What impact does profanity have on society? Why does it increase as a society moves downward to destruction? What spiritual and physical destruction does it bring? Is there a difference between different types of swearing or cursing? What about the mild "Christian" profanity? Does it have an impact on society? Read on to discover the answers to these and other questions.
"God is a Spirit..." John 4:24
"And God said..." Gen. 1:3
What is this thing called language? Let's begin with who we are.
God is a Spirit. One of the first things we learn about God is that He speaks. In fact, nothing happened until God spoke. Words were the instrument that God used to bring into being all that is. Words are how God the Spirit operates and communicates.
God made us in His image. He made us as spirit and body. We are spirits who live in a house. Our body is the home in which our spirits lives. When our body dies, our spirit doesn't die but either goes to heaven or hell [depending on our relationship to Jesus Christ]. Ultimately our bodies will be resurrected and united again with our spirits. Both our physical and spiritual aspects are vital to who we are and neither is to be condemned or treated lightly.
As spirits we operate the same way that God does. No, we can't use words to create something out of nothing. However, our words communicate - whether we want them to or not - who we really are. Are our words angry? deceptive? bitter? profane? Our spirit is laid bare by our words to those with eyes to see.
Words are how spirits grow and develop. For example, who you are today and how you act is based on the words you have heard AND accepted into your life. If you have been surrounded by encouraging words, you probably have a positive outlook on life. If you have been surrounded by discouraging words, you probably have a more negative outlook. Individuals, families, churches, business, and even nations are basically built on words and how people act on those words. That is just the way spirits operate.
Now what is profanity? "Profane" comes from two words: before and temple. Profanity is a religious act. For many people it has become so common that the religious undercurrents are unconscious, but all profanity is making a religious statement. It reveals what is really going on in their spirit.
1. Profanity is a type cursing. Cursing is the attempt to bring destruction. All cursing is not wrong. God cursed Satan in the form of the serpent [Gen. 3:14] for bringing sin into the world. God was declaring His ultimate intention of destroying Satan and all his works. Later, in verse 17, the ground was cursed as a punishment for Adam. That curse greatly reduced the productivity of the soil and caused hinderances such as weeds and thorns to grow.
The only curse that man is allowed to do is to curse that which God has already cursed. In other words, we are agreeing with God that righteousness shall prevail and sin will be destroyed.
The curse of Jehovah is in the house of the wicked; But he blesseth the habitation of the righteous. Pr. 3:33
How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? And how shall I defy, whom Jehovah hath not defied? Nu. 23:8
The Christian does not have to be afraid of God's curse. He is protected and blessed by the Blood of Christ. Neither does he need to be afraid of the curses of the ungodly. For God will not listen to those who curse people whom He has blessed.
Nevertheless Jehovah thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but Jehovah thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because Jehovah thy God loved thee. Deut. 23:5
As the sparrow in her wandering, as the swallow in her flying, So the curse that is causeless alighteth not. Pr. 26:2
Profanity can be the selfish attempt to bring God's power against someone or something which we don't like. It is attempting to manipulate God into destroying something for our personal advantage or because it is a personal inconveince. This kind of profanity is blaspmey.
Consider the term "Oh my God" when used simply as an expression of surprise, or in some other "loose" way. Even Christians often fall into this trap. Yet "my God" is a covenant term [see Covenants course]. It is for Christians who need to call on their covenant relationship with God for some reason. Jesus used the term on the cross. It is a serious term for serious people. The devil loves to see it defiled and deluted as a common expression on the lips of pre-Christians, non-Christians, and Christians alike. We need to be careful.
2. Profanity is an attempt to bring destruction on someone or something. It's intention is to bring them down to our own advantage. This may seem like point one, but it does not necessarily look to God as the source of power.
When someone uses profanity - whether they consciously realize it or not - they are calling on what they consider to be the ultimate power in the universe to come to their aid.
For example, popular sexual profanity looks to sex as the ultimate power in the world. Every time those words come out of someone's mouth, even if it is thoughtless and habitual, they are declaring that they consider sex to be the power to bring destruction. They are shouting who their god is: Sex. This is Baal and Astroth reborn. Down through history there have always been those who worshipped sex.
