What the %&*#? Christians Cussing

What thye $%^*: Christians Cussing

Profanity is a long standing phenomena in history. Cussing, obscenities, cursing, swearing, dirty words–whatever you want to call it–exists in all languages.

Profanity in American culture has become commonplace, from our movies to our televisions. I have even heard children under the age of 6 cuss like sailors while out grocery shopping with their mom. Potty mouths are everywhere, it seems.

Americans love their curse words and they love to use them, but what about Christians? Should believers be out and about dropping F bombs? Is Christian cursing prohibited? Or are we free to cuss away?

Okay here’s the deal: I’ve been known to occasionally let a few profanities slip out. (Don’t judge me, just pray for me.)

I’ve said the occasional curse word in the heat of a stressful moment and here’s why: It feels good sometimes. Every once in a while, a situation arises where it seems that a curse word can better express frustration or even anger better than any other word might.

According to Wikipedia, studies on swearing have been conducted that prove there is actually a pain relieving effect. “Swearing is a widespread but under-appreciated anger management technique.” So that’s why when I stub my toe,  a swear word sometimes enters my mind. I don’t usually speak it, but it’s there, nonetheless.

Which leads me back  to the question of believers dropping F bombs. The Bible has some rather colorful language in parts. For example, “they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss” and “Behold, I will rebuke your offspring, and spread dung on your faces, the dung of your offerings…”

I did find a few websites, while researching for this post, whose soul mission is to list every possibly profane word in the Bible, so as to discount Christianity. The strong language is there, however, in the Bible, and God used it often. However, we are not God and, when a curse word escapes my lips, it is not usually because I am foretelling of the fall of a nation or a ruler (actually it is never because of that). It is usually because, as I said earlier, I stub my stupid toe.

So, is cursing a heart issue rather than purely a language issue? One linguistics study conducted found that the more a person curses, the less of a pain relieving effect it has on the body. So suddenly, if you start cursing like a truck driver, you can’t claim you are doing so for its therapeutic effects.

Christians do not take the Lord’s name in vain because we do view that as a heart issue. We know that blasphemy is sin and nothing less. Many Christians, however, view cursing to be on par with blasphemy–both are offensive and both are sin. I’m not so sure, though.

Paul wrote to the Corinthians in his first letter, “But food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.”

Paul was referring to what a man eats, but I believe the same principle can also be applied to cursing. We have liberty in Christ since we are no longer under the old law. However, we are not to participate in behavior in front of others that would cause them to stumble in their own faith.

Some of the Godliest people I know cuss on occasion. They have done so in front of me, knowing that it will not cause me to stumble. They have told stories, jokes, or even expressed frustration and done so with a colorful expletive or two. Let’s be honest, too. Some curse words are highly offensive. Others we deem more socially acceptable in society. One person might drop an F bomb only in certain company (or never for that matter), but would have no issue saying “dammit.”

Don’t get me wrong: I am not a proponent of believers, even in the presence of those who would not stumble, to be filing the airspace with every dirty word that comes to mind. What comes out of our mouth, is to some extent, a representation of our heart. My cussing slip-ups are usually not actual slip-ups in the first place. Beyond the occasional toe-stub-cuss-word, I mostly choose to swear because, well, it makes my story funnier or adds emphasis.

I see why some believers choose to not curse under any circumstance. I see, too, why some Christians do occasionally swear and do not view it as sin. I will admit that this issue is a bit of a gray area, but I like gray areas. How about you?

Do you think Christians should curse, can curse, or should never curse? Do you think it is sometimes permissible or always offensive? What is your funniest cussing story?

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52 thoughts on “What the %&*#? Christians Cussing”

  1. Great post! I briefly discussed this in a different way in my own blog a few months ago. And, for your consideration, here is a recent post I read that you might find interesting: http://decapolis.com/culture/858.

    I think I fall into the same camp as you, but I also think a lot of it has to do with our culture. But a cultural understanding of cursing would also fall under the heading of “stumbling” or not…that is, certain cultures would stumble over different things.

    Anyway. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks Josh. I’d love to read that post of yours. Can you link to it in the comments for me?

      I also really enjoyed the Decapolis article. I agree too that cursing itself falls under the “stumbling” umbrella, which includes so many other things. Unfortunately, I find many of those stumblers to be things believers get hung up on.

