The Christian Mindset Towards “Bad Words”
By: Brian A. Yeager
If I asked you what is the worse word or phrase to say in the English language, what comes to your mind? Think about that for a moment. As you read through this article, I want you to consider if your answer to this question will change or not by the conclusion of this article.
As Christians, we certainly must live in a way wherein our words and actions are acceptable to God (Colossians 3:17). The converted Christian changes the way he or she thinks, acts, and talks. Notice: “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:17-32).
In the midst of the quoted Scriptures above, did you notice the command to let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth? Such language is not supposed to come out of our mouths (Colossians 3:8). In this regard, I have rarely met a member of the church of Christ that would disagree. However, what is “corrupt communication”? In this, I am not so sure people are on the same page.
What Is Corrupt Communication?
Are “cuss words” all or even part of what is biblically called corrupt communication? Who defines what is “corrupt communication”? If you asked someone if “ass” is a “cuss word”, some would say, “yes”. If you asked others, they would say no. If you read the Scriptures the word “ass” has been used in talking about literal donkeys (Matthew 21:1-2) as well as people who act stubborn like donkeys (Jeremiah 2:13-24). If you call someone a bastard, have you cussed? Not if you are using the term in describing an illegitimate child in a carnal or a spiritual way (Deuteronomy 23:1-2 and Hebrews 12:6-8). There are many words, often thought of as vulgar, that have appropriate usages. Therefore, as with all things, we need to let God define good and evil.
Corrupt communication is in no way only talking about “cuss words”. Corrupt communication is far broader than most make the term. Consider some things that are certainly corrupt communication. Isn’t lying corrupt communication (Colossians 3:9)? Isn’t false teaching corrupt communication (Romans 16:17-18 and II Corinthians 2:17)? Isn’t denying God corrupt communication (Psalms 14:1). Isn’t flattery corrupt communication (Daniel 11:32)? Isn’t foolish talking corrupt communication (Psalms 38:5)? Isn’t improperly speaking about something corrupt communication (Psalms 73:8)? What does that show you?
We can clearly see that corrupt communication is not limited to, in any way, what people call “cussing”. In fact, we could have gone on and on in describing things that could be said that are corrupt. The point is, if it is not good speech it is corrupt speech (Matthew 12:33-37). Such is why we are to speak as the oracles of God (I Peter 4:11). Thus, again, let God be our rule maker on what is good to say and not the definitions of men. That brings us back to the question I asked at the beginning of this article. What is the worse word or phrase one could say in the English language?
Is The “F-Word” The Worse Word You Could Say?
Of all the words I know of, generally speaking, most would consider that terrible “f-word” as the worse word one could use in any setting. Some would likely even object to me hinting to it in this article. That word is a slang term that is often used to describe sexual intercourse. Is that really the worst thing someone could say? Now listen, I am not suggesting anyone use that term. If for no other reason, because of our influence in this world (Matthew 5:14-16, Philippians 2:14-16, and I Peter 4:11-19), we should not use that term. Does that make it the worse term you could use though?
Have you considered that using the Lord’s name in vain is FAR WORSE than the “f-word”? Read the Scriptures and see that God clearly does not want His name used in vain (Exodus 20:7, Deuteronomy 5:11, Psalms 139:20, and James 5:12). The name of our Lord is to be held in reverence (Psalms 111:9). Now, isn’t “OMG” far worse than “f-you”?
When watching television, being at the park, reading a book, etc.; most “Christians” often flinch when hearing certain terms. This is especially true of that golden “f-word”. Why? Why does that word have a greater impact on our ears than when we hear someone use the Lord’s name in vain? Now again, I am not suggesting you throw out words that are often considered “cuss words”. We have to be careful even with proper usage of such terms. Something lawful is not always expedient (I Corinthians 10:23). What I am doing is getting us to think about how we allow the world to often influence what we consider as profane more than we allow God to do so. The way God thinks is not the way man thinks (Isaiah 55:7-9). We know this. We also know that we cannot measure ourselves by other people (II Corinthians 10:12). Let our mindset towards “bad words” be from the Lord, not men!
Volume 15 – Issue 49 - August 23rd, 2015