Archive for February, 2013

20
Feb
13

Foul Language & Profanity

PROFANITY

If you are not a follower of Jesus Christ this article may be meaningless to you.
If you claim Christ as your Lord and Savior then this is a vital read.

What Does The Bible Say About Foul Language?

Foul language proliferates throughout our culture. From movies and TV shows to video games and various music genres, foul language grafts itself into the lyrics, scripts and story lines of just about every form of entertainment people consume. In addition, many people employ a vast dictionary of foul language in the conversations they engage in on a daily basis.

With so many dirty words uttered from the mouths of our society, one would assume that foul language has become an integral part of human communication. Even some people who claim an affiliation with evangelical Christianity use foul language in their everyday conversation. But what position should Christians take concerning foul language and its use in our society?

Should Christians use foul language because the Bible does not contain a direct commandment such as “Thou shalt not cuss, curse or swear”? Should Christians succumb to peer pressure and cultural influence and model their conversation after that of the secular world? Or should Christians instead abstain from foul language completely? In this article, you will discover what the Bible says about foul language and how it affects both speaker and listener. Let’s look at some Biblical concepts concerning the use of “dirty words”.

How Does The World Define Foul Language?

Foul language comprises cuss words, curse words, dirty words, and swear words. But how do most people in our society define the term “foul language”? Do the words “foul language” and “profanity” carry the same meaning? To understand the definition more clearly, you must first know the definition of the word “language”, then the definition of the word “foul”.

The Free Dictionary defines the word “language” as follows: “communication of thoughts and feelings through a system of arbitrary signals, such as voice sounds, gestures, or written symbols.” It further defines language as, “any other systematic or nonsystematic means of communicating, such as gesture or animal sounds.”

Language serves as the primary tool that people use to communicate with one another on both verbal and nonverbal levels. We speak words to greet and welcome one another, exhibit friendship toward one another, support one another and show love for one another. We also speak words to spite one another, demonstrate hatred for one another and destroy one another. We even use guttural and animalistic sounds, whether good or bad, to communicate with one another.

The Free Dictionary defines “foul” in many ways. In the context of language or speech, you will find that the word “foul” conveys the meaning of “a vulgar or obscene nature”, “morally detestable; wicked”, “very disagreeable or displeasing; horrid”, and finally, “bad or unfavorable”. The word “foul” exemplifies things that possess a bad appearance, connotation or innuendo. Further, the word “foul” describes things in just one word that some people may consider offensive, reprehensible and unacceptable.

When the words “foul” and ” language” come together to form the term “foul language” to describe a form of communication, these words describe a form of communication that people ought to perceive as vulgar and obscene. But in a perverted twist of irony, they describe a form of language that society and ultimately the world not only accepts, but embraces.

Despite how the English dictionary defines it, many people see nothing wrong with foul language. They attempt to trivialize it by saying that bad words are, just words. Many people fail to realize the weight that obscene words carry once they roll off the tongue of the speaker. Worse yet, mainstream entertainment and modern pop culture vault the use of foul language to the highest level of merit.

Judging by how widely our world accepts foul language, it arbitrarily defines foul language as an important element in human communication.

How Does The Bible Define Foul Language?

The Bible defines foul language in more clear and concise terms than any of the popular dictionaries could do. If you were to look for the specific words “foul language” written in the King James Bible, would you find them. No, but God wrote many Scripture passages in His Holy Writings that spell out what characteristics foul language possesses so that we as believers can identify it.

Proverbs 4:24 tells to, “Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.” In this passage of Scripture, perverse words, or foul language, correlate to the parts of the body that speak such words. The word froward means, “crooked”. And what does the word perverse mean? Just think of the word, “perverted”, and you will understand the meaning quite clearly. This passage of Scripture tells us that since our mouths and lips can assume the characteristics of the very words we speak, we should not speak crooked or froward or perverse words. We should not let foul language escape our mouths.

Ephesians 5:4 says, “Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.” In this passage of Scripture, God calls foul language filthiness. Think of something really dirty or filthy, like a ginormous landfill that contains mountains of the most disgusting garbage imaginable. Cuss words, swear words and obscenities all amount to a huge pile of filthy garbage that stinks. The stench of dirty words offends the very nostrils of God when we utter them from our crooked mouths and perverse lips and release them into the air.

