Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Crap, I Said A Bad Word!"

The controversial topic of inappropriate language has been on my mind a lot. The Bible clearly states is several places to not use foul or perverted language, and to not take the Lord's name in vein (a.k.a., don't cuss). It's pretty easy to not cuss. They're words easily withheld from the spoken vocabulary. Not using foul or perverted language? That's tough. For those in the habit of it, it's almost impossible to not tell that bathroom joke or call your annoying brother a butthead. Up until an adult friend at church reprimanded me two summers ago, I would tell any kind of joke there was. Blonde joke, lame joke, sexual joke, racist joke, homeschooler joke, your momma joke, etc. There's nothing wrong with humor; God has a pretty enormous sense of it. But it's when we allow that humor to become dirty and degrading that it becomes sinful. The Bible is clear-cut on that issue. It isn't appropriate of His ambassadors to degrade black people with humor or tell a lame joke about sex. That's plain and simple.

But there's an area that isn't exactly clear. What about the substitute words? Is it okay to say crap, freakin, dang, darn, etc.? I assume by now that you're pretty surprised that I would ask that. After all, there's nothing wrong with saying those words, right? They don't mean anything bad, do they? They actually may mean something bad. For example, crap has the same literal, word-for-word definition as shit. At my previous homeschool co-op, crap was used every other word. My mom, as the director, publically asked everyone if they would say shit instead of crap, and if they wouldn't because "shit is a bad word", then we shouldn't say "crap" because they mean the same thing." Crap was scarcely said after that. Unfortuantely, I picked the word up from some bad friends two years and still say it a lot. I also say things like "that was freakin awesome!" or "dangit" or "crap, I missed".

This isn't a post where I communicate my firm beliefs. I actually don't know what to believe here. My youth pastor, however, is firm in his decision to not say those kinds of words. He explained it to me once, but I cannot remember what his exact reasoning was. I believe that it was since he didn't know if the words were okay to say or not, he just wouldn't say them. He wants to air on the side of caution and integrity. Better safe than sorry. The Bible also says we'll have to give an account for every idle word we speak. If these words are idle, if we can say what we mean to say without these words, then maybe it's better to not say them. Then again, I could just as easily say there's nothing wrong with it. Since I'm not sure, I want to know what my readers think. Do you think these words are okay or not okay to use?

If you're trying to decide whether or not something is wrong, ask yourself instead of it's right, and then make your decision.

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