Monday, April 25, 2011

Philippians 4:8 on Swearing, Part 2

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.

Is swearing right? (Right: The conformity to the will, standards and character of God)

Usually no.

We are told to love our neighbor (Matthew 22:39), to bless those who curse (Luke 6:28), and to not employ cursing and filthy language (e.g. James 3:9-12, Colossians 3:8).

While God does use curses, they are reserved for the most extreme circumstances. His language, however, is never crude or filthy, but is only offensive/insulting to those of us who are out of step with Him (e.g. John 6:60-64) and of that which is offensive to Him (e.g. mocking of evil). Nor is being offensive or insulting His sole purpose, but such language is often used to motivate us away from evil and toward good.

Is it pure? (Pure: That which will not contaminate us—cause us to sin—if we should employ it in our own lives)

Usually swearing is not considered pure behavior.

While curses and oaths are not in themselves wrong, they are very serious matters with a weight that few understand these days. But the breaking of an oath or the misapplication of vow or curse carries serious—and sometimes deadly—consequence (e.g. Deuteronomy 23:21, Judges 11:30-39).

Beyond that, though, coarse, crude, demeaning, or filthy language is never condoned in Scripture.

No comments: