What The Bible Tells Us
What does the Bible say about Foul Language?
The Bible is clear about sin and the power of words. Sin is anything we do that separates us from God. Therefore, the way we use language can be sinful. For example, one of the Ten Commandments regards our language towards the Lord. Exodus 20:7 says, You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.
But, it does not end with taking the Lords name in vain. Throughout the Bible, we are warned against using language sinfully. According to Proverbs 10:32, The lips of the righteous know what finds favor, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse. Crass language, obscenities, and more fall into this category.
Yet, it may be the fact that we will be held accountable for all the words we speak on earth when we meet our Savior that is the most poignant. Matthew 12:36-37 tells us, But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. I dont know about you, but that truth sure makes me want to take better care of the words I speak.
Cursing Doesnt Lift You Or Others Up
How many find that after spending time with someone who is constantly cursing, they are encouraged or uplifted after the conversation? Even if the person may be funny with their language choice or are telling a humorous story that requires commentary with profanity, those listening often think there is a time and a place for that type of language.
Thats typically why some people will whisper their use of profanity in certain settings or not even use language around certain people or places, such as at church or home around children. Those that use this language openly in those scenarios are seen as uncouth and shameful, dispensing language that is more appropriate in private. This is because it sometimes is not seen as language that motivates people toward positivity.
The apostle Paul encourages the church of Ephesus to withhold corrupt talk from their mouths in favor of, what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearer . Using foul language might relieve tension or difficulties in your life for the moment, but it could be the last thing someone else wants to hear or have to explain to their child. And we all know that children love to repeat what they hear from adults!
Using Our Words Wisely
Now that weve looked at these questions, What does the Bible say about cussing? And is cursing a sin? I want to end with a challenge to use our words wisely.
We should use our words in a way that shows our love for God and honors those we are speaking about.
Some of the worst things Ive heard have come from Christians who intentionally dont swear but still, use their words to tear others apart. The point the Bible makes is that the words you use arent the problem. Words are neutral. The way you use words dictates if they become good or bad.
Should Christians cuss? Well that depends. What is right and wrong isnt always the same as what is wise and unwise. Or at least effective and ineffective. While it might be okay to do something, or say something, it might not always be wise.
Instead of asking is cursing a sin? Ask this instead: Would using help or distract?
What is the wisest thing for you to do? Whats the most loving way you can communicate what you need to say?
Life is not all black and white. The Bible doesnt portray it that way either theres a whole lot of gray. This question will help us sort out what the wisest thing for us to do is.
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What Does Christianity Say About Cursing
A significant portion of the Bible leaves out several explicit terms that Christians should steer clear of, namely filthy language,unwholesome talk, and crude joking.. In order to live up to Jesus teachings on not being impure by the world or reproducing the image of God, our Christian lives should not go outside of what the world has to offer.
Taking The Lords Name In Vain Has Nothing To Do With Cursing
Look with me to the second of the Ten Commandments: Thou must not take the Lords name in vain . The word “vain” means “empty.” “Taking the Lord’s name in vain,” has nothing to do with cursing. This commandment refers to the sin of emptying the Name of God of power declaring that God has little or no power to create, judge, be in control or provide the strength we all need for victorious living. In other words, taking the Lord’s name in vain is a way of saying that He’s not omnipotent. This is a sin.
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Graceful Bible Verses About Cursing And Swearing
What does the Bible say about Foul Language?
by Ryan Hart | Updated on December 20, 2018 | Post may contain affiliate links
In this post Im going to share with you the most impactful bible verses about cursing and using profanity that Ive read.
These scriptures on cursing will make you think twice about the words that come out of your mouth from now on.
Ready to find out what the bible says about swearing?
Lets get started.
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What Constitutes As Cussing/swearing
Reason two for not cussing is answered here.
Cussing is defined as vulgar, sexually inappropriate, or harsh, and if you google it, you will find that it is described as an expression of anger which is why it is grouped as it is in Colossians 3.
The key thing to note is that cuss words and their meanings have nothing to do with Christ, in fact, they actually are the opposite of who God is. These words and their implications are in direct opposition to all that Christ stands for.
They are generally degrading, harsh, and used to insult in many circumstances. In short, they are in no way uplifting.
Is It A Sin To Say I Swear
It is not a sin to fail to take your oath oath. If it doesnt seem necessary to keep your promise, dont swear at him. Sins arent anything you can tolerate as Lawyer tactics, they can always be found objectively bad as behaviors in any culture. The act of breaking a promise is a sin even if the act takes place before a god, even if there was no God to assist.
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Is Cursing A Sin
Is cursing a sin? What does the Bible say about cussing?
