Friday, March 2, 2012

Cussing, Cursing, & Four-letter Words: Potty Mouth Ponderings (No potty mouth words were used in the making of this post!)

It all started with a conversation:  A friend and I were chatting about an interaction we had with another friend recently.  The line of conversation went immediately from, "Was he/she cussing?" to, "Is he/she a Christian?" 

I've never been a fan of cussing.  I never really did it.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I could count on one hand the number of times I've ever cussed... One, two, three, four... yep (five, if you count that Shakespeare paper about Hamlet).  One hand, and there are stories to go with each of those.  (Number 1 for instance:  Kindergarten.  I came home from school and taught my Dad the word I learned in the bathroom at school.  My family still laughs about the "chalkboard incident.")  

Several of my Jesus-friends do it—which I don't particualrly like.  Several of my other Jesus-friends use not doing it as a standard/evidence of being Christian—which I don't agree with.   As a whole, the American church frowns upon cussing, cursing, and using four-letter words, but why?  Why do people do it, and why is it bad?  Why do I object to those words?

Often when it comes to language usage, culture is the one setting the standard of what is crude… But there are so many different sub-cultures with all of their own opinions (even within a single church conregation, there are sub-cultures).  (Luckily, I've yet to find a culture that shuns me for limiting my vocabulary.. Am I better safe than sorry?)  Examples: In South Africa, saying “crap” is the cultural equivalent dropping the f-bomb in America; whereas, here it’s synonymous for “poop” or “darn.”  In my house, as a kid, saying “that sucks” was grounds for major punishment (and not because we were complaining).  What makes curse words worse than their less-offensive synonymous counterparts? 

The only rule-like scripture (and I forget it's address) that comes to mind is, “let no foul or unwholesome word come out of your mouth.”   What makes a word rank or unhealthfy If "out of the fullness of the heart, the mouth speaks," is it that which is in our heart what defiles a word?   Are the words an indicator of what fills our hearts, or are our hearts deciding what fills the words? Or both?  If "the power of life and death is in the tongue,"  then what kind of power is found in a potty mouth tongue?  What kind of power is found in the tongue spouting out lesser, culturally-accepted, but still crude words?    

How do I judge and sort out words?  What is the fruit of a word?  How do I determine the spirit and the soul and the flesh behind a word?   The word of God is like a double edged sword discerning between sould and spirit... How do I judge words with words?  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... Words. 

I want words laced with life...

And now for your listening amusement, a song my older brother used to sing to me:  (The singing doesn't happen till about 3min in..)