Profanity: what the hell?!

(Updated section in red)

I couldn’t resist… yes, I could, but I didn’t.  LoL!!!  Aggravated already?  So then don’t read on, cause y’ain’t gonna like this one, if that’s the case.

Profane – v. to treat with abuse, irreverence or contempt; to debase by a wrong unworthy use.   – taken from Webster’s Dictionary

In the New Testament, there is a word group in Greek that is translated as ‘profane’ in the KJV.  It occurs seven times (number of perfection!), and means “to go across the threshold”.  The basic issue of profanity is the issue of going over the threshold – taking something common and trying to make it holy, or to take something holy and try to make it common.   – taken from the sermon notes at church Sunday.

Basically, the pastor taught SEVEN illustrations of profanity.  (There it is again! Seven: Number of Perfection!!!) I’m gonna the pastor’s seven categories of profanity, then the scripture he backed it up with, and we’ll go from there.  Sound good?

1 – A false claim to speak for God.  Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean… and I am profaned among them. Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.  And her prophets… seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken.  Ezekiel 22:26-28  When a person claims to speak for God, it is imperative that what they say is in accordance with the Word of God.  Adding to or taking from scripture profanes it. 

2 – A lack of concern for the sanctity of Life.  The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully.  Ezekiel 22:29  If we are not concerned about the homeless, the oppressed, the needy and the poor, we are acting out profanity, as God is the creator of life.  And yes, abortion is a form of profanity.

3 – Godless chatter.  O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings… 1 Timothy 6:20  God is present everywhere.  What we say should reflect Him in spirit and in Truth.  Gossip, topics of crude nature, and irreverence should never be a part of a Christ-follower’s life or conversation.  Note: there is NO mention of acceptable words and/or unacceptable words in this passage.  this is in regards to subject matter in discussions believer’s have.  I’ve had a LOT of ‘Christians’ use this verse to try to prove that four-letter words are ‘wrong’ or ‘a sin’.  That’s adding to scripture, claiming the Lord has said something He didn’t.  See #1, O hypocrite.

4 – Irreverent treatment of marriage.  Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church… Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.  Ephesians 5:21-27   Marriage is a ‘picture’ of the kind of union Christ has to the church.  If we’re reflecting Him, we should not be cutting down our mate, belittling them or being sarcastic towards them.  To do so is to profane the marriage.  ((Ouch… some of these are painful to me, too.))

Update:  I had to add this since Zvanoizu made a very important point (that I’d meant to add in and forgot!)… The “F” word DOES fit the definition of ‘profanity’ – it treats the act of sacred intimacy with abuse and irreverence, and debases it.  So the “F” is profanity, and I try not to use it for those reasons.  ((Actually, I never really thought about the fact that it IS profanity by definition… I just never used it because it ‘felt’ cheap and seemed to be a word overrused by stoopid people.))

5 – Passionless Worship. For this day is holy unto our LORD: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.  Nehemiah 8:10b  Whether during singing or during preaching, are our hearts focused on communing with the Lord?  Or are we suffering thru it, there because of some sense of obligation – quiet because others are… while our minds are hundreds of topics away?  To approach worship with such an attitude is to approach communion with Christ with contempt… and such is profanity.  And this isn’t just about what you do in church: how do you commune with the Lord on a daily basis?  Do you truly have a zeal for His precepts and His person?

6 – Trivializing God.  And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?  Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons; Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.  Deuteronomy 4:8-10  Ever hear the one about the rabbi, the priest, and the golf caddy?  How about when Hollywood turns God into George Burns (or vice versa)?  God is so damn holy that when Moses looked at Him, he had to cover his face for days, lest he blind those around him.  No joke.  A lot of people have reduced God to some sort of ‘cosmic Santa’ who answers prayer according to who’s been naughty or nice… That’s not God.  God is righteous and holy and not to be taken lightly.  We are to respect Him… and although it may seem ‘funny’ to read ‘Christian’ books titled He’s gonna Toot and I’m gonna Scoot, it’s making light of the Truth… and that profanes God.

On this same topic, we need to address paraphrases… and in doing so, I’m sure to piss off a vast number of readers.  To translate is to change from one language to another.  To paraphrase is to reword the meaning of something written.  The Message is a paraphrase.  The Living Translation (they can’t even call it a Bible anymore) is a paraphrase.  It’s some guy taking verses from God’s Holy Word and rewording it to suit his purposes.  It’s wrong.  It’s profaning the Word of God.  It’s changing what was written completely, and if you don’t believe me, I can prove it by putting paraphrases next to Holy Scripture and show you the difference.  I don’t read profaned ‘Bibles’.

7 – Profane Speech.  ((ah… what you’ve been waiting for.))  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 20:7  ((another seven!))  The pastor said so many ‘Christians’ saw the movie Sweet Home Alabama and said it was a ‘cute’ romantic comedy… but did you know that the Lord’s name was taken in vain 25 times during the film?  That’s once every five minutes!  This is the only word we are commanded not to use in scripture… no G-dammits or ohmyG’s or JC’s… it’s actually a real sin.  That is profanity in language… taking that which is holy and making it common.  The Lord’s name is holy.

Shit is NOT a holy word.  Nor is hell or damn.  So what makes people think that saying these words is ‘profanity’ is beyond me.  It doesn’t even fit the definition!  “Well, it crosses the acceptable threshold of language according to society.”  Since when does God take His cues from our culture or society?  This is when it becomes opinion… because it’s not based on doctrine, which comes from core theology… and opinion is just that – opinion.  If we take our cues from society, we should have no qualms about cheating on taxes or speeding(polls show that 89% or more people speed), we should be tolerant of all religious systems, and we should hold God as just one of many possible dieties.

“It taints your testimony.”  I’ve been told.  In whose eyes?  ‘Shit’ means nothing to the average American.  Rated ‘G’ movies can contain up to five ‘soft’ four-letter words.  ((In fact, did you know the Lord’s name is taken in vain twice in Disney’s The Little Mermaid… and that’s rated ‘G’!)) Ah… but to the ‘Christian’, saying the words ‘shit’ or ‘damn’ is akin to killing your brother or denying Christ.

There are SEVEN things above that we profane thru according to scripture.  If you manage to get all of them purged from your life, then worry about words.  Otherwise, it’s no different than someone saying my knee-length skirt is too short or my music too noisy or my parenting too strict or my perfume too rank.  As long as I keep the Lord’s commands and seek His glory and honor… as long as I fear Him and proclaim Him and obey Him and serve Him with all my heart – who are you to judge me for a word I use or a shade of lipstick or whatever?  If it’s not a sin according to scripture, get off your high horse.

And I’ve had people throw verses at me… one after another… Set a watch to my lips, oh Lord…  in context, its referring to content of your message, not the wording you choose to use.  Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth…  ah, but the rest of the verse clarifies that it’s talking about your message being what is helpful for the edification of others.  It doesn’t wash… because vile to one person isn’t ‘vile’ to another, but merely colorful.  Opinion.  And there are so many commands in the Bible to worry about, why add to them?  As if you don’t have enough to do keeping the ones you’ve already been given?  Hello!

May the words of my mouth and the desires of my heart (both given together, because they are connected – clarifying that this is speaking of context) be pleasing to You, O Lord.  What we desire is what our message reflects.  It’s at the top of my weblog.  My message is that God is Holy and Just and Righteous and has set before us a HEAP of stuff… and that unless He’s put it in my spiritual shopping cart, I’m not buying it.

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