      I love this quote from the article you directed me to. It sums it up: ““I have three things I’d like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a s***. What’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact that I said s*** than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.”

  2. words have meanings, obviously. but i don’t see profanity as inherently evil. i think it all depends on how each word is being used.

    if i said, ‘that damn step is going to kill me one day’, well i’m not really damning a step. i’m just describing my intense dislike for it. no harm, no foul.

    but… if i said, ‘damn him’, referring to a person… much harm. even to call someone a fool is to be avoided according to scripture.

    i think there is a lot left to the heart on this one. i tend to avoid profanity out of respect for those it might offend. but if it doesn’t offend those you’re around, then who cares?

    just my 2 cents.

    1. As for me, I very rarely cuss. I have little to no desire or thought to do so. The only instances in which I typically do are with my wife or my very best of friends. Outside of that, I may do it repeating something someone else said, or a line of some sort, but that’s about it.

      I agree with the 1 Corinthians 8 take, all in all. I believe it’s more a sin of conscience than it is a sin of morality, except in the instances you exemplify so well here, Bradley.

    2. Bradley, I think that is such a great point. I had not thought of that, in regards to where or who we direct our cursing towards.

      I never hear people I associate with use a curse word towards a person, like “damn him,” as you described. It is usually used to be funny or for emphasis.

      That really does make a difference. If as believers we are swearing to express anger or ill-will towards other, well then there is something much bigger going on then a single swear word. It’s the heart, like you said.

      Thanks for sharing your two cents! Such a great point you added!

  3. WTF are you talking about? <–see what I did there? That's ok because I acronymmed it. The "F" can mean whatever you want it to mean. ;-)

    But, seriously, I grew up with virtually nothing being off-limits–including cussing–so when I came to the Lord, it was something that I didn't want to engage in anymore. Have there been occasions when I've been off-color? You bet! Usually to get a laugh, or when I've been very upset. Like you, I believe that more importan than what comes out of the mouth is the why it came out. What is the motive there? I think God is far more concerned about the heart issue than the particular words.

    1. Chad, I totally get that. I did not grow up in a Christian home and alcohol was readily available to me. As a result, I really did not like to drink. My friends would get sloshed and I wanted nothing to do with it for many years.

      I like too the word you used, “motive.” Are we motivated to tear down others or are we just wanting to be expressive? However, we can inadvertently cause one while doing the other. The heart matters (without sounding like a cheesy 80’s love song).

      Thanks for the comment Chad.

      1. Well, interestingly enough, I just got nailed by a kind-hearted well-meaning dear sister in the Lord for asking on my blog “Did Jesus Poop?” I didn’t see anything wrong with it. He came as a baby, presumably grew as babies do… Too bad Mary isn’t around to ask about His diapers (no cracks about “holy ****, please). I digress. I know the dear sister I referenced loves Jesus with all her heart, and it was out of this heart that she was trying to defend His honor. I get it. But I’ve gotta wonder if He was honored by the vitriol I bore the brunt of?

  4. I cuss sometimes… and I’m in the ministry. My view’s more along the lines of Bradley above. I don’t cuss at people and tear ’em down.

    That’s not a good witness.

    But I just get frustrated when people feel like they’re walking on eggshells around me JUST because I’m in the ministry. I recently met a friend for coffee whom I hadn’t seen in about 10 years. She knew I was in the ministry. We had our conversation and whatnot but it felt tense, so… I broke the ice. I said, “I’m not your traditional Christian. I smoke, I drink, AND I cuss.”

    It was amusing to me that she immediately breathed a sigh of relief. Really? Are Christian’s that overbearing to the world with “good behavior”?

    1. Ooh…the taboo of serving in ministry and cussing! Shriek!

      (Don’t get me started on the fact that all believers should technically consider themselves in ministry.)

      And yes! To answer your question. I think people really do see Christians as mostly goodie two shoes. They do not know how to reconcile Christ-like love with freedom in Christ. Heck, Christians barely know how to do that.

      I love how you broke the ice with your friend. Jesus doesn’t just remind us that we are imperfect, but also that He is perfect. “Good behavior” not required, but righteousness and obedience out of a heart that loves Him.

      Great comment. Thanks Matt.

