A Christian friend, new to the faith and troubled by a foul tongue, asked me to show them where the bible condemned cursing. For the unlearned, this could be a difficult task. The bible does not specifically define what is unclean language. The everyday language of ancient people did not include the common gutter words of modern times. Thus the bible does not speak them by name. In this study of Christian principles, I will briefly address the Christian understanding of unclean language.
Before you continue reading, take a moment to prove to yourself through biblical evidence that cursing is a sin.
The Only Absolute Curse Word
Focusing on the actual collection of unclean words that are in use today, only one is specifically addressed in scripture. It is, of course, any combination of words that use the name of God in a vain and foolish conduct. Scripture records it in this manner:
“And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain,” (Exodus 20:6-7).
Now if this simple commandment is insufficient to convince you that it is foolish and sinful to call upon the name of God in any form other than reverence, consider also the following verse:
” For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain,” (Psalm 139:20).
Seeing then that those who disrespect the name of God are his enemies, and knowing that light cannot fellowship with darkness, and that we can serve only one master, why do we continue to abide movies that are crafted by God’s enemies? Why do we accept the world’s distain for our Lord?
In closing this section, I remind you that the revealed names of God are many, ranging from Adonai to Yahwey-Tsidkenu, and most importantly the name “Jesus”.
Other Words Clearly Addressed In Scripture
The four letter words, as we like to call them, are not so limited in letters yet the description serves this lesson.
Some such words merely reflect a natural function of the body. When applied with the right intent, such words, though they may sound crude to the ears, are acceptable language. Yet in scripture, we read words that speak of men who “sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss”, and we understand that this is a form of cursing those men who “sit upon the wall”. For the words are used to shame, to mock, and to provoke.
Now days, the word “dung” has a more foul sounding replacement. Yet the principle usage remains the same: in one sense, the word reflects a natural use of the body, in another, it reflects a polluted and unclean corruption of the natural language.
There is another sense of using such words that does not involve the direct cursing of a fellow human being. Sometimes such unclean language is merely a part of personal dialect, if dialect it may be called. This will be addressed later as a vain and foolish talk. For now, we move ahead.
Words That Associate Human Beings To Animals
On many occasions, the bible links the enemies of God to the visual image of pigs and dogs.
The Jews, thinking themselves better than other races, often used such terms to curse the people of “so-called” lesser nations. In truth, these words speak not arrogances, but rather of a spiritual curse that is upon the wicked of mankind, those who deliberately reject the truths of God.
Though the Jews greatly misused these words, the terms were never intended by God to be lightly applied toward human beings. In the context of use that God purposed, they stress not a lesser human being, but rather they express the incomplete condition of those who do not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. When the spirit is imperfect, lacking the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, men can be likened unto the lowest of beasts. They have a mind. They have a soul. But they do not have a spirit.
Jesus sometimes identified gentiles as “dogs”. Yet he responded to the dogs “so-called” with compassion, seeking always to lead them into the truths of God. Even the most rudimentary study of how our Savior applied these words reveal that he was deliberately bringing attention to the incorrect Jewish application of these terms.
Words Unclean But Not Clearly Defined In Scripture
Concerning unclean words that pervert the natural relationships of men and women, take into account the holy sanctimony of marriage. Even your natural ear rebels against these foul curse words for they make ugly that which is beautiful.
You need no scripture to directly address this subject. These words are repulsive to the sealed spirit of a Christian. Whether in the form of an unclean joke, or as a direct assault from the mouth of a foul person, they grieve the indwelling Spirit of God. Even the worst of us cringe when such words are spoken in the presence of our children. Why then do we continue to watch and listen to the things that numb our senses?
So that you know that even if the words themselves are not clearly defined in scripture, the concept of the words is plainly addressed. Here is but one of many reproofs from our Lord:
“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 ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath 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,” (Ephesians 5:3-6).
This message has already accumulated many more words that what I had purposed, yet there is so much more that I would like to include. But I will close now. You already have more than sufficient evidence that the use of unclean language is wrong before God. Furthermore, you now have a reasonable definition of what makes up unclean language.