26 March 2006

More on profanity...

I originally posted on the subject of profanity back in December. I just read an extremely insightful article and wanted to revisit the subject. I recently had a similar discussion with a friend. And another friend happens to be blogging on the subject of language here. There are no right or wrong answers here, as every thing is so personal and situational. Context is so important.

I personally don't consider it okay for me to swear for the shock value or to get a laugh among my Christian friends. I still do this and always feel so convicted afterwards. Maybe I'll learn someday?

I'm also not a big fan of swearing out of laziness, or for a lack of greater creativity (i.e. most rap music out there today). I once heard it said that vocabulary is the autobiography of the mind. I'd say that if you can't write lyrics (or just carry a normal conversation) without using language that is mostly either degrading or profane, then you should read more books or something and learn how to better express yourself creatively.

On the otherhand, I think that chosen wisely, such language is powerful in expressing oneself, as long as you're able to use such language without letting anger control and totally consume you. There's no doubt that swearing is a language of our emotions. Here again, context and intent are so important, as I can use strong language in the context of expressing myself without intending to offend or degrade another person.

Oh...and when we're talking about a non-Christian (especially in street and urban settings), it's no holds barred. In other words, if you can't take the heat, get out the kitchen and let someone else love that person. Do you really need to blacken Christianity's eye one more time by throwing out "holier-than-thou" lines of conviction? "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven." (Do ya like how I'm waxing King James on that!?!?)

End of the day -- its just one more thing to think about as you walk that line between things of God and things of this Earth, trying desperately to find that ever-illusive balance in life.

Link to article: Cussing Christians

And thought-provoking comment that followed:
I once heard a preacher using the word "sh*t" in a talk about poverty and he said the problem was that more people would be offended by the fact he swore than by the fact that millions of people are suffering and dieing because of poverty!


Anonymous said...

Very insightful discussions and articles. From one who grew up in a home with Christ and with swearing, I would have to say I used the expressions more for the shock value and rebellion and had to clean up my mouth. But, as one who works with inner city children and families, the love of Christ is more important than judging the words I hear coming out of their mouths. Their emotions and struggles are deep. Judging whether christian or non-christian is not the issue nor should be our focus, but to spur each other on in love and to love deeply. As Troy expressed it will be the Spirit who convicts our use of the language we choose.

Dale said...


Very kind of you to make your comment. I feel like we've become friends and we havn't even met. We'll bump into each other soon.