We live in an increasingly crass and crude society today. Sexual perversion and sexual innuendos are everywhere we look… from billboards on the roadside to popular music on the radio — (which you can’t avoid, because it’s even played over the speakers at your local convenience store and in public restaurants) — to every television program and movie to the hallways of our public schools, halls of government and the store window displays on the main street of your town. One can no longer even walk through a public shopping mall without seeing what would have once been considered X-rated material, now proudly displayed as advertising and window dressing.
I remember instructing my children when they were teenagers, regarding their friends’ swearing and filthy talk and jokes. At that age, you know, kids want to feel and act like “grown ups,” so I told them that “GROWN UPS do not swear.” My point was that swearing and filthy talk was immature, and shows a person’s ignorance and stupidity. I was quickly corrected by my kids, as all of them, nearly in unison shot back: “OH YES THEY DO!” “Really?” I asked, “Grownups swear? What grownups do you know that swear?” Their response: “TEACHERS.” Yes, their public school teachers would use foul language that would make a drunken sailor blush on a regular basis — and that was many years ago already. Nice role models, huh?
On our Wisconsin Christian News Facebook page, we post vital and late-breaking news stories on a daily basis. Our Facebook page now has nearly 12,000 people who “like” it and another 12,000 or so who “follow” it. We reach a lot of people through this form of social media. I’d like to believe that most of them are Christ-followers, but sadly, that is not the case. Some are mere Conservatives. Some just consider themselves to be “religious” or “spiritual,” and of course there are also those lurking out there who like to monitor our page for “hate speech” so they can be offended by the truths we post, and respond with constant arguments and objections.
But I’ve also been amazed and saddened by the number of professing CHRISTIANS who comment on the articles we publish — AGREEING with us — but using foul and vulgar language to get their point across. Yes, I said PROFESSING CHRISTIANS. They agree with our message… but then they drop the “F Bomb” or use other vulgar language throughout their comments. It seems to be just the normal way they speak.
When this happens on our Facebook page (where anyone can comment), we remind them that foul language is not permitted on our page, and we delete those comments. We also warn them that if it happens a second time, they will no longer be allowed to post on our page. On rare occasions, some have apologized and thanked us for our gentle “rebuke.” But more often than not, they shoot back with even filthier talk, and we have no choice but to ultimately ban them from using the page.
It’s very sad that this seems to be the way MOST Americans speak these days. I hear it when I’m out in public just about every day now. Young people, especially, cannot seem to complete a sentence without using the “F Word” anymore. But many adults are no better. Have you been in a store shopping and observed a mother with young children who are acting unruly — and she is SWEARING and CURSING at them, thinking nothing of it? I have. And worse yet, have you seen young children — 4, 5 or 6 years old — throwing a temper tantrum and SWEARING at their parents, using some of the filthiest language you’ve ever heard? How incredibly sad. You know, they learned that from SOMEWHERE. “Kids these days?” What about “Parents these days?!”
What’s wrong with us, that so many speak such filth as part of our everyday conversations, and think nothing of it? Whatever happened to SHAME?
I remember when I was in high school — yes PUBLIC high school — everybody swore. The halls of the school were filled with vulgarity… and that was a very long time ago. The teachers did nothing to stop it or to reprimand students speaking that way… they just accepted it as “the norm.” And I remember sitting with a group of people as we waited for the bus one day after school, and one guy saying, “Rob, what’s wrong with you? You never swear. EVERYBODY swears. But I’ve never heard you swear.” I must have been about 15 or so at the time. I explained that I just don’t do it and told him, “I never learned to swear.” “Never LEARNED to swear!” he exclaimed. He couldn’t believe such a thing. “You don’t have to LEARN to swear! It just natural,” he said. …Not for me, it wasn’t.
And as I stated earlier, now, from what I understand, school teachers THEMSELVES are using the same sort of language in front of their students, giving tacit agreement that such talk is just a normal way to express one’s thoughts and feelings. Yeah, great role models we have.
I’ve also been in situations where I’m speaking with a friend and one of THEIR friends walks in and starts swearing up a storm. It’s obvious that my friend accepts that sort of talk and probably participates in it as well, but because of who I am and what I DO, he’s embarassed that his other friend would walk in and start swearing — not out of anger, just as part of normal conversation. My friend then introduces me to the other person as a way to caution the guy to “watch your language”: “This is Rob Pue,” he tells him. “He’s the publisher of Wisconsin CHRISTIAN News.”
