Tag Archives: tv

Cussing Christians

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I grew up in the Bible Belt – in the Deep South. In that area, religion pervades every area of life. Even though most people are only marginally Christians, the Christian ideals influence the moral compass of that society.

In the South, there are ways a person is supposed to behave and ways they aren’t. In the South, you’re supposed to treat women right and work hard to provide for your family. In the South, what church you belong to can function as a status symbol that can help you out in social and business circles. In the South, your language matters.

Growing up in the South and in the church, I was taught often about what I am not allowed to say. I remember being told that “crap” was a bad word when I was a child. By the time I reached my teenage years, “crap” was being used by adults at church. I remember being shocked the first time I heard it used by an adult I thought was spiritually elite.

I had learned about the “B” word, “D” word, “S” word, “A” word and “F” word. I knew these words weren’t to be used in social settings, and if I stubbed my toe and said one of these, I needed to repent because saying such was a sin.

I have seen how media has increasingly incorporated each of these words into mainstream media. On TV you can hear most of these in regular programming. If you watch original programming on Netflix, you may encounter all of these words.

So, the question poses itself: are these words really bad?

Ephesians 4:29 (ESV)
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.

James 3:8-10 (ESV)
…but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.

See? The bible talks about curse words!

Really?

If you look at the context of scriptures that talk about our language use, time after time you will see that our language is to be used to build others up. If we are tearing people down with our words, then we are sinning against others.

You can use “four letter words” to tear people down. People do it all the time – cussing someone out. But you can also tear people down with socially acceptable words that can even inflict worse damage.

Calling some “good for nothing” or “worthless” is no better nor more acceptable to God than using profanity against them. To call someone stupid or fat does the same or maybe worse than any four letter word. When we ridicule and cut and deride and slander and gossip, we are sinning against those whom the Lord created in His image to be His children.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words cut to the heart.

The scriptures, when talking about “unwholesome talk” isn’t addressing the times when you stub your toe and say a colorful euphemism. The scriptures are addressing the way you speak to others around you. Are you building them up or tearing them down?

Words are like money and guns. They are not inherently evil by themselves. Their worth is determined by how we use them.

So, is it ok to flippantly use words our culture considers “profanity”? The context of your conversation matters tremendously. When speaking about eating meat sacrificed to idols, Paul refers to the context of the meal to convince Christians that their actions may inadvertently cause others to go against their consciences.

To cause someone to go against their conscience (even unintentionally) is to sin against Christ (1 Corinthians 9). So we must be always on guard with our language.

So, can Christians cuss? The scriptures don’t really address much of what goes for cussing today. What the scriptures speak to directly is our treatment of others with our words. Build others up. Don’t tear them down – no matter what words you use.

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Olympians and Eating Grass

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Ever since I was a small boy I remember my family sitting in the living room glued to the tv as we watch the Olympics. We have always rooted for the USA, but we have also rooted for the other countries as we saw exceptional talent and ability to do wonders with the human body. Truly it is the spirit of unity around the world that makes the Olympic games so great.

For the last couple of games, our family has not had television that we paid for, nor did we have an antenna hooked up, so we got no channels. We had to follow the games on our computers, but this year is different.

This year our two youngest kids are in gymnastics, and we wanted them to be able to see what gymnasts do at Olympic levels. We finally broke down and got an antenna so that we could celebrate this year’s games as a family.

It has been great watching each of the teams in their various sports. Our kids are loving it. I think I am loving it more. But it is the spirit of the games that catches me. It is the spirit that says we are all human, and we can all come together for a common purpose. The Olympics are for every human on the planet.

This same spirit is evident in the Bible as well, though many people overlook it.

For many generations the Christian churches were places where prejudice and judgmental attitudes were fostered. They were exclusive places where you could come in if you were just right. Not all churches were like this, mind you. However, the ones that were accepting and loving to all people’s and races were ostracized by the other churches with great contempt.

This is the opposite of what we have been called to be.

Did you know that the king of Babylon wrote a chapter in the Bible? Nebuchadnezzar was king when Israel was taken into captivity. Now, many people believe that the Old a testament was written for the Jews. Here we have a pagan king writing a chapter in our Holy Book.

He had seen the miracle of the Fiery Furnace in Daniel 3, and then he had recognized Jehovah as the great God, but in Daniel 4 Nebuchadnezzar forgets what he has seen.

From his own perspective we read of his dream and how Daniel interpreted the dream for him. Shortly after this he was standing on the roof of his palace and gloating over all he had done, giving no credit to Jehovah. So God drove him out of his kingdom and turned him mad where he ate grass and grew wild like an animal. Finally he came back to his senses and prayed to Jehovah, and he was restored to his kingdom with even greater blessings.

This is an odd story, but the fact that the story is recorded in a Judeo-Christian Bible by a Babylonian king is even more odd.

I believe God is trying to send a message to us who grow so arrogant so quickly as to our election. He is trying to show us that the words of the Bible, and the hope in Christ, the Messiah, are for all mankind. We have no right to ostracize someone because of race or color. We shouldn’t be shunning someone because of their nationality. Jesus came to save me, and you, and the king of Iran too.

We are called to identify sin, and too many of us are all too happy to do that, but in identifying sin we are also called to reach out in love and help others out as brothers and sisters. God has called you to reach out to your neighbors and the world to tell them about the saving grace found in Jesus, for only He can take away your unrighteousness and make you whole.

So, I’m rooting for all the Olympians. And I’m rooting for all people to come to a knowledge of the saving grace of Jesus. His death and resurrection brings true life in a world that wants to live forever.

If you’d like to know more about the saving grace of Jesus, where you can have all the wrong you’ve ever done paid for, then please feel free to contact me at jddobbs@verizon.net or at the office at 245-1611. I would love to point you to Him. And He would love for you to come home. God bless every one of you.


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