youngsters to raise. My youngest will catch the slightest curse or even anything that sounds near to a curse. I call this child my “moral police officer” and I do not mind it, well at least most of the time. I’m actually glad my child identifies improper behavior. However, sometimes this child goes a bit overboard when I say something like, “That flipping car about ran me off the road” and my “moral police” child tries to correct me. I try not to giggle and try to explain flipping is something that gymnasts, just like you do in your gymnastics class, and it’s not a curse word. And if that car hit me, not only that car may go flipping, we may go flipping with them.
So back to the topic at hand, “Is cursing a sin?” I believe there are a lot of sins and to God a sin is a sin. To humanity, in the realm of a “civil” society, however not all sin is the same. Repetitive cursing, to me, is wrong in most circumstances, but one of the lower sins among some others. I believe as Christians we should speak life as much as possible. To demonstrate our enthusiasm as believers in the one and true God and try our best to exemplify Christ. The old phrase is still true today as it was when it was first coined, “What would Jesus do?” Now I am not saying all Christians are just like Jesus, in fact I don’t think most Christians come anywhere near Jesus. Me included. However as Christians that desire to follow Christ, we should strive to be more like Him. I’ve been raising children so long, and been involved in churches for many years, and I do not think I can even bring myself to curse in most circumstances. If I did, I am immediately asking others for forgiveness, as well as God too. Now that’s just me and the way I am. I am certainly not trying to be judgmental of others. Everyone is responsible for their own walk and how they work out and live their faith in action. However, being a father of three, I must close with a Disney quote since I have watched many of them over and over again as a Dad with my children. It is more profound than many may realize. It’s from an old Disney animated movie called, “Bambi”, to where the rabbit, Thumper, said, “If you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.”
I just got to remember that the next time I smash my finger nearly off with a hammer and slip the word “Dumbo” instead of “D_ _ n”. ; )