Colossians 3:10 brings the definition of the term foul language full circle with the words, “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.” Here, God defines foul language in its most specific terms as filthy communication.

Picture a sewer system drain that spew millions of gallons of raw sewage (urine, feces, etc.) into a crystal clear pond, contaminating it with the most deadly bacteria and diseases known to man. Imagine that crystal clear water quickly turning dark shades of brown from tons of raw sewage that pours into it. When a person uses foul language, that person’s mouth becomes a sewer drain that pollutes the world with filthy communication. And this filthy communication spreads all kinds of social diseases among its hearers.

Take this concept a step further, God places filthy communication in the same category as blasphemy and malice. Judging by the gravity of this Colossians 3:10, people ought to take notice of the fact that engaging in filthy communication constitutes a very serious offense in the eyes of God.
The Bible indeed defines foul language with razor sharp accuracy.

What’s The Difference Between Foul Language And Profanity?

Many people and institutions use the terms “foul language” and “profanity” interchangeably. But the definitions of these two differ in several respects. Since we already defined the term “foul language” according to both the Bible and worldly academics, let’s examine the definition for the term “profanity”.

The Free Dictionary defines profanity as, “abusive, vulgar, or irreverent language.” It further defines profanity as, “the state or quality of being profane and, vulgar, irreverent action, speech, etc.” In today’s society, people often view foul language and profanity through the same critical telescope. One may be hard pressed to differentiate profanity from foul language when most of the dictionaries tell us that they carry very similar meanings.

It would serve us well to understand where the word “profanity” originates from. This word originates from the word “profane”. Profane possesses both a noun form and a verb form. The Free Dictionary defines the noun form of “profane” as, ” marked by contempt or irreverence for what is sacred”, and “nonreligious in subject matter, form, or use; secular:.” The Free Dictionary defines the verb form of “profane” as, “to treat with irreverence:”, and “to put to an improper, unworthy, or degrading use; abuse.”

The word “profane” comes from the Latin word “profanum” which translates to “before, in front of, or outside the temple.” But the word “profane” carries even more weight in the meaning of, “against the temple”, and the other meanings for the word “profane” ultimately sway toward this definition of the word. So, for the sake of argument, to profane something holy means to handle it with disrespect or to even desecrate something sacred either with words or actions. And these acts of profanity would prove as offensive as foul language spoken from a froward mouth.

As far as words go, a person could use foul language to directly profane the name of God or His church. In fact, many people do this very thing. But if a person uses foul language in a casual conversation, he does not necessarily engage in the act of committing profanity. Indeed, foul language and profanity do share some similarities, but some of their differences also contrast each other to a great magnitude.

So what’s the main difference between foul language and profanity? Foul language equates to filthy communication used for no good purpose while profanity equates to treating that which is holy with no regard for its sacred value.

How Should Christians View Foul Language?

The Bible gives us Christians clear insight into how we should view foul language. Proverbs 13:3 says, “He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.” God imparts sage wisdom concerning foul language in this passage of Scripture through Solomon’s hand. First, He reveals to us the blessing that awaits the Christian who thinks before he speaks. Then He warns us of the impending danger that a filthy communicating blabbermouth finds himself in every time he opens wide his lips. This type of person destroys his own life and the lives of others when he spews forth from his mouth all of the foul language contained within his heart and mind.

Immediately after meditating upon Proverbs 13:3 for just a brief moment, a person should acknowledge that he or she will increase the quality of their life by keeping their big mouth shut.

Psalms 34:13 instructs us to, “Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.” Not only should we as Christians not speak guile, or deceive anyone with the words we speak, we should also keep our tongues from evil. How does a person keep his tongue from evil? He keeps his tongue from evil by not using it to form cuss words, curse words, dirty words or swear words. If the tongue never forms filthy words, they will never leave the lips.

The words of Matthew 15:11 cut through to the very heart of man. Jesus Himself said, “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.” What does the word “defile” mean?

The Free Dictionary defines “defile” as, “To make filthy or dirty; pollute:”, “To debase the pureness or excellence of; corrupt:”, “To profane or sully (a reputation, for example)”, “To make unclean or unfit for ceremonial use; desecrate:”, “To violate the chastity of.” To defile someone not only means to make him filthy or unclean, but it means also to strip every shred of decency and dignity off of that man. To defile someone means to violently destroy the very essence of that man, or his very manhood if you will.

