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Theological Questions > Is it okay for Christians to cuss?

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message 1: by Miss Polymath (last edited Jan 01, 2018 06:30PM) (new)

Miss Polymath (essyk) | 23 comments This is a topic I've been thinking about a lot lately, and I was curious to hear what y'all's opinions on the subject are. I'm of the mind that its okay for Christians to swear, because it's a freedom in Christ issue, if it's purposeful and not overused, and not used for insulting and tearing people down.

A lot of Christians will point to Ephesians 5:4 to support that no one should cuss, but elsewhere like in Philippians 3:8, God himself swears. If the meaning of Ephesians 5:4 is that no one can swear, than God broke His own rule. But God does, and elsewhere in the Bible as well I believe, so this indicates to me that the obscenity mentioned doesn't apply to swearing. Or if it does, it only does insofar that cussing tears other people down.

And if anyone is wondering what the vulgar word is in Philippians, it's "rubbish" and it seems it would be the equivalent of us saying "sh*t" today.

What's your guys' thoughts on the issue?


message 2: by Wade (new)

Wade J. | 177 comments My first question is this: what makes one word a "cuss" word, and another one not?


message 3: by Hawk (new)

Hawk | 16 comments (For the second questioner) It depends of the context its used in. As to the first post I am not sure of Phil 3:8 is the verse your thinking of. Eph 5:4 is after Eph 5:1. If we are supposed to be imitators of God then we walk and our speech should be flavored with love and thanksgiving. As for God swearing, it wasn't in the form of verbal profanity but as an oath.


message 4: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1569 comments Romans 6:2 - " God forbid . How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"

Romans 6:15 - "What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid."


message 5: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Great topic.


message 6: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Essy - no, damn it!


message 7: by Hawk (new)

Hawk | 16 comments Do Christians swear, Yes they do. Do they swear out of anger, yes they do. If they swore before they came to Christ, and they swear at times after they were saved they will still swear. Are they going to continually swear after they were saved? Most likely not because they will be more conscience of what comes out of there mouths. Will they be forgiven ABSOLUTELY!!!


message 8: by Hawk (new)

Hawk | 16 comments I have a question, Can someone give good reasons why a Christian shouldn't swear and not use the Bible as a primary source, because not everyone believes the bible to be true?


message 9: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1569 comments Hawk wrote: "I have a question, Can someone give good reasons why a Christian shouldn't swear and not use the Bible as a primary source, because not everyone believes the bible to be true?"

Outside of the Word of God... there is NO good reason.


message 10: by Ned (new)

Ned | 206 comments Not only is there no good reason you shouldn't swear outside God and his law, there is no good reason you should or should not do anything at all. The very word "good" becomes meaningless. God is foundational for all ethics. Without God, ethics become mere subjective, transient conventions.


message 11: by Ned (last edited Jan 02, 2018 08:49PM) (new)

Ned | 206 comments Essy, I reject your contention that God swears, other than in the sense of giving an oath. Swearing for the Christian would fall under at least a few principles I can think of, probably more.

1. Our speech is supposed to edify and build up. Eph. 4:29
2. Our very thoughts are supposed to focus on purity and things of "good repute." Phil 4:8 Cussing will not proceed from that kind of thought life. Cussing is most often done in frustration, or because a person has limited communication skills. There are many ways to convey the idea of sh*t, and many more ways to add emphasis. In fact, when communicating with people, restraint often works better.
3. If you think it is sin, then it is sin to you. If there were no second thoughts, I presume the question would not have been asked. Rom 14:23
4. The weaker brother principle. Even if it were right, if we offend a weaker brother because of it, we have sinned.

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devoti...

5. There are many warnings in James about the tongue. We would do much better to guard it than to loose it.
6. Is it done in love? 1 Cor 13
7. Is it done from a lack of self control, peace, gentleness, joy, kindness, goodness, or patience? Gal 5:22-23


message 12: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Essy - anyone who has ever tried to reason or enter into a "cooperative" venture with a woman has surely sworn. Also, if you play golf, you either swear or should immediately be considered a candidate for sainthood. Luckily, those of us with situational pottymouths are forgiven through our faith!


message 13: by Miss Polymath (new)

Miss Polymath (essyk) | 23 comments Robert wrote: "Essy - anyone who has ever tried to reason or enter into a "cooperative" venture with a woman has surely sworn. Also, if you play golf, you either swear or should immediately be considered a candid..."