  5. thanks for your encouragement nicole.

    another thought that has been brewing just below the surface is the argument that i’ve heard over and over again… “we need to look different than those in the world in order to distinguish ourselves as christians. If we don’t talk differently, how will people know?”

    i think this is the LAMEST excuse and is full of holes. people will know we are different by our love. they will know something is different about us because we take time to build a relationship with them and care for them as a human being. they will know we are different because we don’t waste our time talking bad about other people (with or without profanity).

    ok, done with my mini-rant. thanks for having me :)

    1. Okay, to that point. When I was in college I worked at a sports bar waiting tables with 15 other girls. For some reason, I decided that I would never swear while working there. I just saw the whole place a mini mission field. People did notice that I never cursed. They were drawn to ask me about it…a lot surprisingly. My behavior looked different enough from every one else’s that it showed more of Christ I think. They also knew I wasn’t legalistic and didn’t judge them for their lifestyles.

      I had great opportunity to witness there, yes, because as you said I built relationships and I loved them, really loved them all. However, the first impressions I made I think paved the way for those relationships. I don’t know if God would have done as much, at least in that sports bar, if I had chosen to cuss.

      All that to say, we can show love and cuss here and there too. There is also a time and place, even a season and location. That bar, was for me–for a season–a swearing free zone and I believe God blessed it.

      1. Similarly to your sports bar experience, Nicole, I started not-cussing when I was 16, and took a job at McDonald’s. That place was a hotbed of gossip, and word spread quickly that I was a Christian. Prior to that job, my whole life was immersed in Christianity — Christian school, church 3x/week. I cussed now and then, giving little thought to how I was presenting myself. I will never forget one guy at work, though, early into my “career” there, challenging me gently and sincerely, “I thought Christians didn’t cuss!”

        It felt like an atom bomb had been dropped in my heart. I realized I was perhaps the only encounter that my co-workers may have with a Christian, and because of that, I had a responsibility to be… different.

        I said to that guy (his name was Armando), “You’re right. I shouldn’t be cussing.” And I never did again.

        I’ve always thought it highly ironic that my non-Christian friends held me to a higher standard than my Christian ones did.

        Now, I don’t think God is going to condemn anyone to hell for cussing… but I do think how we speak can either be part of the process that leads others to the foot of the cross. We can rationalize cussing all we want, and come up with loopholes about how it’s all right, as Christians, to cuss. But, I’m not playing that game. I don’t mind being different, especially if — EVEN IF NO ONE SAYS ANYTHING TO ME — a hearer associates my not-cussing with my love for Jesus. Personally, I’m tired of Christians trying to find loopholes which will “allow” themselves to participate in all sorts of degenerate behavior. And, yes, I think cussing is degenerate. It takes creativity to frame one’s words effectively and with power, in spite of the omission of f-bombs. It is 100% mindless to make every third word f-this or f-that. Degenerate. I think the mind of Christ is a little smarter than that.

        Alternately… I was very good friends with my associate pastor when I was in college (VCF New Orleans). We were a good fit, because I was confident that his intentions toward me were pure, while he could relax around me because I wasn’t trying to get him to minister to me, and I didn’t freak out if he listened to non-Christian music, or said, “Damn!” every once in a while. I was happy to be his FRIEND, and he was happy to have a FRIEND, not just a constituent, so to speak. And, I’m happy to have been that for him.

        So… maybe it depends on the audience.

        But, I’m not enough of a multi-tasker to keep my “Safe to Cuss” audiences separated from my “Not Safe to Cuss”, so I just play it safe and don’t cuss. I even make it a point not to *THINK* cuss words.

        Except “crap.” Is that a cuss word? I say that quite often.

        1. Great example Karen. So often, we are the only examples of Christ in someone’s life. We need to take that role seriously and understand the great responsibility that comes with it.

          I am glad that you have had lifelong conviction about swearing since that time.

          I agree that cussing every other word is neither sophisticated or witty. Not using swear words really does force a person to think and to be funny in an intelligent way. But, every once in a while a friend of mine will cuss and it is truly hilarious–almost more so because they are believers. They love Christ and so when they choose to interject a curse word, it amplifies the hilarity. If that makes any sense. It’s almost a joke within a joke and I like that.

          And some people do consider “crap” a cuss word…and also “suck.” I don’t think it is, but when my 3 year old started saying “crap” I worked really hard to start saying “crud” instead.