Many Christians have a pretty strong conviction about how to answer these questions. They have Bible verses loaded up and ready to fire out. But I think weve oversimplified these questions.
I know most people want a black and white answer. Is swearing a sin, yes or no? But the Bible doesnt reduce these questions to a simple answer. Instead it challenges us and calls us to something bigger.
We will look at the question, is it a sin to cuss? but I think as we look at that a larger truth will be revealed thats more important than our use of cuss words.
Before we get further into is swearing a sin? we need to investigate the Bible. Well start by looking at how weve softened the language in the Bible and then we will answer the question, what does the Bible say about cussing?
Lets dive in.
The Things We Watch And Listen To Does Indeed Trigger Bad Language
If we are listening to devilish music and watching movies with a lot of profanity we will be wrongly influenced.
17. Ecclesiastes 7:5 It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person than to listen to the song of fools.
18. Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirableif anything is excellent or praiseworthythink about such things.
19. Colossians 3:2 Keep your mind on things above, not on worldly things.
20. Colossians 3:5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Dont be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.
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See More From Our What Does The Bible Say About Series
This article is part of our larger Spiritual Life resource meant to answer your questions about the Bible, God and the Christian faith. Visit our most popular questions on What does the Bible say about questions answered by well known Christians and theologians to find more inspiration. Remember that as you read these articles, the Holy Spirit will give you understanding and discernment to make the right decision for your walk with Jesus Christ! If you know others struggling with these faith questions, please share and help others discover the truth on these controversial topics.
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Should Christians Be Conscientious Of Their Words
As Christians, we will be held accountable for every word we say, whether that be typed, texted, or spoken audibly. The platform in which our words come out does not change the acceptability of our language. As Jesus said in Matthew 36-37:
But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.
We should heed this warning of Jesus and be conscientious of our wordsboth in the words entering our minds and exiting our mouths. As believers, who are being redeemed by new mercies each morning, we must strive to be conformed to the image of God, by considering that the words we are listening to, and speaking will have an impact on our holy conduct. We must seek Gods grace for our foolish talk, rely on His strength to put our sin to death, and cling to His Word to renew our minds.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Gods will ishis good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:2
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What does the Bible say about Obscenity?
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We Must Guard Our Heart And Lips
11. Matthew 15:18-19 But whatever goes out of the mouth comes from within, and thats what makes a person unclean. Evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual sins, stealing, lying, and cursing come from within.
12. Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.
13. Matthew 12:34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
14. Psalm 141:3 Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth Keep watch over the door of my lips .
What Does The Bible Say About Cursing Profanity And Foul Language
Where I am today, the Pacific Northwest is ablaze with wildfires in every direction. People in Oregon, California, and Washington are evacuating their homes and seeking refuge in cities. Ash is literally raining from the sky, and there are air quality alerts warning people to stay indoors and out of the smoke. 24 people have already died as the fires are wreaking havoc on whole communities. The Bible describes our tongues in the same wayable to wreak havoc and full of death:
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 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. – James 3:5-10
Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.
And Ephesians 4:29 says:
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.
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What Does The Bible Say About Cussing
We are going to look at some of the most common verses used to answer this question. But theres too many to look at all of them in a single blog post. If you want a complete list go here: What the Bible Says About Profanity
Ephesians 5:4, Colossians 3:8, James 3:6-10, and Proverbs 4:24 are the four passages I hear most commonly used in discussions about four-letter words. Most Christians use these passages as proof texts as to why we shouldnt use foul language.
In essence weve boiled down these verses to mean one thing. Dont cuss. A good man will not curse and an evil man will use such words. But that interpretation sells short the depth of what the Bible is actually communicating.
Take the Apostle Paul for example. Several times in his letters he tells his readers to avoid filthy language, unwholesome talk, foolish talk, course joking, slander, and other things of the sort. Hes using broad categories but never prohibits using any specific curse word.
What the Bible makes clear is that its a sin to belittle, demean, pervert, use crude joking, attack someone, or use deceitful speech. Such things do not come from the goodness of God and do not represent the new life that Jesus came to give us.
The problem is you can do all of those things without ever using a swear word. And many Christians do and feel justified because they didnt use any bad language.
We get so caught up in the specific words to avoid and miss the larger message.
Dr Tim And Mrs Noreen Muehlhoff
Dr. Tim Muehlhoff is a professor of communication at Biola University in La Mirada, California where he teaches classes in family communication, interpersonal communication, apologetics, gender, and conflict resolution. Tim and his wife, Noreen, are both on staff with Biolas Center for Marriage and Relationships where he is a co-host of The Art of Relationship podcast.
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