Lol!


message 14: by Miss Polymath (last edited Jan 14, 2018 03:53PM) (new)

Miss Polymath (essyk) | 23 comments Ned wrote: "Essy, I reject your contention that God swears, other than in the sense of giving an oath. Swearing for the Christian would fall under at least a few principles I can think of, probably more.

1. O..."


I understand why you would negatively react to such a contention, but it's not as simple as that.

"1. Our speech is supposed to edify and build up. Eph. 4:29"

It seems from Phillippians 4:8 that Paul's cussing somehow falls under edification, otherwise he wouldn't have said it. And edification doesn't have to be just positive words; you can use negative words to produce positive results. Just read the whole Old Testament and all of the negative things God said against Israel.

"2. Our very thoughts are supposed to focus on purity and things of 'good repute.' Phil 4:8 Cussing will not proceed from that kind of thought life. Cussing is most often done in frustration, or because a person has limited communication skills. There are many ways to convey the idea of sh*t, and many more ways to add emphasis. In fact, when communicating with people, restraint often works better."

If the principle of pure talk is defined as only saying nice words or subjects, then where do passages like Judges 19 and Ezekiel 23 fit in? I would agree that in general cussing is not a good thing, it's overused, and that it is often used for evil. When my dad became a Christian his foul mouth, without any effort on his part, just naturally cleaned up due to the Holy Spirit's work in his life. But I would hardly say that any cussing whatsoever is forbidden. The same goes for alcohol. The Holy Spirit cleaning up the life of an alcoholic Christian hardly means all alcohol whatsoever is banned to all Christians for all time. It seems God is fine with it if it is meant for good purposes and wisely used.

"3. If you think it is sin, then it is sin to you. If there were no second thoughts, I presume the question would not have been asked. Rom 14:23"

If you have a guilty conscience in doing so, then by all means, you have the freedom in Christ to not cuss, and it ain't my place to tell you what to do. But my second thoughts are not because I feel guilty, as if I'm desperate to justify sin, but that I'm reading the Bible and discovering this issue is a lot more complicated than the conservative Christianity I was raised with says it is.

"4. The weaker brother principle. Even if it were right, if we offend a weaker brother because of it, we have sinned."

I'm not going to spew traditionally considered bad language if other Christians will be offended, but if another Christian holds the same opinion on cussing as I do, and I do it around them, can you realistically say it's still a sin for me to do so?

"5. There are many warnings in James about the tongue. We would do much better to guard it than to loose it."

What if calling someone an "idiot" is a worse offense in God's sight than saying "sh*t" in fun without intending it in a degrading way? There is also a time and season for everything. What if it's God's will, like seemingly with Paul, where God wants me to use a bad word to jolt my hearers to action for His glory?

"6. Is it done in love? 1 Cor 13"

What if the loving thing to do is to use a "bad" word in order to spur other believers to action or drive home an important teaching point to people?

"7. Is it done from a lack of self control, peace, gentleness, joy, kindness, goodness, or patience? Gal 5:22-23"

That may indeed be the case. But then we are held to a higher standard because we can't even say "gosh", "crap", or "idiot" out of lack of these spiritual fruit either. And I don't see conservative Christians emphasizing we shouldn't say "crud" every time we stub our toes or are frustrated because situations didn't turn out the way we wanted them to.

The other thing is that bad language is determined by culture. "Bi*ch" meant a pregnant dog at one point in our society and has an entirely new meaning today. But "h*ll" is pretty much becoming the equivalent of "crap" from what I've observed, so wouldn't it be fine to use it since it doesn't carry too much of a negative connotation anymore?

Here's a link to the initial article that changed my view on this issue: https://www.prestonsprinkle.com/blogs...

Check it out. Oh yeah, and thanks for sharing your thoughts.


message 15: by Miss Polymath (new)

Miss Polymath (essyk) | 23 comments Wade wrote: "My first question is this: what makes one word a "cuss" word, and another one not?"

It's an important question. I think it's what is considered appropriate in society at the time. Words often change and those traditionally considered bad in history can lose their negative meanings.


message 16: by Miss Polymath (new)

Miss Polymath (essyk) | 23 comments Hawk wrote: "(For the second questioner) It depends of the context its used in. As to the first post I am not sure of Phil 3:8 is the verse your thinking of. Eph 5:4 is after Eph 5:1. If we are supposed to be i..."