      2. nicole, well said. thanks for sharing that experience with me.

        reminds me, that neither is wrong, those who ‘eat meat sacrificed’ and those who don’t. i really do think there can be no blanket statement in regards to what Christians ought to practice in terms of profanity.

      3. thanks for the thoughts again. it reminds me that God calls us to some actions at different times in our lives for His own purposes. some can eat ‘meat offered in sacrifice’ and some can’t.

        it was good to hear your perspective though at the bar. we are all called to obedience :)

  6. I grew up in Sunset Park Brooklyn where every other word that came out of my mouth was an F-Bomb. I think culture does play a big role in how we approach cursing. In my Brooklyn days, I could come up to a friend and say, “what’s up you %&^&*” to which I would get a response, “sup, &*(&(” and we would shake hands. No harm, no foul. However, as Christ saved me from my sins (oh so many), God did convict me that as a child of light, I need to be “different” and use my lips to bless and not to curse. I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong to curse when you miss the nail with the hammer and hit your thumb instead (can I get an “amen”?). I am not hurting the nail’s feelings or destroying someone with my words. However, if someone cuts me off on the road and I speed up to catch up with him and roll down my window and tell him words that are not necessarily in the dictionary (BTW, never happened to me – LOL), I may be guilty of sinning against my neighbor.

    Christ did say that anyone who is angry with his brother without cause is in danger of judgment and anyone who calls his brother a fool is in danger of hell fire (Mat. 5:22), so I don’t think its so much the “bad” word as is the intention of “destroying” the person with your words that matters. I think I can look at a loved one in the face and say, “I never loved you, in fact I hate you” and destroy that person without actually saying a “curse” word.

    1. Ahh Brooklyn….

      Great verse reference of Matthew 5:22! Our words are suppose to edify and build up, even non-believers. We are accountable for our words.

      In today’s culture, one of the simplest ways to “be different”, as you mentioned, is to not swear. Sadly, that’s all it takes sometimes to stand out.

  7. I think that when it comes to our words, we should be careful because they can cause such damage because of the meaning behind them. As Christians, we are called to watch what we say carefully and to use them to edify others, or build them up instead of tearing them down. I like how 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 puts it, “All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”

  8. In this department, I try to base my speech around Matt 15:11.

    Some words can be vulgar and disgusting. As a Christian, I understand that we are to be “Christ followers”, “Christ mirrors” if you will. I do understand that the Lord has used harsh words when speaking to some in scripture but they were not vulgar and disgusting.

    1. I was thinking of that verse when I started writing the post actually.

      A few lines before in verse 8-9 it says: “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;in vain do they worship me,
      teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”

      Conversely,do you think a person can have a heart that honors God, but who occasionally cusses?

      1. How could I honor God with foul language? I will have to say no I cannot but I do know that I will mess up and the Lord is right there to pick me up, brush me off and give me another go at it. Repentance is key. I will be forgiven my language if I ask for forgiveness and show how I am sorry for my language by working to clean it up.

        I used to be a champion at the use of the F word – now it just about makes me sick to hear it.

        I understand that we are all convicted in different ways. Some people may not be convicted about language as much as I am but I do not see where the use of foul language glorifies God in any way.

        I have a simple tool for discerning if something is good or no good. I ask my self this question: “does this or does this not glorify God?”

        I am pretty decent with actual words. I am still cleaning up the foul ideas and comments that come out of my mouth from time to time.

        1. I guess the point I was trying to make with my first comment was that God was displeased in the Isaiah reference (requoted in Matthew), with people who act like they love God outwardly, but inwardly they do not.

          So, my question should have been something more like, can you still love God and swear? This is rhetorical. You really don’t need to answer. I was just kind of throwing it out there. I completely understand and respect your position on the subject. I squirm at certain words too, like the F word. It makes me uncomfortable. Maybe as I grow in the Lord other swear words will make my skin crawl too.

          Thanks Jesse for your thoughtful comment and response.

