Hey! This is the old a broken mold. Newer stuff is at abrokenmold.net.
That being said, feel free to rummage through the archives over here. Also feel free to leave comments; we're still keeping an eye on this.

Since I wrote my last post about this, I read some stuff and thought somewhat shortly after the post about writing another one, but never did.

However, I don't remember exactly what it was that I read for sure, so I'll talk about what I've been thinking about recently.

Last time, I talked about three types of 'bad language' (and that is such a wide phrase to mean something much narrower): profanity, obscenity, and cursing, the last of which may bleed into the first two. Like I said before, profanity is disrespecting the sacred with language, obscenity is making that seen which should not be seen (vulgar; it comes from Latin meaning "the common people", which is where such things should not be talked about; they are out of context), and cursing is calling, wishing, or commanding something bad or evil upon a person or thing.

I must say that I have already become somewhat numbed to some offensive language; I see and hear it enough that it begins to bother me less. And that seems a bad thing.

The thing with this group of 'bad language' I call offensive is that it is offensive. Nobody likes pooh in their face for real, so why would they like it in their face with words? Sexuality is meant for marriage, and there is a shame in bantering about it in a public and common manner; thus comes the offensiveness of such words. Furthermore, who likes to be cursed? Do we really have the right to proclaim such things upon people anyway?

Now, this is not to say that every time these words appear in print or are spoken that it is evil. I mentioned before the dynamic nature of language and also the intent of the heart. These both come into play. Not always when people say "damn" are they cursing someone. Not always will people consider words to mean the same thing. Different things are offensive in different cultures.

It seems to be one of those Christian liberty things and one we should be very careful with. These words obviously carry some meaning that at least to some, is offensive or evil. Some seem to me to be universally evil; these would be those that profane that which should always be sacred (such as God's name), and those things that should not be seen by those they are communicated to (such as talking about sex in a dirty way). If we are to be different from the world, and these are the worlds vulgarities, some explicitly wrong, some not loving to our neighbor, shouldn't we not use such language?

Don't get me wrong; I am not declaring this group of words absolutely evil, but I think as Christians we need to be careful and discerning in this area; for some of us, perhaps it is better to forego them completely as we can, for others it may not be so. Using any words to intentionally and maliciously hurt others is obviously wrong, so let us keep that in mind.

I personally steer clear of common words considered offensive ('swear words', obscenity, profanity) in my speech, because it seems safer to me, and there are other words in this language to express my feelings. Don't let me dictate how to live your Christian life, though; that is the job of God's word, so pick it up and read.


Matthew said...

Very well put and a very essential mindset on the matter. We as Christians need to keep this in view, and head knowledge should never trump conscience. God has written His law on our hearts and on creation. As you said, it's a very easy desensitization. Semper reformata.