Recently, I have discovered that some Christians are advocating that profanity is not a sin. In response I would briefly like to say the following.
I was saved nearly 41 years ago at age 14. Before my conversion, I had a very filthy mouth. I was saved on a Thursday night before Easter, and when I repented and turned to the Lord there was such a deep cleansing of my soul from sin that I felt clean in a way I had never experienced before. The next day at school I only said one cuss word and I had a restraint in me to not cuss, and I repented from my heart. This was literally the first evidence of the work of God’s Spirit in my life changing my conduct that I remember.
The problem I have with any Christian justifying profanity is that it is a characteristic of our old sinful nature that Christ redeemed us from. We are instructed to put off the old man, and a trait of the old man of sin is filthy language (Colossians 3:8). Christians should be encouraging one another to put on Christ, to have wholesome speech, and to walk in the Spirit by exercising self control.
The persuasion that it’s OK to use profanity because of the culture we live in (as some argue) does not come from God. In the New Testament, the Corinthians lived in a culture where all manner of fornication was prevalent but Paul expected the believers at Corinth to put away such deeds since becoming saints. In fact, Paul rebuked the Corinthians for allowing fornication among them that not even the world around them participated in.
It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. ~ 1 Corinthians 5:1
When the world has more of a conscience of what lines shouldn’t be crossed than Christians do, it’s shameful! The truth is, unbelievers know that profanity is wrong.
I have worked in construction and have been around plenty of filthy mouths. I can tell you that there are people in the world who use profanity (its just the way they talk even when there is no ill intent towards anyone), but when they get around a Christian who lives a Christ-like life many times they will be apologetic for their filthy mouth. Oftentimes they actually try to tone it down out of respect because they know it’s wrong and they know the God is a Holy God.
Yet some Christians are now teaching other Christians that profanity is OK?! How did we get here?
We are instructed in scripture not be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds so that we can prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. When I consider the whole counsel of scripture regarding our words, our tongue, our mouth, our speech, etc…, it is abundantly clear that profanity is contrary to God’s will regarding how a Christian should speak.
As Christians we live in a world where unbelievers around us are going to have unsavory language, but why would any Christian think that participating in such filthy talking would be a good way of evangelizing such people, yet this is an idea that some seem to embrace. God doesn’t use filthy talk to convict the heart of sinners. God works through that which is pure, and holy in his sight. This is Christianity 101, and I marvel that some Christians actually don’t understand this.
As Christians, we were saved from our sins by a Holy God, who has called us to be holy and to live godly. Godly people don’t go around using profanity to evangelize and engage with culture. The desire for profanity is from the lusts of the flesh and not the leading of the Spirit.
It is one thing for a Christian who in a time of weakness, sorrow, or being overly tempted, may say things he or she will later regret and repent of saying. It’s another thing entirely to endorse the use of profanity and to teach believers that it is acceptable with God to use such talk. It is not!
Honestly, I am baffled that this is even up for debate among Christians and needs to be addressed.