• Foul-Mouthed Prophet? What’s with Today’s ‘Cussing Christian’ Fad?

    Surge Summary: Isaiah’s reaction to his foul-mouth problem when he got in the presence of a Holy God should be instructive for Christians today who think that coarse, vulgar talk is no big deal.

    by Herb Reese
    New Commandment Ministries

    “And they were calling to one another, ‘Holyholy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’ At the sound of their voices, the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. ‘Woe to me! I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips.’” -The Prophet Isaiah

    The church’s men’s ministry pastor fumbled with the keys to the door of the auditorium. I and my fellow men’s ministry leaders, who were not from Denver, were waiting behind him to get in and set up for a men’s conference. After over a minute of futile key insertions, we heard the pastor blurt out an unrepentant, “Damn it!”

    Those of us behind him looked at each other in astonishment. What my fellow men’s ministry leaders didn’t know was that the senior pastor of the church had gained a local reputation for cussing during his sermons. I immediately made the connection and realized that this staff member was simply following his example.

    Nothing like letting it all hang out. Emotional constipation, after all, is our culture’s ultimate sin. But while I agree that repressing our feelings is harmful, there are better ways to handle them than cussing.

    Describing our negative feelings is the better way to go. Instead of acting out by cussing, for example, that men’s ministry leader could have said, “This is really making me frustrated.” Or, after having cussed, he could have – and should have – said something like, “I’m sorry. It was wrong for me to say that. I’m very frustrated.”

    Everyone cusses from time to time, including Christians. And yes, even Isaiah, one of the greatest prophets in Israel’s history, cussed. And the interesting thing about it is that Isaiah wasn’t ashamed or repentant of it until he stood in the presence of a trice holy God.

    Isaiah had been conveying God’s message of condemnation to Judah for all of their sin. But suddenly in Isaiah 6, God says, “Oh, by the way, Isaiah. I have a problem with you. And it’s your speech.”

    Isaiah’s response? Deep spiritual conviction and repentance. Isaiah’s speech was never the same again.

    Yes, all Christians cuss from time to time, just as all Christians sin in other ways from time to time as well. But we should never just dismiss cussing, like it’s simply blowing off steam. “You shall be holy, for I am holy,” scripture commands us. That command applies to our speech as well. If/when we cuss, we should deal with it just like any other sin: with confession and repentance.

    And we should be making progress, so that, over time, we cuss less and less, and instead become known for a type of speech that is “always with grace, seasoned as it were with salt.”

    For the past sixteen years New Commandment Men’s Ministries has helped hundreds of churches throughout North American and around the world recruit, train, organize, and deploy teams of men who permanently adopt the widowed and single parents in their congregations for the purpose of donating two hours of service to them one Saturday morning each month. We accomplish this with an online membership training site called “Meeting to Meet Needs.”

    Originally posted here.

    The views here are those of the author and not necessarily Daily Surge. 

    Image: Creative Commons; CC By-SA 2.0; Adapted from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/debaird/155026260

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