Read Preston Sprinkle's article on the issue. I think he shows pretty convincing evidence God wasn't just using oaths. Link: https://www.prestonsprinkle.com/blogs...


message 17: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1569 comments Romans 6:2 - " God forbid . How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"

Romans 6:15 - "What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid."


message 18: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Thanks Essy.
Personally, I enjoy colourful language. But there's a line that should not be crossed.

We have a lot of poop jokes in my house. But sexual Words are generally off limits.

God sure gets mad and frustrated with mankind in his vocabulary. But does He get humorous? Kind of.


message 19: by Miss Polymath (new)

Miss Polymath (essyk) | 23 comments Rod wrote: "Thanks Essy.
Personally, I enjoy colourful language. But there's a line that should not be crossed.

We have a lot of poop jokes in my house. But sexual Words are generally off limits.

God sure g..."


Makes sense. I personally don't think it's okay to use sexual words either; but then again, if I come across another Christian who does, but I know in his heart he's trying to please God and he feels he has the freedom to do so, then I don't think I have the right to impose my belief on him as dogma as many conservative Christians typically do.

The apostle Paul knew issues like these would often be gray and not necessarily black or white. It's why stressing freedom in Christ as a principle of Christian standards and interaction is so crucial for community function in the church.


message 20: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1569 comments Essy wrote: "but I know in his heart he's trying to please God and he feels he has the freedom to do so...."

My response: Based on what? How would you "know" a persons heart? How would you know they are trying to please God?

Because they (expletive) told you so?

No wonder Christianity is such a mess. People think they can be saved and ACT LIKE THE UNGODLY!
_______________________________

Essy wrote: "The apostle Paul knew issues like these would often be gray and not necessarily black or white....."

My response: I assume you have Scripture in which the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul says cussing is a "gray area"?
_______________________________

Essy wrote: "It's why stressing freedom in Christ as a principle of Christian standards and interaction is so crucial for community function in the church. "

My response: You have NO IDEA what Christian freedom is!

Christian freedom is FREEDOM FROM SIN!

It is NOT freedom TO SIN!


message 21: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1569 comments Galatians 2:20 - "I am crucified with Christ : nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me ..."

I presume that you do NOT believe this? If this is reality and it is Jesus living in a Christian...

...what is the justification to allow you to have a potty mouth?

The only way is for you to KICK JESUS OFF the throne of your life... and go back to running your own life.


message 22: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Is calling someone a Shrewd of Vipers or Whitewashed Tombs a cuss word category? Sure is colourful and descriptive, not uplifting and indeed spoken out of frustration.

It was fascinating when Jesus said, "how long must I put up with you people?"

Kind of the equivalent of saying "Damn" or "bloody hell".

But that's very different than taking something pure and defiling it. Do not EVER take Jesus name or character and use it flippantly. Personally, I find OMG to be way more offensive than the f word or any other crude term.


message 23: by Robert (last edited Jan 15, 2018 09:15AM) (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1569 comments Rod wrote: "Is calling someone a Shrewd of Vipers or Whitewashed Tombs a cuss word category? Sure is colourful and descriptive, not uplifting and indeed spoken out of frustration. It was fascinating when Jesu..."

My response: Perhaps it was a statement of FACT. Please show me where these phrases used by Jesus were understood as "cuss words".

Does the Bible say that?


message 24: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1569 comments Rod wrote: "Personally, I find OMG to be way more offensive than the f word or any other crude term...."

My response: I never say those initials in typing...

I am sure glad that it is God and not you Who defines what is or is not offensive.

No wonder the church is in the mess it is today. People accept and allow for WORLDLY CARNALITY in almost every area.

* Talk like the world...
* Dress like the world...
* Live like the world...
* Act like the world...
* Party like the world...

...and call themselves Christians!!!!! Really????
______________________________

We are FREE FROM SIN...
...not FREE TO SIN!


message 25: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1569 comments 1 Peter 1:15 - "But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; "

Someone explain how your tolerance of vulgarities is holy in all manner of conversation.


message 26: by Tyrone (new)

Tyrone Wilson | 38 comments Robert wrote: "1 Peter 1:15 - "But as he which hath called you is holy, so
be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
"

Someone explain how your tolerance of vulgarities is
holy in all manner of conversation.
"


I agree wholeheartedly! It is not ok for Christians to cuss, swear or whatever you want to call it. Many of the unsaved recognize the vile intent, even if they do it to get a laugh. It is not holy, and should be avoided!


message 27: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1569 comments Tyrone wrote: "I agree wholeheartedly! It is not ok for Christians to cuss, swear or whatever you want to call it. Many of the unsaved recognize the vile intent, even if they do it to get a laugh. It is not holy, and should be avoided! ..."

