10/26/2005

Swearing

I don't cuss (or swear, use dirty language, etc.) because I think it is a sin. I have heard or read so many Christians cuss, I just don't understand it. Is it not a sin to them? Is it justified somehow? What is the deal? Is it just culturally acceptable?

I would love to hear input.

6 comments:

Gatsby said...

Define cussing and what words fit into that category. Of course you don't have to spell them out.

Mindi 'wilhelm said...

According to the Bible, it would be quite sinful to use God's name in vain. This guideline makes the Big Ten. Another guideline for thought and speech from the New Testament would be "Is it true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy?" This eliminates quite a lot of things which would make it past the dirty language definition filter. I guess it depends on what quality of filter that each person wants to use. It would seem to me that almost all standards in our culture are slipping at this point. Language is simply a mirror of that. The church in the US simply seems to be pretty much of the world as well as in the world.

Is it a sin to them? That would make an interesting survey. I would recommend asking the Christians that you know as soon as you hear them swear.

Here are a few suggestions:

Does it seem sinful to you to use that kind of language?

If not, how do you justify doing it?

What standard have you elevated in your life above the word of God?

Do you feel that demonstrating your command of bad language makes you more relevant to your culture?

How often do you invite people who listen to regularly to go to church with you?

R said...

First to Mindi: I think your questions are right. I have personally seen this a lot and I am not sure where the line is drawn.Gatsby and Mindi: I don't know if I am just prudish or what, but I have a hard time with Christians using ANY bad language. I pretty much draw the line at "dang", "darn", "crap", and "witch" or something of that nature. "Freakin'" too. I think going beyond that is wrong (at least for me).

I have come across many Christians too that take the Lord's name in vain, and I am just really conscious of that for some reason. When I was growing up if I so much as said "oh man" or "Geeze" or "Oh my gosh" I got into trouble because they RESEMBLED bad language or substituted for what you REALLY wanted to say. One can mince and mince like crazy, I guess and it gets hair splitting. I do say those things (oh man, oh my gosh, and Geeze, but I still wince when I find myself doing it wondering if it is wrong for me), but maybe I am just too careful, I am not sure. I do not, however, question the faith of those that swear (notice I say I have seen "Christians swear"), I just truly wonder what I am missing or how ignorant I am or something.

For the last, I will get specific on the words: F word, sh-t, d-mn, h-ll,
b-tch, a--,(is a favorite, I have to say to most). I can't think of the rest. Pretty much anything beyond the "bad words" in my vocab.

I could write tons on this! I just think that language is supposed to be pure, lovely, and of good report. I feel guilty when I speak with bad grammar for these reasons! I mean, I feel really guilty when I say "crap". Not only is it vulgar, it is unbecoming in a woman. We are told as women to have gentle and quiet spirits and I do not reflect that if my language is just filthy. I agree with the world statement by Mindi. I think we are no different from the world in our language if we as Christians are speaking like the world. How come pagan families tell their kids not to cuss (when they do themselves), and how come language is considered "bad" by movie ratings? I mean, it obviously is known that bad language is "bad" even to the world. How could we as Christians say it is really "not so bad" because we have some sort of Christian liberty? I don't get it.

Mindi Wilhelm said...

Rachel,

I like your reasoning about the gentle and quiet spirits of Christian women. I wish that I had thought of it sooner.

The reason that this kind of behavior seems antithetical to Christianity to you is because it is antithetical. It seems to me that your church seems to have a good grasp of the value of womanhood. What do you attribute this to? Or is this influence in your life coming from somewhere else?

I would like more of that influence in my life. That is why I am asking.

Mindi

R said...

Mindi,
I am sure that my church would support my view on womanhood, but I have not gathered a lot of my thoughts on this from my church directly. A lot of it is the example of friends that I have there from Idaho, just reading the Bible on the subject because that is a place where I particularly need help, and I have read some things here and there. I remember an article by C.J. Mahaney's wife (he used to be the pastor at the Sovereign Grace church in Gaithersburg MD)about womanhood and being content with how we look and who we are in Christ. I remember specifically (although not on the same subject exactly) her stating that "perfect looking women" are on the covers of magazines because they are NOT normal. This article I think was about beauty---in and out. I have also read an old book called Female Piety (I have not finished it but have read most of it and have actually gleaned some worthwhile stuff from it.). It was written in the 1800's.
I have been through a lot of stuff too lately where I know God is trying to get through to me about gentleness and humility. He is teaching me with my children, my marriage, and I remember not too long ago where I was in agony over my sin and I just cried out to God to show me what to do. I believe He spoke to me. He told me to pursue a gentle and quiet spirit. Ever since then I have been on that soap box. I fail so miserably, but I have a Redeemer!
Oh, another way I have been influenced by the womanhood issue is through Shirley's Elizabeth Eliot newsletters she sends me. She is very broad in her audience most of the time, but taking this from a woman who has endured so much is delightful. I think of Elizabeth Eliot as being a rigid old bat (I mean this in a good way---she seems very consistent and strict to me),and I hope that I will have about 1/4 of her wisdom when I am her age.
I struggle as well with the fact that women these days are so career-oriented and not family oriented. It is so normal for a woman to have a full time job and have a full time family too. Women in this society are constantly trying to surpass men in everything and it really bothers me. Don't get me wrong, I believe that God created us as equal beings but of course we have different roles. It really bothers me when the system, world, society, what have you "tells" my son (he has actually said this to me) that girls are better than boys. If that was the goal of feminist women from the beginning then they have succeeded. My oldest son really believes this. He thinks that they are smarter, physically better, than boys. I hate this comparison between men and women. There IS NO COMPARISON! Women are totally different but to be made as one with a man (unless called to be single). I just can't stand this discredit to men---they are our leaders and should be. God set it up. Of course, I am ranting. I could go on forever about how I disagree with this feminism that is prevalent in the world and surprisingly in the Church. It makes me ill. Men become wimps because women shame them and constantly disrespect them. The godly dominion is no longer there, the women have rebelled. Why are we as women so afraid of the word "obey" or "submit"? Look at Eve, she just did whatever she wanted. She didn't obey. She didn't submit. I have come to find great comfort in submission and obedience. I think the key word here really is respect. I would be a confused woman if I did not have a husband to be an earthly authority over me. I admit there is a sinful desire to do contrary to respectfulness and submission, etc. We have to fight against it, not coddle it.
Sorry for the novel!!!

Mindi Wilhelm said...

I am working on ordering Female Piety. Thank you for the tip. Your testimony in this area has been a real help to me. - Mindi