Friday, January 06, 2006

Cussin' and Fussin'

Jason Doty has in interesting post on his blog about "Christian Pottymouths." Go read it, it's worth the time. I promise. Some of the comments on his post are hilarious, insane, sobering, and just plain stupid. As I said over there, I'm not a cusser. I have, however, cussed before in my life, and still indulge in a good hard cuss from time to time--usually when upset or surprised. If cussin' actually does come up in casual conversation, more likely than not I am around people whom I know extremely well and whom cuss regularly themselves. But there is nothing uplifting nor God-glorifying in such language, nor should we shrug it off nonchalantly. My grandmother likes to say people who cuss are too small-minded to say anything else. That's something that's served me well. I have a rather large vocabulary, and I don't consider myself small-minded. Eliminating such language from my speech serves to reinforce that there is a better way to talk than the limited means cussing provides. I don't think I need to get into what the Bible has to say about our language. That's been pretty well hashed out and rehashed on Jason's blog. Suffice it to say that in no way, shape, or form does the Bible endorse or tolerate such language. But there was one comment (out of the many) over at Jason's that I just couldn't ignore. Some lady commenter (I refuse to name her here on the grounds that I'll probably get charged with "crimes against Southern Seminary women") made what I believe is the most asinine defense of cussin' I've ever seen. For those of you too small-minded and with a similarly small vocabulary, or whom just plain don't know what it means, asinine means utterly stupid and silly. Here it is:
i think that people like "redhot" who act and appear more "worldly" are sometimes better able to relate and reach out to "worldly" people who are in need of christ. i say as long as his heart is right with God, and he isn't doing more harm than good for God's kingdom, don't pick on little issues like this...
This, without a doubt, is one of the dumbest things I've ever read. Especially in light of the subsequent discussion over at Jason's outlining the biblical principles of clean language. That's like me saying (just for example) you shouldn't be bothered that I go to strip clubs because I am better able to reach out to men that frequent strip clubs. Or that you shouldn't be bothered if Tricia and I become involved in swinging because then we're better able to reach swingers. Or that you shouldn't be bothered if I deny God's existence so that I can better reach atheists. As long as my heart is right with God (and who are you to say that it isn't?), don't pick on little issues like this. Does anyone else see the absurdity of the above paragraph? Something else this lady caused me to think about was that she has just given ammunition to the small minority of men at and outside of Southern who don't think women have any business in ministry. I already think these guys are lame to begin with, but such asinine, unthought-through remarks only add fuel to their fire. I don't defend the value of female ministers only to have it besmirched by such a lackadaisical attitude such as hers. Good job. You've already got two strikes on you, being a woman and a woman in ministry; you didn't need to go off and strike out on such a ridiculously fat, juicy fastball like Jason's. What this entire episode heavily underlines to me is something Shane and I have been discussing more and more: there is no fear of God before our eyes (Romans 3:9-18). You might notice that Paul includes cussin' in the list of charges against people with no fear of God. How ironic. The commenters supporting cussin' and those advocating tolerance for it have such a low respect for God that they ignore behavior in believers that does not glorify God. I'll say it again, just in case you didn't catch it the first time--these people have little respect for God. That's going to offend quite a few of you, but quite frankly, I'm past the point of caring. I didn't make this up, the Holy Spirit through Paul did, and if you got a problem, take it up with Big Daddy, not me. What should we do about this? We certainly can hold each other accountable. Barring that, since some of these people (such as certain commenters on Jason's post) will no doubt tell us to siddown and shuddup, we should be driven to pray even more fervently for our brothers and sisters in Christ for this thorn in their flesh. We certainly should practice biblical discipline after Matthew 18:15-17, firstly after making sure we are blameless on the matter as Matthew 5 commands. (Just so you know, my own honest disclosure of cussin' and fussin' and my working to remove it from my life in the beginning of this post is my feeble attempt to become blameless before you on this matter. Take it however you want.) I leave you with some words from John MacArthur on this last paragraph: "Confrontation is necessary to help restore a sinning brother. Confrontation is not intended for invading people's privacy; it's for the purpose of helping others in their battle with sin. We need to be concerned about accountability." (from The Anatomy of a Church Part 4)

8 Comments:

Blogger -mike- said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/07/2006 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger -mike- said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/07/2006 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger J Hearne said...

On a purely exegetical note, I don't think Rom.3:9-18 supports your point, clearly or necessarily. I assume you're referring to, at least for the most part, to Rom.3:14 which says, "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness..." This doesn't refer to naughty words, which I don't necessarily support, but rather to actual literal curses as reference elsewhere in the New Testament and literature of the time.

Those are just my thoughts. I don't think it's a good idea to swear just because I think there are better ways to talk and express yourself, but I'm not sure that the passage supports your argument.

1/07/2006 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Stephen Newell said...

red.hot:

This has nothing to do with whether or not I'm "SBC" and you know it. I think it is you who need get over yourself. Hiding behind the "SBC" straw man isn't going to make you more right nor your attitude and behavior more tolerable.

Hearne:

Great to hear from ya, man! I'd agree with you that in its original context "curses" likely referred to something other than buzz words--probably religious curses or the like. But the principle still holds today--modern cursing tends to be done out of the bitterness Paul speaks of, much like the curses of yesteryear. The "Fallen Condition Focus" is still the same--cursing is a characteristic of the unrighteous, a group to which all of us belong.

Either way, curses--ancient and modern--are a biblical no-no.

1/07/2006 09:30:00 PM  
Blogger -mike- said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/09/2006 11:58:00 PM  
Blogger Stephen Newell said...

Dude, it's not my tradition by a long shot. It's right there in Scripture, and that's where your real issue lies, not with me or with Jason or anyone else you've attacked as "legalists."

Perhaps it's a good thing you're bowing out--you can't defend yourself without whining.

1/10/2006 06:22:00 AM  
Blogger -mike- said...

Ok. I know where I am at, and I feel no conviction of its' being wrong. I'll let you teach and tell others whatever you want to, but you are wring in your accusations.

Mature.

2/12/2006 02:31:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen Newell said...

And here I thought you were bowing out.

2/12/2006 02:39:00 AM  

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