Monday, April 18, 2011

Philippians 4:8 on Swearing, Part 1

Definition: Crude and offensive language (and/or action) which often insults God and/or the recipient thereof. Includes (for this study) profanity, obscenities, epithets, and cursing.

Now that we have a broad working definition of swearing, the next big question is how does this use of words stack up to the standard set by Philippians 4:8.

Is it true? (True: That which conforms to reality or reveals truth)

Unfortunately, the world of swearing is very much a part of our world. Found in films and books at the lowest levels (Eloise, Inkheart, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, to name a few), fiction is saturated with it. Walk through a mall, converse with co-workers, or even eavesdrop on Christians at church, and you will sadly find many real-life counterparts to the fictional uses of this language.

So swearing does conform to reality, even if it reveals little truth except the depravity of man and our continuous rebellion against our Creator.

Is it noble? (Noble: Action done with dignity and serious topics dealt with respect)

What is dignified about using a name as a throwaway exclamation? Does that not show how little we think of the One Who bears that name?

Or where’s the respect in slandering one’s heritage? And while damnation is a serious topic indeed, does our use of curses show the seriousness of the condemnation? Do we handle such words with the respectful care God has weighted them with?

No, swearing carries few tatters that might be mistaken as the cloak of nobility.

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