10 Nov 2007

Thou Shalt Not Cuss-Should Christians Cuss?

By Kevin Williams
A friend was shocked recently, when he found out that a professing Christian husband and wife who came out evangelising with them, constantly cussed. He explained they wasn't using the Lord's Name as a cuss word, "But they use words like: da--, sh--, bi---, SOB, and every now and then the F-- word. They do this in casual conversation. Now, I could maybe understand if they hit their head and a bad word came out accidentally. That is not the case here."

Cussing is not acceptable behaviour for a Christian and Scripture is not even vague about:
James 3:9-10; Eph 4:29; Eph 5:3-4; Col 3:8; 2 Tim 2:22; 1 Thess 5:22; 1 Peter 1:14-16; 1 Peter 2:12; 2 Tim 2:19; Rom 12:2; Matt 12:33-37.

If, after reading all those verses, someone is still rebellious to object to cussing being wrong , then I ask the question "Do you think it is okay to cuss when you talk to God in prayer?" If they say "no," then they admit they know it is wrong, and if they say "Yes," then clearly they are lost.

I also must add that neither is it okay to cuss when we bang our heads, or drop something on our toes. "Ouch" will do fine and so there is no excuse for profane words.

One way people try to excuse the use of vulgar language is by saying "what's acceptable changes with time and culture". This is ridiculous. Our society now accepts sex outside of marriage and even homosexuality. Does that mean the church should do also? Of course not. What people seem to fail to take into account when playing the "cultural get out card" is that the Greek and Roman culture that the New Testament was delivered to was even more profane and lewd than today's.

We all Amen when a Pastor points out that society has disgracefully renamed sin, to repackage it as "more acceptable," with 'Adultery' renamed 'having an affair' ; 'sodomy ' renamed 'gay' ; 'the cold blooded murder of an unborn child' renamed' pro-choice'. So why is it suddenly okay for parts of the professing church to rename 'profane language and lewdness' to 'keeping up with the culture'?

Someone else claimed it is okay to say words like "s*ck" or "cr&p", even in the pulpit. Well I ask does it Glorify God to say these terms anywhere, never mind the pulpit? But for the record. When people say “suck” to mean something bad, the phrase does not come from a baby sucking a dummy, but from a 1980's euphemism for oral sex. The cuss word “cr*p” comes from Thomas Crapper, who invented the flush toilet. Basically in the same way people use God’s name as a filth word, people use Thomas Crappers name as a filth word.

So what should a Christian do when he finds a 'brother' in this sin?

Well just like if we find a brother in any sin we should follow the procedure we are commanded to do in Scripture Matthew 18:15-20. The first step being to approach the brother, compassionately in love, and open your Bibles and show him or her from Scripture where they are in error. Remember, it is possible, especially if they are a new convert or have been under bad teaching, that they may not know. Hopefully they will respond positively and repent when they read in God's Word that they are in error, but if not, then it is time to move onto stage 2, verse 16 of Matthew 18:15-20. If he or she still refuses to listen then he should be treated as unsaved until he repents.

The clarity over the issue of profanity and lewdness being a sin, has not been helped by the emergence of "the cussing Pastor" Mark Driscoll and his brand of 'grunge christianity'. After hearing either hype or disgust from the Reformed Camp about Driscoll, I thought I’d better actually listen to one of his sermons myself instead of forming an opinion from what others say. I listened to this one: “Vintage Jesus pt2-10.15.06 - How human was Jesus?” and I have to say that from start to finish it is absolutely disgusting. It is lewd throughout, but at one point Driscoll jokes, to the huge laughter of his fans, about 'beating up' Jesus.

And I just thought: “For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Now I would ask anyone who tries to excuse Driscoll's lewdness, could you really like Driscoll, laugh about 'beating up Jesus'? Because I could not do that if someone put a gun to my head.

Driscoll and his fans try to claim his constant profanity is Biblical and compares it to Paul using examples like his Jewishness is like manure compared to Christ. But there is huge difference between Paul saying that to make a shocking and silencing point, than Driscoll laughing and joking about “things that shouldn’t even be named among you” throughout his sermons just to get laughs out of his fans. Neither Jesus, Paul nor anyone in the Bible made constant lewd jokes, and joked about beating up God to entertain their followers.

I ask if Rick Warren had come out with half of the obscenities Driscoll does, would we be praising him for his profaneness? But because Driscoll has apparently got the doctrines of Grace nailed down, people are ready to turn a blind eye and even call him “theologically rock solid”. He's obviously not so solid on the Scriptures about behaviour, what they mean by that is he understands aspects of Reformed Theology. But the Scripture does not say ‘without Calvinism, no one will see the Lord’. There will be plenty of people in Hell who understand Calvinism.

Is this how pathetic our level of discernment has become? What's the next stage of this downgrade? How long will it be before there's a drug dealing pastor and people say “Yes I know he takes drugs and sleeps with his boyfriend, but don’t worry he’s not one of those Arminians, it’s okay he’s a reformed”?

The other defence people give is "yeh, but he's built a big church". So what? So has Joel Olsteen There’s a lot of people who go to Wal-Mart but we don’t think it’s a work of God. I expect down the years people have been converted under Pope Jean Paul II, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, Ted Haggard (not that I've met any). Where there is Scripture, people will sometimes be converted in spite of the preacher, because whether a rooster crows it or a donkey squeals it, it’s still the Word of God. But that doesn’t make what he does right. My friend was converted when a JW came to his door, they bugged him so much that he opened up and studied his Bible for the first time, to prove them wrong for the sake of arguing, and in the process got saved. But that doesn’t then mean that JW door to door is okay.

The Gospel in my Bible is not some pathetic 21st Century American perversion, but one that has power to cleanse the sinner and says “unless you repent you will perish”

1 Jn 3:9 “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.”

1 Jn 2:29 “If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.”

1 Jn 5:4 “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world.”

1 Jn 5:18 “We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him”

Thou Shalt Not Cuss.

James 3:9-10 "With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so"

Eph 4:29 "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."

Eph 5:3-4 "But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks."

Col 3:8 "But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth."

2 Tim 2:22 "Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart."

1 Thess 5:22 "Abstain from every form of evil."

1 Peter 1:14-16 "As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

1 Peter 2:12 "Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation."

2 Tim 2:19 "But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”

Rom 12:2 "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

Matt 12:33-37 "“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

See also article "John MacArthur-grunge christianity".
and: Phil Johnson "Fed Up".