  9. Good stuff. I grew up in a home where even saying “shut-up” got me a date french kissing a bar of dial. Eventually, the pressure built up and I became one of the most epic chain-swearers in the world, but only in certain contexts. To this day, I enjoy using a good swear word here and there when I need to get a point across. Swear substitutes like “darn” and “shoot” only carry so much emphasis from time to time (which doesn’t make sense to me anyway, because if you’re using a substitute word, you’re technically still swearing). I think it’s an issue of your attitude and why you’re saying what you’re saying. I by no means advocate swearing like a sailor (in fact even I don’t like that), but when used sparingly, it can be an excellent force multiplier in a given situation. “Get the f*** over here!” definitely carries a bit more urgency than a simple “Get over here!” particularly when someone’s safety/life depends on that situation. Using words to cut people down however, profane or not is far worse. Let’s be honest though, used properly, swearing can be an excellent form of stress relief. If I have to choose between letting off a profanity volley or letting the anger and frustration over a certain situation well up inside (far more destructive), I’ll take the former and apologize later. Welled up anger leads to bitterness down the road anyway.

    1. You sound a lot like me and well, that’s cool. I pretty much agree with everything you said and you said it better than I would have.

      Do you think though that bad word substitutes like “darn” or “shoot” are still cussing? I guess if there is a scale of vulgarity (the F word being on the far side of the vulgar scale, for example) then maybe “darn” and “shoot” are less offensive, but in front of a 80 year old grandma, still not kosher. Hmm…

  10. As someone who grew up in a home where we never said so much as ‘shut up’ to one another, cussing has NEVER made sense to me. When I stub my toe I say ‘ouch’ because it hurt! I don’t really even think to swear. But I am not in the majority there.

    My best friend often is made fun of for saying things like ‘oh muffin’ when she messes up at something, but I LOVE it. I think there is a pureness of heart there that is very rare right now.

    I also have a husband who cusses when he is mad at something/someone, and it drives me nuts! It has just never been something that I have been super comfortable with. Many of my friends don’t swear around me, not because it causes me ‘to stumble’ but more because it makes them uncomfortable to do so when I never do it around them.

    We also don’t want our kids growing up with swearing as the norm so we intentionally keep them from people who we know to swear often, and also my husband watches closely what he says around kids.

    All in all, I think it is a very personal issue. Some Christians feel very convicted about it, others not at all, some just never think to cuss and it isn’t an issue. Who is right and wrong I think really varies from situation to situation.

    1. Jessica, I think you bring up a good point about how you grew up.

      I did not grow up in a Christian home and swearing was fairly common. It really does make a difference. I learned to swear, so to speak.

      However, that is not to say that God can’t or doesn’t change our behavior. Of course He does. I don’t swear any longer due to the things I used to or even use the swear words I used to. Maybe that counts as progress.

      PS. I like “oh muffin” too. So cute!

  11. I agree with Moe. While I agree with you that it may be a grey area to some extent – like stubbing your toe in the privacy of your home – come on, are you saying you would swear if your kids were in the room and you stubbed your toe?

    Where it doesn’t become grey is when it’s a sin. When cussing is expressed as a form of pride – it’s a sin. Cursing at someone or against someone or even something means that you care more about yourself at that moment than the person or thing – it’s pride, in my opinion.

    I would say that it is a heart issue – not kind of a heart issue. “Guard your heart for it is the well-spring of life” or as we say “Garbage in, garbage out”. Life comes from the heart, what’s in our heart determines how we behave, how we live, how we react.

    I’ve never really felt the need to cuss – other than in Jr High when trying to fit in – and a handful of times when in anger (which I believe was in sin). God gave us a huge vocabulary. Is there really a need to use the 10 words that are offensive to get a point across or be funny? I’m not so sure. Do curse words build up or break down? Do they edify the body or are they a form of entertainment? I don’t know…maybe I’m too conservative in my thinking but I just don’t really see a NEED to cuss…and I don’t see anything good that comes from it.

    1. No, you are correct Abbi. I have a 6 year old girl and a 3 year old boy, and in our home, even the word “stupid” is not allowed. I was thinking in the general adult “scene” but you bring up a good point. If certain words are not “right” for our children, should they be allowed at all? Shouldn’t our brothers, neighbors – and better yet- our God have the same (and even greater) respect than our children?

    2. No, I don’t swear in front of my kids, but I also don’t discuss “adult” or “mature” things in front of them either. There is such a thing as mature conversation that is totally appropriate for adults and not so for children.

      I agree partially with the pride issue. I think some people swear to harm other’s or puff themselves up. A toe-stub-curse word is not one of those times though. It is a pain relieving, reactionary, perhaps even fleshly response.

