For many people, cuss words or swear words bring with them mental images that are 100% ungodly. Whether these are words that refer to sexual immorality, or vulgar words that refer to bodily functions, or words that are designed to tear down one's character, all of these words fall into the same general categories of being demeaning, base, insulting or simply obscene. For many people, these words conjure up images or memories of verbal abuse they once suffered, or a way of life they once lived that was wholly dishonoring to God. Hearing these words from fellow believers, in many ways feels like a slap in the face - as we're told again and again that these words are "okay" to use, and we should simply accept them, and the use of them. Hearing these words, for those who continue to battle the temptation of the flesh to use them, is not edifying in any way but in many ways feels like a betrayal from those in leadership that we've come to expect better of. We do not need permission to spout off vulgarities, we desperately need exhortation to aim higher!
The more important factor at work here is the idea that biblical points in our day can't be made without the use of such words - or - that to reach certain groups of people we must use such language. Bottom line? This is a lie. It is absolutely untrue and contrary to Holy Scripture, that obscene or profane speech must ever be used to bring a Godly point to bear. While the Scriptures do record for us the use of very strong language meant to drive a point home, there is not one example in the Bible of a believer using profanity or obscenity as they delivered God's message. NOT ONE. Regardless of what some (who twist the Scripture to their own use) will tell you. Christian history is filled with accounts of dedicated, godly men and women who never once lowered the standard to this kind of language, to reach the lost and proclaim God's word.
Many will say that this issue with words today certainly isn't limited to cuss words, and I would heartily agree with that. You can tear someone apart with your words without ever once using a swear word. Using those words however, brings to the table a whole different category of condescension and malice and ugliness. Words of profanity and obscenity are and will always be in a category all their own, and they never bring glory to God. They cannot be cleaned up, as they don't exist in the first place, to be anything other than vulgar.
The bottom line is, we are called to a higher standard in our speech. Obscenity and profanity is the lowest form of communication, the laziest form, the most vulgar form. Such words have no place in a Christian's mind, heart, or mouth. It's hard for me to believe that this subject is even one that must be addressed among Christians, but this is where we are in Evangelicism 2008. Since it clearly must be addressed, I do hope that this short vid series helps in this regard.
a former foul-mouthed unbeliever, saved by grace and aiming higher, for His glory...
Words Matter - Aim High part one: