Summary: James tells us that "no one can tame the tongue." So, what do we do about it? How can we recognize when we've misused our tongue and spoken curses that bring shame to Christ?
OPEN: Words have meaning. (We showed a video clip by www.vidangel.com/ that explained the impact of curse words on our families using paint balls fired at a family watching TV to visualize the sharp increase of swear words in our “entertainment” mediums)
(You can find the video we used at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJIf4m5YV04)
“Every word has IMPACT”
One scholar noted that we live in a culture that has become increasingly vulgar. “All forms of media have become saltier... The incidence and the severity of curse words on primetime television increased sharply from 1990 to 2005, for both cable and broadcast networks. (And the use of profanity) in books has exploded since the 1960s. And by some estimates, people curse nearly twice as much on Twitter as they do in spoken conversation.” (Michael Adams, an Indiana University English professor and author of “In Praise of Profanity’)
Now, what’s interesting, is the response that many people have to that level of vulgarness. On YouTube (where I got this video from Angelvid)) they have a comment section. Several people responded to what you just saw… with posts like these:
“Grow up! They’re just words.”
Someone else wrote: “Everyone takes curse words as a bad thing… but to me they shouldn’t have their own classification. They’re just words used to put extra emphasis on a point someone is trying to make.”
THEY’RE JUST WORDS!
This is the kind of “fake news” we’re discussing today. This idea that curse words are just words is a concept that is creeping into our churches. To illustrate that, let me tell you about myself.
ILLUS: I’m a big superhero fan. I just love about any movie with a fantasy hero – Superman, Spiderman, Captain America, etc. – so I was really enjoying the Avenger series of movies by Marvel. The only movie in that series I haven’t seen was the last one. Endgame. The reason I haven’t watched that movie was because the previous movie (Infinity War) so infuriated me.
I was sitting in the theater expecting to be entertained when suddenly I’m subjected to a volley of curse words like I’d never heard in an Avenger movie. A small boy seated close by me laughed out loud when one of the characters (Star Lord) mocked Jesus… because it was a line given in a way to make it sound funny. THEN, when as I left the theater I saw a poster in the foyer advertising the upcoming Deadpool movie that mocked the painting Michelangelo where God and Adam are reaching out to each other.
I WAS FURIOUS! And I shared my disgust on Facebook (I’m on about 40 pages… none of which have I’ve never signed up for). And on one of those FB pages there were several preachers who offended that I was offended by their favorite movie. And I a couple of those preachers actually defended the cursing in the movie. One guy tried to say that curse words didn’t come into existence until 1500s… I’m pretty sure that wasn’t true.
But another preacher said this… “They’re just words.”
Really? Are they JUST words? Well, do you remember the movie they talked about in our video-clip? “The Wolf Of Wall Street.” Our video said that that movie had the most swear words in movie history. Hmmm. So, let’s say that next week, instead of a sermon, those 2 preachers put THAT movie on the overhead so everyone in the congregation could watch it together. How well do you think that’ll go over? Probably not real well. Why? Because even Pagans understand… that’s not right! Even Pagans would be shocked to hear foul language being celebrated inside a church bldg. And that points to the Fake News aspect of this issue.
ILLUS: Let me illustrate this with an illustration I’ve used before. (I stepped over to the door of our sanctuary that opens into a yard. I opened the door and said). OUTSIDE I can watch any movie I want. But INSIDE the church building I can’t do that. Is that true? (No). OUTSIDE I can watch any TV show or listen to any music I want to. But INSIDE the church building I can’t. Is that true? (No). OUTSIDE I can say any curse words I want, but INSIDE I can’t.
That’s absurd isn’t it? Of course it is… and I Corinthians 6:19-20 tells us the reason: “do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So, glorify God in your body.”
In other words, YOU are the TEMPLE of God! This building is just the place the Church of Christ meets. We are the church. Thus, if it wouldn’t be acceptable INSIDE a building of brick and mortar, it shouldn’t be something you entertain yourself with OUTSIDE that building. In fact – that kind of stuff is definitely not acceptable coming out of your mouth, because YOU are the CHURCH.