By Eric Crabee
In recent issues Chuck Hewlett and Mick Duncan got me thinking about profanity and its place, or otherwise, in the life and witness of we followers of Jesus
Having for a time been an enthusiastic, if closeted, practitioner of the of the art of swearing, I could fairly do so and, man, you’ve got to believe that still the Devil never lets up prompting me with the inappropriate response in most every situation.
The guys I’ve worked with are at Doctorate level in profanity, a level that few of us realise exists – fortunately. But it all started with one foul word, and now who of us wants to be part of that stream of filth? Why would any of us want even to dabble in it?
A lifetime alcoholic once assured me you don’t have to drink. Likewise, Christian friends, you don’t need to be profane either.
Sadly I am gutted by the language that spews forth from too many usually generation Y followers while mixing in Christian circles. I am bathed in profanity 5/6 days each week – when I am in the company of children of the King of Kings shouldn’t it be refreshingly different ? Aren’t we called upon to be different, the salt of the earth?
I was amused and encouraged to hear it said of a Christian: “He may not swear but he certainly makes himself crystal clear.” Hallelujah it can be done! A Satanist who I observed in the workplace most always apologises when he swears in the presence of Christians. They know the boundaries. How is it that some of our own aren’t so clear?
Chuck Hewlett gets it right on the button, pointing us to Ephesians 4:29 and 5:4: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths ... nor should there be any obsenity, foolish talk or coarse joking.”
Isn’t it great that God gave us the Bible as our yardstick. Our hearts can be so deceptive when left unchecked against the Word of God. It so clears our perspective.
My favourite story-telling theologian, the now-maligned Mike Warnke, reminded us that before we were saved the Devil convinced us that the Bible is a book of don’ts, but now that we’ve been saved we’ve been reading God’s Word so we’ve found that it’s a book of dos. We’ve been so busy doing the dos that we haven’t had time to do the don’ts, and if we did we wouldn’t. Isn’t that Philippians 4:8 in layman’s terms – to ensure that you don’t even get near profanity?
Friends, people with whom we live and work, expect Bible standards (or above) from we who claim to be walking in the light. We play to an audience of one, but as we do dare we forget that there are others in the crowd?
Yep, Mick Duncan, I avoid swearing. I’ve got a whole host of expressions that clarify the picture and not a few gain listeners’ attention without profanity. I think I could use any of them in the Lord’s presence but upon reflection I will delete a couple.
When we stand before the Lord do we seriously think that we are going to say to him: “S*** it’s great to be here, I would have been more than a bit p****d off if I’d missed the draft.”
So let’s get real and work at appropriate dialogue with the saints and others and forget the boutique profanity.
For most of my years I’ve been a trucker so it’s good sharing a few marketplace thoughts with you, Chuck and Mick. You seem not a bad couple of roosters.
On the road ahead I’ll try to remember to keep driving on the black bit between the painted lines, avoiding the potholes of profanity. I’m not smart, just old enough to know that on the holy highway when I get over the centre line into the right lane the consequences can be serious and abrupt. Even fatal for those not going in the direction that I am.
It’s also been my experience that if I drift to the left it’s a lot of fun sliding in the loose metal on the berm for a bit until I lose it completely. Then it is dire consequences for the cockie’s fence, the boss’ investment and my ability to feed my wife and kids.
I am a Christian first, a Baptist by choice and a bit rough around the edges from the school of hard knocks. But although it isn’t always exciting or easy running, this ol’ boy’s keeping truckin’ on up the black strip towards the sure reward.
So help me, Lord, not to compromise on any point.
Come aboard, guys, enjoy the ride with me by God’s grace.