      However, I don’t think all swear words signify a fleshly response or sin. I think swearing is only partially a heart issue because a swear word is not the only or final indication of someone’s heart before the Lord. There are many other factors that determine a person’s heart.

      My experience has shown me, that some of the Godliest people I know, choose to swear on the rare occasion and feel free to do so. They feel that under the Law of Liberty, they can swear without it always being sin (and I would agree).

      A curse word is just that–a word. It is an expletive, used sometimes just to be exclamatory, not necessarily vulgar, crude, or defaming.

      I agree that we don’t need to swear. The majority of my speech is not profanity. Probably less than 1% of anything I say is a curse word, but every once in a while, it just seems to fit.

      Thanks Abbi for your comment!

  12. I’ve never been a cusser. It started out with the “let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth”, but honestly, for me….it’s never been an issue. Everyone has different things that are easy to abstain from, and for me…it’s cussing. I had two friends in college who informed me that they would have me swearing like a sailor by the end of the semester (they both did). I laughed. I never cringed or shrugged or made any comment on it when they did. By the end of the semester, they both stopped swearing….on their own. They said simply being around me made them aware of how often they did it, and how unnecessary it was. I will never tell someone else they shouldn’t curse or smoke or whatever…I’m not the Holy Spirit. It’s not my job to convict or convince. (It’s a different story if they ask me to hold them accountable).

    Besides…I think people allow unwholesomeness to proceed from their mouths in many forms OTHER than swear words. Like comments they make about that hot guy or gal over there….or any one of a number of other possibilities.

    If you are a Christian, you should know your Shepherd’s voice…and follow it. If He is telling you not to do something…then you need to listen. If He’s not (but someone else is who is not in authority over you)…it’s worth it to search His will on the matter…see what He says. In the end, it’s all about what He shows you. You are responsible for doing what He tells you to do….not because He’ll hold it against you otherwise…but because it can be used against you (by the enemy, by others) if you don’t.

    1. Such great points Dee Dee! I love it!

      For starters, you are right in that believers are just as “guilty” or “shameful” or “unwholesome” in their speech when talking about so-so’s body parts. Or what about gossip? That is explicitly called a sin in scripture, yet many Christians don’t bat an eyelash as they are regurgitating someone else’s business or consuming it for that matter.

      I love what you said too about knowing your Shepherd’s voice. He does direct each of us individually on certain issues and I think cursing is one of them. Also, some things that the Lord didn’t prod me about 5 years ago, He is pruning me of today. As I follow His Spirit’s direction and grow in maturity, some things can remain and others needed to be burned up in the fire.

      Great comment Dee Dee. Thanks so much for adding to the discussion!

  13. This is definitely a great topic to discuss. I personally do swear (I honestly can’t stand the word ‘cuss’) and so does my husband. In the last 4-6 months I realized that God was showing me that I was doing it too much. He did not ask me to stop and I haven’t thought about it as much lately since I think I do it a lot less.

    I will say this as a challenge- is it not as much of a problem to swear as it is to speak in ‘code’ as many of us do? For example, what on earth do the words stumble, edify, church plant and intentional mean to someone who is not a ‘believer’ or part of the church? Is it helpful to say these words repeatedly so that they lose the meaning that they once had just because they are church buzz words of the moment?

    I would say that it is not helpful to use this kind of confusing language all the time and lose touch with anyone who isn’t a believer. Call me crazy, but it’s my goal to focus more on the words I use and that I understand their meaning rather than consciously trying not to swear. I’ve even had the experience where I made someone more comfortable when I did use a swear word because I seemed more normal and less of a ‘goody too shoes’. As long as you and God are on the same page I think it’s a very personal decision. I don’t feel the need to quote scripture here either, sorry people.

    1. Heather, I so agree. I think swearing (not ‘cussing” ’cause you don’t like it) really does come down to the person and the Lord.

      Some are convicted to not swear. Others feel it is fine in moderation and so on.

      I really feel that if people, are listening to the Spirit, on this issue (along with so many other potential stumbling blocks) than the Lord will give you direction. You heard the Lord nudge you about this topic and have responded.

      Thank you too for not quoting a verse. Sigh. I was tired of looking things up.

    1. I read it and you are right–that post is cool as h%ll. Far funnier and well-said then mine. I loved your point about how Christians really take the Lord’s name in vain by our idol worship and false hearts. So gooood.

