Over the years I have heard sermons and I have read articles where the usage of
euphemisms [“the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend
or suggest something unpleasant” (Webster)] has been condemned as sin. I have often shaken
my head when hearing or reading about this subject, for the Holy Spirit would be condemned for
some of what has been taught concerning euphemisms (which we’ll get to as this article
proceeds further). The usage of euphemisms has been equated to using the Lord’s name in
vain and “cursing” (http://gjcoc.com/S03/Purity_of_Speech_Cursing_Swearing.htm).
Brethren, we have to be cautious to not make a law where the Lord has not made one. It is
just as wrong to add to God’s word as it is to take from it (Deuteronomy 4:2 and Revelation 22:
18-19). When doing so, we are teaching error! In fact, we will even see that the Lord Himself
used euphemisms. Furthermore, we have to be cautious when accusing others of substituting a
word for something that we think they meant to say. Such is not always the case. At the same
time, we must also realize that though something may be lawful to say it may not be edifying or
expedient at times (I Corinthians 6:12; 10:23 and Ephesians 4:29).
Let’s be reminded that we have no authority to condemn others if any one of us has a
matter we PERSONALLY find offensive (cf. Romans 14:1-3; 14-23 and I Timothy 4:1-4). Too
often, laws are made on what people think rather than what God says. Your conscience cannot
be the guide of everyone else’s conscience. Many of us have been brought up in different
surroundings and under different circumstances. You may hear one thing as an “offensive
term” while I may not. Such is even true when someone sees “offensive terms” in the Bible for
the first time. Instead of understanding the meaning of the term, sometimes people will say,
“there are cuss words in the Bible”. Brethren, let’s not err by going too far with what we might
consider to be foul language. At the same time, let’s be sure to guard our tongues carefully
(Proverbs 10:19; 13:3; 15:28).
The word of God instructs us not to be rash with our mouths (Ecclesiastes 5:2). We should
have wisdom in what is acceptable to say before we say it (Proverbs 10:13-14; 31-32). The
righteous tongue is guided by wisdom from above, through the Scriptures (James 3:14-18; cf.
Proverbs 2:1-5). Brethren, when we open our mouths in private or public we have to realize the
Lord is listening and He will judge EVERYTHING we say (Matthew 12:34-37). Therefore, we
need to know our words are right. If using a term as a substitution for something, let’s be sure
that is correct as well. I refuse to start a list of terms that are sinful. I cannot fathom that idea.
Again, my conscience, understanding of a defined term, etc. may differ from others.
Additionally, I refuse to allow our politically correct society to judge our speech. Brethren, let’s
leave these things to the Lord and His word! Now, let’s see the Biblical authority for
Notice the following: “And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass,
when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should
give seed [semen; Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon] to his brother... He that is wounded
in the stones, or hath his privy member [penis; Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon] cut off,
shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD... When men strive together one with
another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him
that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets [male genitals;
Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon]... For the whole house of Ahab shall perish: and I will
cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel...
But Rabshakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak
these words? hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own
dung, and drink their own piss with you... Thus thou calledst to remembrance the lewdness of
thy youth, in bruising thy teats [breast, nipple; Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon] by the
Egyptians for the paps of thy youth... Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at
the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught [a place where the human
waste discharges are dumped; Thayer’s Greek - English Lexicon]... Let the husband render
unto the wife due benevolence [euphemistically conjugal duty; Strong’s]: and likewise also
the wife unto the husband ... Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency
of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and
do count them but dung, that I may win Christ...” (Genesis 38:9, Deuteornomy 23:1,
Deuteronomy 25:11, II Kings 9:8, II Kings 18:27, Matthew 15:17, I Corinthians 7:3, and
We could go on and on with more examples as we have above. I shall conclude however
that the goal has been reached in proving the word of God contains strong terms and
euphemisms. We shouldn’t need a complete list (nor could I provide one) of such terms just as
we should not need of list of what to say. As Christians, we should know things such as using
the Lord’s name in vain is sinful (Exodus 20:7). Common sense tells us that if a word is sinful to
say, we should not be thinking it to come up with a substitute for it anyway (II Corinthians 10:5).
Is calling someone a female dog (term I will choose not to list) sinful? If so, does God sin in
using the term dog (Isaiah 56:10-11 and Matthew 7:6)? Is it is always wrong to say “O my
God”? Obviously not, as the phrase appears at least twenty-one times in inspiration (I
Chronicles 17:25, Ezra 9:6, etc.). I often ask people, “what do you mean” when I hear
something said I may think is wrong. Often, I have found what I thought they meant is not what
they meant at all. Let’s be cautious. The blanket statement “you’re lost [euphemism for GOING
TO HELL]” for using a euphemism is damnable false doctrine!
|Volume IX ~ Issue X ~ November 30th, 2008
|Edited by: Brian A. Yeager
|Will You Go To Hell For Using Euphemisms?
By: Brian A. Yeager
|This Article Is Not Intended To License Foul Speech
|There Is Bible Authority For The Usage of Euphemisms And For What Some Consider