Amen Tyrone!


message 28: by Laurette (new)

Laurette (PoetLaurette) | 63 comments Rod wrote: "Is calling someone a Shrewd of Vipers or Whitewashed Tombs a cuss word category? Sure is colourful and descriptive, not uplifting and indeed spoken out of frustration.

It was fascinating when Jesu..."

Not a cuss word category, simply Truth.


message 29: by Laurette (new)

Laurette (PoetLaurette) | 63 comments How can you cuss if you are reflecting Christ?


message 30: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Laurette wrote: "How can you cuss if you are reflecting Christ?"

I agree. A cursing Christian just doesn't make sense. I don't believe this kind of behavior would send someone to hell, but I also don't see how that kind of speech is "alway with grace, seasoned with salt". These words may refer to things that are not necessarily intrinsically wicked, but their connotations and associations are certainly things I would avoid as someone who claims to know Christ. There are plenty of other words out there to express emotions


message 31: by Miss Polymath (new)

Miss Polymath (essyk) | 23 comments Rod wrote: "Is calling someone a Shrewd of Vipers or Whitewashed Tombs a cuss word category? Sure is colourful and descriptive, not uplifting and indeed spoken out of frustration.

It was fascinating when Jesu..."


I totally agree.


message 32: by Miss Polymath (new)

Miss Polymath (essyk) | 23 comments Stephanie wrote: "Laurette wrote: "How can you cuss if you are reflecting Christ?"

I agree. A cursing Christian just doesn't make sense. I don't believe this kind of behavior would send someone to hell, but I also ..."


That's a good way to go if you want to be safe, but I think it really depends upon the situation.


message 33: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1569 comments 1 Peter 1:15 - "But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; "

Someone explain how your tolerance of vulgarities is holy in all manner of conversation.


message 34: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Essy wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "Laurette wrote: "How can you cuss if you are reflecting Christ?"

I agree. A cursing Christian just doesn't make sense. I don't believe this kind of behavior would send someone to..."


Then maybe better safe than sorry. Better to err on the side on right then the side of wrong.


message 35: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Is "Cuss" a technical term?

Is negative descriptive poetry evil?

Is positive descriptive poetry evil?

What's clear is that something Holy or pure should not be tainted for our amusement.

But getting mad or frustrated and declaring, "Oooh Poop!". Is not a Hell worthy offence. Doesn't even break a 10 commandment.


message 36: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1569 comments 1 Peter 1:15 - "But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; "

Someone explain how your tolerance of vulgarities is holy in all manner of conversation.


message 37: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1569 comments 1 Tim 4:12 - "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation , in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity ."


message 38: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Rod - clarification - EVERYTHING is a hellworthy offense if you don't Believe. Robert D. may never have uttered an epithet and spends his entire day enlightening us with Scripture, but if he doesn't truly accept Jesus, he's toast!


message 39: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1569 comments Robert wrote: "Rod - clarification - EVERYTHING is a hellworthy offense if you don't Believe. Robert D. may never have uttered an epithet and spends his entire day enlightening us with Scripture, but if he doesn'..."

My response: I will NEVER receive YOUR FALSE Jesus... you are the one who is toast... if you don't get saved.


message 40: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Robert - and you've appointed yourself special arbiter of my salvation haven't you? Back to the New Testament about judging others for you!


message 41: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1569 comments Robert wrote: "Robert - and you've appointed yourself special arbiter of my salvation haven't you? Back to the New Testament about judging others for you!"

My response: Your FALSE Jesus cannot offer TRUE salvation...

As for judging, you need to read Matthew 7:1-5... there are at least TWO judgments... and the end result is TWO pieces of wood are removed from TWO people's eyes.


message 42: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Some people are way too serious about existence. Enjoy the game. (There's a reason I'm not Amish) "POOPY!"


message 43: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1569 comments 1 Peter 1:15 - "But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; "

Someone explain how your tolerance of vulgarities is holy in all manner of conversation.

I am still waiting for a Biblical explanation.



message 44: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle If you wouldn't say it in front of Jesus: then don't say it.


message 45: by Robert (last edited Jan 27, 2018 08:04AM) (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1569 comments Rod wrote: "If you wouldn't say it in front of Jesus: then don't say it."

My response: Who gets to decide?

I have said many things in front of Jesus that I should NOT have said...

The Word of God must be the deciding factor... NOT what I "would" or "would not" do.


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