Another example, those who take the Lord's name in vain are attempting to curse and devalue God. Unconsciously perhaps, they are calling on the powers of the occult to destroy God. They are trying to destroy the name of Jesus and make it of no value. Naturally they cannot succeed, but they reveal to whom they really look for the true source of their power.
What about common, crude "bathroom words" such as s___ and c___ which are even found on the lips of Christians? It reveals a commitment to the ancient chaos cults. The idea is that everything must be degraded and destroyed in order to bring in a "new world." It is the idea behind marxist revolution: destroy society in order to rebuild a new society. It is the thought that you have to "hit bottom" before you can go up. So it seeks to hit bottom [this is the religious commitment behind many sexual perversions] in order that it may bounce up in new birth. It is a satanic counterfeit of God's plan of rebirth through Christ.
There is no purpose in profanity other than destruction. It may aim at the destruction of an individual or it may be a general attempt to devalue and destroy a society or civilization in general. If fact, profanity is a good measure of where a society is at. If profanity is rare, society is moving toward a happy and stable position. If profanity is common, then society is falling toward ultimate destruction. But there will be no satanic rebirth. It is not that profanity directly causes society to fail, but it is a good reflection of where a society is at.
"They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth." Ps. 73:9
What about so-called "Christian" swearing where a person substitutes a meaningless word for an offensive word. For example, we use words such as darn or frige instead of other offensive words. Is that a good thing to do? It still devalues language. It dilutes what God has made to be good and healthy communication. At the very least, it shows that the person is unable to express themselves clearly and/or to control their emotions. It reveals an area of life that they need to work on in order to reach a mature walk with Christ. We all have such areas, but the solution is not to ignore them or minimize them. The solution is to work on them with the power of the Holy Spirit.
Words are important. They should be chosen carefully with the intent of building up our lives, other people, and society in general. In other words, we are to be people of blessing.
Cursing is not simply limited to using "bad" words. As stated above, it is the attempt to bring destruction. This can be by using any words to hurt or discourage anyone. Many times a day we may attempt to bring cursing into someone else's life by angry, hurtful, or inconsiderate words. This is sin. Our mouths must be cleansed.
"But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." Matt. 12:36
So what can we do about this? Watch our own language. We cannot change others, only ourselves. As we become people of blessing and not cursing we open the doors to blessing in our own lives. Plus we have the joy of working with God in building others up. We need to value this gift of language.
"Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips." Ps. 141:3
This, of course, does not mean that people in authority can never bring correction or discipline. However, it needs to be carefully considered and brought in a way which seeks the person's highest good and is not degrading. Sometimes tough things have to be said or done, but it is to seek the benefit of the one spoken to or the protection of those under their influence.
In our society it is impossible to avoid hearing profanity and cursing. We need to be so careful not to take it into our spirits. We are protected by the Blood of Christ. Profanity, although painful to listen to, can bounce off of us without causing harm. We need to come to the Word of God and worship Christ to have our minds continually cleansed.
What about profanity that can be avoided? Profanity [and other evil things] can come into songs, TV, movies, books, etc. How should we react? We need to be aware that what we put into our minds, especially voluntarily, will influence our lives. What should we do?
Some Christians simply avoid the items which they know will contain offensive material. This is one solution and it is 100% effective.
One solution, in regard to TV and movies, is to use a product such as TV Guardian . This product mutes offensive words and uses the closed captioning to turn it into "Christian" swearing. It makes it less offensive. It works on many, but not all DVDs. Of course, this only works on profanity, but not on offensive visual scenes.
If you live in the USA or Canada you can use a company such as Clear Play where you can purchase filters which have been professionally done to edited out offensive scenes and language.
You have to decide for yourself
before God and your conscience what you will or will not accept and how
you will deal with avoidable profanity. If you have other solutions,
let me know and I may share them here as well. On thing is certain: We
cannot afford to take it lightly. It impacts us and our families.
A Study Guide is available for Profanity: The Spiritual Destruction Of Society to those who have a Joshua Club Membership. Study Guides contain questions and answers as well as a few additional comments.