In light of how disgusting and repulsive God views foul language, we ought to make every effort to follow the instructions of Ephesians 4:29 to the letter: “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” In this passage of Scripture, God set a very high standard for His children concerning communication. We as Christians must uphold this standard and speak only words that pour blessings into the lives of the hearers of our speech. For with corrupt or filthy communication, we would publicly defile ourselves in the sight of others.

The Bible Condemns Foul Language: So Should We

After reading just a few passages of Scripture that directly condemn the use of filthy communication, or foul language, we have two options. We can either ignore the passages that command us to abstain from using it and act like fools, speaking perverse words as described in Proverbs 19:1; “Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.” Or we can heed the divine wisdom that God imparts to us and refuse to engage in filthy communication and choose not to employ any foul language in our everyday conversation.

Proverbs 2:11-12 says, “Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;” We as Christians must strive to live by the instructions that God gave us for abundant life in Him on a daily basis. By these Biblical instructions, we possess the power to exercise Biblical discretion in every decision we make. The precepts about verbal communication revealed in this article especially apply to the exercising strict discretion concerning what kind of language we use when we speak.

Without a doubt, the Bible condemns foul language. As believers in Jesus Christ, so should we.

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01
Feb
13

The Qualities of a Sponsor

The Qualities Of A Sponsor

First of all, for those of you who are wondering what we mean when we say “Sponsor”, here’s the skinny.

In 12 Step programs a person in recovery from “whatever” is encouraged to get a Sponsor. A Sponsor is someone a person can be accountable to, someone who has a working knowledge of the 12 Steps and can guide them through the application and implementation of those steps in their daily life.

A Sponsor is someone who is honest and has integrity, there is qualities in their life that the sponsee admires and looks up to. Although a Sponsor should never be deemed higher or better than the sponsee, a Sponsor is a mentor of sorts.
I hope that helps.

OK, lets continue.

Recovering Alcoholics and Addicts who are working a honest program of recovery stand apart from our society, we are different, we are the exceptions to the unhealthy world in which we live in today, or at least we should be. Some of us come to a point in our recovery that we find it very important to be of service to another by becoming a Sponsor. Most of us didn’t ask for the job, we were asked. If you are one of those people who said yes to the call of Sponsorship, let’s count the cost shall we.

What ever you may think a Sponsor should be, one thing is clear… Sponsors are different folks, not better folks, just different. I’m not talking about achievements. Performance is important, but too many people base their value and worth on achievements. What’s more important is character. Consider the following qualities for yourself first, and then as positive goals for your spondees lives.

1. INTEGRITY…….. Our actions need to be consistent with our values. Integrity means we can be depended on, we’re trustworthy, we do what is right in accordance with what we believe.

2. CREDIBILITY…….. does tie into performance. It’s earned by constantly doing our best, being faithful, and following through. Then others will know that they can rely on us. To the newcomer being able to depend on their Sponsor is critical. If they can’t depend on their Sponsor, who can they depend on.

3. RESPONSIBILITY…….. is a trait we would all love to see in our spondees. This is reflected by commitment and a willingness to do what needs to be done even when it is UN-COMFORTABLE. Recovery is not about comfort. Recovery is about growth.

4. DEPENDABILITY…….. Follow-through. Dependable people can be taken at their word, for what they say they will do will get done. They are willing to jump in and act before being asked. They take initiative.

5. TENACITY…….. Tenacious people don’t quit; they hang in there. they stay committed.

Now, do these character qualities fit with who we are all the time? Perhaps not to the letter, but they do need to be a large part of our focus as Sponsors.

I know that some of you reading this are not in 12 Step Recovery, and might think that all this doesn’t apply to you, well, think again my dear friends. If we are going to make a healthy difference in a very sick society, we are going to need to have these character qualities as high priority in our lives. All of us!!!

My suggestion: Don’t spend so much time dwelling on your character defects, start moving towards developing Character Qualities. When we do that we are living in the solution and not in the problem.

Today I will continue to remind myself that to share in another’s success is a blessed gift. As I Sponsor and am Sponsored I will reflect upon the great responsibility this service carries. I will continue to pray for my sponsor and to ask God for guidance as I sponsor others.

Serenity for You!




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