      Thanks Matt for stealing a little bit of my thunder (wink wink) but really for sharing that. I enjoyed reading it!

  14. Arguably Jesus himself used a bit of profanity to make a point when the context was appropriate. Turn the bible to Matthew 5.22 and His statement that is congenially translated to calling one’s brother a “fool”. In reality the word he used, Raca, might be better translated as **** wit. I think He might have been aiming for effect? Interestingly His brother James is the only other one to use the word in the New Testament, James 2:20.

    1. Andrew, very interesting and great point to add to the conversation. Although, I always thought the word Raca was more like “empty” or “worthless.” What exactly does **** wit stand for? Give me a hint because I’m guessing and the best I can come up with is dumb wit.

  15. Love the post. Just started reading it today and i had to share because I have a great story.
    I am a student ministries pastor in southern Cali. My view on cussing is similar to yours. I don’t do it on a regular basis but I do to make a story funny or if I’m quoting someone. And I have a competitive streAk in me so at times when I loose I slip. I’m sorry. Sue me. But i think it has a ton to do with culture. Ibwork with jr high and high school students and we have an out reach ministry so we get rough language all the time. I’m also not the typical pastor I guess and I hate it when people have this pre-conceived notion of what a pastor looks like. I have a faux hawk, tons of tattoos, and I like to have a beer with dinner. In order to reach this culture, you need to be able to communicate with them and help break the boundaries which are naturLly set by people when they here job titles and see how people dress. Got to be relevant yet still be the light in the dark places.

    Last week I went golfing at the place where my dad is a member. I was by myself. The course was crowded and I can up on a two some. They invited me to play with them to make the holes go longer. I had a beer with me. They have had a few and were smoking some cigars, cussing away and having a great time. Fun group of guys. We were talking crap to eachother messing around. Then they asked what I do for a job, I told them I was a pastor and you should have seen their faces. Priceless. They started apologizing about the language and the drinking…. So I did what came natural.

    I pulled out my beer, held it up, and said guys “I don’t f-ing care, let’s play golf.” they freaking lost it laughing and so relieved and we continued to play. The best thing about it was, from that point on they were comfortable with me, they knew what I did, and they started to ask me questions about God and church. They said they never really talked to a pastor before. The conversations were amazing. All because I didn’t let language be a barrier and talked in their language and from there we were able to talk about God. It was amazing. I still see them atthe course when I go and they call me “pastor”. It’s great.

    That’s my funny story.

    1. I LOVE this story.

      Isn’t it amazing how a single word can break the ice, lighten the mood, break apart preconceived notions? In your case a single word allowed men to talk about God and church, who might not have otherwise. You helped shatter any connotations that all Christians are uptight, anal, goodie goodies with…one word.

      I’m going to remember and re-tell this story. Thanks for sharing Justin. I hope to see more of you around these parts, Pastor.

      1. exactly…..i think we all should be trying to break those stereo types. the just build walls and i want to break them down. glad you liked the story. i have many others, but maybe ill save them for other posts.
        another one though that i think would be good to share, is that my tattoo guy and i have become quite good friends. he is not a christian, its not a christian tattoo shop. to put it in perspective, in the waiting room, there are Playboys. he knows what i do. i have spent over 40 hours in the tattoo chair with him and the dudes in the shop. our relationship is awesome. when its just us in the shop, all the guys ask me questions. its really, really good. my guy has even started coming to church with me at least twice a month. pretty awesome.

        but the story, right when i was first starting, i was getting my ribs done. it hurts bad there (as anywhere cause tattoos don’t feel good) and i told him that he was going to make a pastor drop an “F-bomb” and he said ya right. when he started, out of reaction because the needle shook my whole rib cage, the f-word slipped out. my tattoo guy had to stop tattooing because he was laughing so hard and was shocked that i was “allowed” to say it because his thoughts about me were… doesn’t cuss, doesn’t drink, i read the Bible and only the Bible, i dont watch Family Guy and that i only watch the TBN network lol… now, we are great friends and we are working on a journey between him and God…

        being culturally relevant and understanding it is key to reach those on the outside of the Christian culture AKA the Christian bubble.

        Fun times

  16. Great Post. I think it comes back to the thought, are you causing others to stumble? If you are, then skipping the cussing is a much better way to go. If not, give a statement some gusto!

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