With the approach of Christ’s return getting closer and closer, it has been my observation that foul language is on the increase in epidemic proportions. There used to be a time when cursing and dirty jokes would only occur behind closed doors among adults. If you heard it in public, it only happened in seedy places like bars or on ghetto streets. Now it’s everywhere–the supermarket, video store, and at “Christian” gatherings. Everyone from young children up are participating. Children curse their parents in public and parents curse their children in public.
I expect that type of behavior from the unsaved, but to hear it from those who claim to be Christians is appalling.
“And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature and it is set on fire of hell.
For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.” (James 3:6-10)
Some may say that it’s just a reflection of what people listen to and watch. I would argue that a Christian individual does not have to do what they hear and see if it’s ungodly. I understand we all wrestle with our flesh to keep it under subjection, but some so-called Christians don’t seem to be trying to keep themselves in check regarding this sin. I’ve encountered plenty of Christians who lift their hands in praise, teach Bible lessons, and pray at church gatherings then turn around and tell their dirty jokes or curse like sailors when you spend time with them away from church. What’s up with that? They must know they’re wrong since they know better than to use that language in the midst of the whole congregation.
I heard a pastor preach once that in certain circumstances it was fine to cuss someone out such as when you are trying to make a valid argument with a difficult person who won’t listen. Huh? Where is that in the Bible? He then went on to say that is why Peter cussed on the night of the trial of Jesus. Needless to say, I left that church not too long afterwards.
“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor.
But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient (suitable): but rather giving of thanks.” (Eph. 5:1-4, emphasis mine)
Foolish talking would be any type of talk that does not encourage what pleases God, such as cursing or boasting about one’s sins. Jesting would be dirty jokes, double entendre, or joking about sin to make it seem fun or innocent (see Proverbs 14:9).
Here are more verses to think about on this subject:
“Put away from thee a froward [deviant, deceitful] mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.” Proverbs 4:24
“Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.” Proverbs 19:1
“Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.” Proverbs 20:20
“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.” Isaiah 59:2-3
–Harry A. Gaylord–