Not so long ago, that statement would make the foul-mouthed person feel ashamed of himself, for swearing in front of a Christian. You could see them shrink back and begin apologizing for what they said in front of me. (Not that my delicate ears can’t handle it — as I said, I hear it constantly nowadays). Just that people USED to have a measure of conscience. But no more. If anything, learning that I work in full-time Christian ministry just emboldens people now, to swear MORE…. as if to say, “who do you think YOU are that I should change my behavior in front of you?” Our society has lost its collective conscience, our sense of shame. We’re proud of what we should be ashamed of and ashamed of what we should be proud of.
It’s sad because what that guy told me in school when I was 15 seems to be true now: EVERYBODY swears. Parents swearing at their children, toddlers swearing at their parents… foul language everywhere we go, as part of normal, everyday conversation. You see it a LOT on social media. I find it very sad and especially disgusting when young teen or pre-teen girls curse and swear and use filthy language in their communications on Facebook. Some of these girls list “The Bible” as one of their favorite books. Some post pictures of their adventures at Bible camp or their church youth group — and then a TON of “selfie” pictures, trying their best to look “sexy” and “sexually provocative” along with an abundance of “F bombs” and other nasty language and presenting themselves as anything but “lady-like.” Where are their parents? Obviously these young women learned this behavior and attitude somewhere. And these, again, are very often professing CHRISTIAN young women. I have to wonder what they’re really LEARNING in “church.”
God’s Word has a LOT to say about our speech and how we are to portray ourselves, as Christ-followers, to the culture around us. But now, let’s be clear… NOW we are talking about TRUE Christ-followers. We can’t expect the carnal, worldly person to act like Jesus. But if WE are the “real deal,” with the Holy Spirit living inside us, then it should take no effort whatsoever on our part for the world to see God IN us. But if we’re false converts, fooling ourselves… that’s another matter. We may be able to shut down our consciences and fool OURSELVES. But we’re not fooling anyone else; and we’re certainly not fooling God. As Jesus said in Luke 6, “…out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” So what is TRULY in our hearts will naturally flow out, whether that be goodness and light, or darkness and filthy sewage.
The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 141:3, “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!”
And Proverbs is filled with admonitions on how we are to speak. Proverbs 10: “The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but the perverse tongue will be cut off. The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse.”
And Proverbs 15:28b, “…the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.” And of course 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…”
Jesus taught His disciples about these matters also and He warned in Matthew 12:36, “I tell you, on the day of judgment, people will give account for every idle work they speak.” Also Matthew 15:11, “It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”
Then we have Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but only that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
Ephesians 5 is especially instructive on this topic: “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now are you light in the Lord: walk as children of light. For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth; Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.”
When we become true Christians, following Jesus with His Holy Spirit living inside us, it’s just not possible for us to continue living our old, carnal lifestyles. In Colossians 3 we are told, “But now ye also put off all these things: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.” I just don’t know how one could be filled with the Spirit and speak like the devil at the same time.
We are not only smarter than that, we are better than that… we have, as Christians, the very Spirit of God within us. That Spirit has come in and replaced the spirit of darkness that used to dwell there. And as we learned in Luke 6, “…out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” So how, then, can a person have the heart of Christ and yet speak like the devil’s children? Doing so makes us look stupid. Every swear word a person utters as part of their normal conversation — to me — seems to lower their IQ by ten more points. It also immediately reveals them to be phony “Christians.” Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof. Quenching the Holy Spirit, if the Spirit was ever there to begin with.
In this day and age, where it seems “everybody swears,” please understand: even if that USED to be the way you spoke, it doesn’t have to be anymore, once you are born again with the Spirit of Christ within you. You’ve been given a new heart, your soul has been washed clean, your mind becomes the mind of Christ. God’s will becomes YOUR will. Why, then, would you continue speaking, acting, and portraying yourself as carnal and worldly when you should now be a NEW creation? “Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed, by the renewing of your mind you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2).
I pray this message has given you something to think about. You may like to share it with someone who needs to ponder all these things as well. And I pray that as we take the name of Christ, as CHRISTIANS, that we’re not taking our Lord’s name in vain — calling ourselves “Christians” while we really never had any heart-change and have never been born again by the Spirit of God.
As the world sinks deeper into darkness and depravity, chaos and confusion, some of those lost ones will soon be looking to US to find God. I believe the hunger and thirst for righteousness will increase in these last days, at least among SOME, and those of us who name the name of Christ need to be set apart, our lives shining examples of what COULD be for those who are lost and seeking. So let us represent our Savior and our Lord well.
My prayer is the same as that we find in Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Amen.
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