Can Christians Cuss/swear What The Bible Says About Profanity
The question of whether Christians can cuss or not has come to my attention recently, as I have seen more and more Christians, both on the platform and in the congregation, freely speaking profanities and even boasting about it. Because of this, I have decided to write this blog post to answer this question and to help those who have merely been taught not to cuss but dont truly understand the reasoning behind it. So lets dive into what the Bible teaches us.
Can Christians cuss/swear? While the Bible does not lay out a list of explicit words to steer clear from, it is clear that Christians are to stay away from filthy language,unwholesome talk, and crude joking. Christians are instructed to keep from being polluted by the world and to reflect the image of God, therefore Christians should not cuss.
This is a rather vague answer and is in need of some unpacking so that we can come to a solid conclusion, so the rest of this blog will be dedicated to this.
What Does The Bible Say About Swearing/swear
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In the Old Testament
To swear is to assert as true under oath. Those who serve God in spirit and in truth will not indulge in casual swearing or any careless language. The third commandment states, You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain . Gods children will avoid any irreverent, or unnecessary use of His holy name in swearing. Lying under oath is considered a most serious crime, because it perverts justice and therefore, deserves divine punishment .
The Lord clearly instructed, You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord . This command is not concerned with swearing in court but with swearing falsely. The wise man said, Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you .
David wrote that casual swearing is the language of the wicked . Angry words show that pride and self-will fill the heart. Gods children must set a watch upon their lips . They should seek the Lord to cleans their tongues .
In the New Testament
Swearing and unsanctified speech show a mind still filled with earthy interests. But he who bridles his tongue and offends not in word, the same is a perfect man . So, James concluded, If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this persons religion is worthless .
In His service,
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Oaths Should Be Unnecessary
Heres what Jesus is saying: Christians should be honest people. So honest that our word is trustworthy all on its own. Oaths are attempts to impress or awe someone with intensity or sincerity of our promise and for the believer they should be unnecessary. We hear and see kids make oaths all the time. How do we do the same as adults? Do we need to add anything to our words in order for us or others to feel they are sincere and will be kept? Jesus teaches us that such intensifying oaths are unnecessary for a Christian, we should be people who are believable without the need for anything but our word. To put it another way, Christians say what they mean and mean what they say. Christians should not equivocate, saying one thing but meaning or intending another, rather let what you say be simply Yes or No.
Life And Death Are In The Tongue: What The Bible Says About Cursing Swearing & Profanity
Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man. Matthew 15:11, 17-20
Curse Words Reveal the Condition of a Mans Heart
Jesus taught in the Bible that when a man curses or uses profanity it is a sign of evil that was in that mans heart. It is popular today for both men and women to curse. They never think of it as an evil condition in their heart, but rather a small thing that everyone does. These small words of cursing the Bible says, will defile the whole man if they are not repented of and stopped. Cussing and using the name of the Lord in vain causes one to become defiled.
Even Christians have been tricked into using bad expressions when they are upset. They are take-offs of the Lords names such as: Geeze or Jes , Good Gosh,Gosh Darn,Lordy. This is known as shoot cussin. There are other terms used, which we will not repeat, as they are vulgar profanities. However, these illustrations make the point.
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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!
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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.
Is Swearing Or Cursing A Sin
I’m not certain that I’d classify swearing and cursing as used in this context to be sins, although my mother certainly did. The problem here with swearing is that it is so highly offensive and vulgar sounding to so many people .
I learned the word, “b***s**t from Mike Everett when I was seven. I had no idea what it meant or that it was a “bad” word. But my mother did. Our extended family was over for dinner when I came into the kitchen singing “Oh, b***s**t, b***s**t, b***s**t b***s**t” at the top of my lungs. I was sent to bed without my supper. I watched through the window as my cousins frolicked. As far as I was concerned, the punishment certainly did not fit the crime. And I still had no idea what I’d done wrong.
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The Word Of Grace And Words Of Grace
But how? How do we nurture a new heart, in others or in ourselves, so that life-giving words come out?
Were sinners. And he doesnt swear at us.
He hugs us with words of love. His Son was cursed so that God never curses at us.
Loved with this spoken word of welcome, I find my heart oddly calmed. Softened by grace, I discover a fresh desire to speak what will inject life into others. Graced with a word, I grace others with my words.
Which, it turns out, is what the individual speech-verses are after anyway: 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 .
Dane C. Ortlund serves as senior pastor of Naperville Presbyterian Church in Naperville, Illinois. He is the author of Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers and Deeper: Real Change for Real Sinners. Dane and his wife, Stacey, have five children.
Does The Bible Forbid Homosexuality
Gay-friendly clergy tend to use the terms love and acceptance interchangeably, claiming that we must love everyone, because we are all children of God.
It is certainly true that Jesus commanded us to love everyone, but it is not true that we are all children of God. And it certainly is not true that we must tolerate and accept evil behavior.
Scripture repeatedly refers to children of the Devil:
No one born of God commits sin for Gods nature abides in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God. By this it may be seen who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not do right is not of God, nor he who does not love his brother .
You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your fathers desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies .
Anyone who has seen cursing, blaspheming homosexuals simulating sex at a Gay Pride parade, or has read their hate-filled screeds against the Catholic Church, should have no problem discerning whether they are children of God or spawn of the Devil.
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Examples Of Cursing In The Bible
29. Psalm 10:7-8 His mouth is full of curses and deceit and oppression Under his tongue is mischief and wickedness. He sits in the lurking places of the villages In the hiding places he kills the innocent His eyes stealthily watch for the unfortunate.
30. Psalm 36:3 The words of their mouths are wicked and deceitful they fail to act wisely or do good.
31. Psalm 59:12 Because of the sinful things they say, because of the evil that is on their lips, let them be captured by their pride, their curses, and their lies.
32. 2 Samuel 16:10 But the king said, What does this have to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the LORD said to him, Curse David, who can ask, Why do you do this?
33. Job 3:8 Let those who are experts at cursing whose cursing could rouse Leviathan curse that day.
34. Ecclesiastes 10:20 Do not revile the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird in the sky may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say.
35. Psalm 109:17 He loved to pronounce a curse may it come back on him. He found no pleasure in blessing may it be far from him.
36. Malachi 2:2 If you do not listen, and if you do not resolve to honor my name, says the LORD Almighty, I will send a curse on you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not resolved to honor me.
Bible Verses About Cursing
What does Scripture say about Cursing? Are Curse Words a Sin?
While today we may think of curse words simply as vulgarity, the Bible addresses the idea of cursing as a multitude of forms of speech. In the biblical context, cursing could be considered wishing ill upon another person or spreading falsehoods about them. Scripture directly tells us, bless and do not curse them. Furthermore, when it comes to how we should use our speech as Christians, the Bible puts an emphasis on telling the truth. As Matthew 5:37 says, But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
Read more Bible verses about Cursing in this collection of scripture quotes.
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Whats The Bottom Line
Sometimes we say things we dont mean, words slip, or we dont realize the full weight of what something means. Other times, we make promises we dont intend to keep, or were hypocrites. We should remember that what we say matters. We are called to not conform to the world , and we are called to a very high standard of living . We should use words that build up people and the kingdom of God, not words that destroy and curse. To take it a step further, Avoid such godless chatter, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness .
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What Does The Bible Say About Curses Being Broken
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