Friday, July 6, 2012

"Bad Words"--Big Deal or Not?

Last Sunday I preached on 4 areas of injustice every single person can fight: bullying, domestic violence, racism, and demeaning language. Though there was little inattention at any point, the discomfort level sky-rocketed when I got specific about "demeaning language." I did nothing for shock value, but some were shocked when I actually identified some of the common words heard every day on television, seen on t-shirts, and heard in common conversation. No, I didn't say the f--bomb or any of the other most coarse of the common cultural expletives. I did say that some people would be far more offended that I said those words in church, stating these are terrible names that NO-ONE should ever be called, than the fact that they themselves scream the words into the faces of precious people God has created in His own image, people created for love.

I was a prophet. :-) Though most responses have been overwhelmingly grateful, stating "We REALLY need that clear, straight teaching", it didn't help everyone. I would do it again, though, because I felt and feel it was God's directive to me--a person who has nearly zero-tolerance for swearing. This viral and vicious epidemic of demeaning language is destroying our culture and shredding the fragile self-esteem and dignity of human beings, the objects of God's love and  Christ's sacrificial death.

So what are the "bad words" and why are they bad?
  • Some people only consider saying God's name in a flippant manner to be wrong. It IS wrong--because it shows irreverence for a Holy God, the One Who holds our very lives and eternity in His hands.
  • But the coarse words we use (those with sexual connotations, racist words, the names we call people, crude things said to tease, demean, label,  put a person in their place in a foul way)...those words are also so wrong and sinful. It dis-respects the highest of God's creation, human beings, hand-made by God "just a little lower than the angels" (Psalm 8) God doesn't take it lightly. Jesus said to even call a person a fool was to put yourself in danger of hellfire. (Matthew 5). Can you imagine his opinion of the words we casually and lethally throw at each other?
  • None of the words are bad because of WHERE you say them or worse because you say them in church. The Bible says the whole earth is God's house, and there is nowhere we can escape from his presence (Psalm 139) Anywhere I attack with language, God hears and knows.
  • We say "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." BIG lie. The Bible says the power of life and death is in the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). Jesus said, "I tell you that on the day of judgment each one will give account for every careless words he or she has spoken, and by your words you will be acquitted or condemned and sentenced." (Matthew 12:36-37)
  • The violent and coarse words we use with people remove their "humanity" and enable us to move on to other violence and abuse. The abortion movement is careful to use the word "fetus" instead of baby, because NO ONE kills babies, but they will make a business of killing fetuses.  A person with a living brain cell would think it through a few times before slapping or abusing a precious daughter of a King, but a "bitch" deserves what she gets. This is KILLING our families and our entire culture.
You know what I'm saying. Don't diminish yourself by making excuses or pretending you don't. Don't convince yourself that it's bad that a pastor very pointedly called attention to the greatness of this sin in church, in God's house. The reason Jesus threw the moneychangers out of the temple was not because he was opposed to selling the items travelers needed for sacrifice. That was necessary. The reason he got a whip and chased them out was because they were abusing and taking advantage of people he loved and valued enough to give his life for them. If Jesus showed up in person at church again--at our church or any other-- I  bet we'd hear the crack of the whip as Jesus did some housecleaning again.


Linda Grabbe said...

All I can say is God hasn't called us to tiptoe around anything that puts us in danger of hellfire. Everyone needs to know and hear and understand!

Anonymous said...

Keep preachin' the truth sister!