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27 July 2010 (Shleshi/Bikkurim)
Day #135, 5934 AM
Swear Words
Why You Don't Need Them

    Research work on swearing has revealed that about 70-90 swear, cuss or profane words are used each day by your average person, a little less than 1 in every 100 words spoken during a 16 hour period. That's about 6 swear words an hour or one swear word every 10 minutes. That's your average person. Judging by some of the conversations I hear in the work place and elsewhere, some people are swearing several times each minute so that virtually all you ever hear are 'f' words. In my experience the degree of cussing is often a function of how socially imnept or immature you are.

    Though each and every swear word has a definite meaning, they are not used as language per se. Thus when someone says 'Sh*t' or 'cr*p' he is not actually talking about faeces, stools, detrius or excretor. And if he appends the word 'holy' to it, he is not saying that 'solid organic waste product is sacred'. Someone swearing could just as easily say 'beep', 'rhinocerus' or 'tax inspectors', and not compromise the feeling of anger, annoyance, frustration or whatever it was that provoked him to use the particular cuss word in the first place, though the more upset or angry they are, the shorter is the word usually.

    The more spiritual or religious a person is, the less swear words they tend to use. Or at the very least, they substitute the more usually used vulgar set (which currently in the English language is about 70 words, of which 7 are the most commonly used and occupy about 80% of general usage) for a 'milder' or less vulgar set that avoids the language of copulation, excretion or insulting mothers. What Christians and Messianics don't usually realise is that swearing or cussing is still swearing or cussing no matter which set you use of cuss words you use. Even fewer understand what swearing is otherwise they probably wouldn't do it. I hope by the time you have finished reading here today you will come to the same or similar conclusions as I have.

    Profanity is, moreover, not simply limited to words but also includes gestures and other behaviours which is understood to be insulting, rude, vulgar, desecrating or showing disrespect. Our English words 'profane' comes from the Latin word meaning 'outside the temple' and was originally used by the Roman Catholic Church to refer to anything said or done outside a church building. You always behaved in a certain way inside a church building but once outside it you were no longer so strictly limited in your behaviour. Thus someone might swear and cuss outside a church but bite his tongue inside.

    Needless to say as true believers in Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) we are not entitled to live by a double-standard (Jas.1:8). Yah'shua the Messiah expects our moral and social behaviour to be identical whether inside a house of worship or outside it. Anything else is viewed in Scripture as double-mindedness or hypocrisy. That is because in the New Covenant your physical body is your temple or house of worship (1 Cor.6:19). That means you should behave as though you were 'at church' wherever you are. As full time priests on full time duty in the temple of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) our language, mannerisms and behavour is supposed to represent Christ 24/7 everywhere we are. And we shall be judged by this standard.

      "Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good" (Rom.12:9, NKJV).

    Swearing of all kinds is a fruit of the carnal nature. You will not find Yah'shua, the prophets or the apostles cussing. On the few occasions that they used harsh language, they meant what they said. When John the Baptist called the Pharisees, Sadducees and Torah-teachers "serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?" (Matt.23:33, NKJV) that's exactly what He meant. Those words were not, moreover, the prophet losing his temper, but were inspired by the Ruach as words of judgment and condemnation from the Most High. The devil himself is called a serpent (snake).

    Today some secular psychiatrists tell us that swearing is a beneficial anger management technique. If it prevents you from striking out and injuring someone, there may indeed be an element of truth in that. I have heard it said that soldiers or police or people generally who witnesses horrific scenes of carnage often swear to maintain their sanity. That may be true as well. And whilst this might be good advice for the unsaved, do you think that Yahweh expects those who have surrendered self-will and are walking IN Christ to actually need such a release valve? If Yah'shua is our release, to Whom we can give everything, why should we need to descend to expletives and obscenity? Is not the Most High able to manage our needs? Whenever a born-again believer cusses, he is turning to his own self-sufficiency and not to sufficiency in Messiah. Swearing is a management device for those not trusting and walking in Christ.

    What is the spirit behind swearing? Why is it that when people swear they almost invariably use obscene words? Why don't they say 'roses', 'butterflies' or 'DVD'? Partly it is learned passively from others (like peers and TV) and is habitual, like culture (which is what you do when you have forgotten why you do it) but also it is directed by unseen powers most are unaware of that play on the carnal nature which is unspiritual. Those coming to Messiah are expected to change their culture, habits, pattern of living and behaviours and align their beings with that character of Yah'shua, for which we are given the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) to aid and empower us. Sometimes this change comes automatically (depending on the level or depth of self-surrender) but usually we have to make an effort, as with most things. Cussing is a decision just as not cussing is a decision. It's a choice we have. The fact that it displays drug-like symptoms ought to be a warning of what lies behind it. But also we can be under peer-pressure to copy others. Part of being Christian is being different. We are called to be a separated people - different in lifestyle.

    Many of the cuss words which we think are innocuous or harmless reveal themselves not to be. Most of them were originally created in a spirit of anger or blasphemy anyway. Today the expression 'it sucks' is a fairly common expression used to mean that something is distaseful or not nice. Few people bother to pause to find out what the expression actually means and how it originated. Do you as a believer think it is OK to use the 'f' word? Of course not. What you probably don't know is that the 'f' word derives from the German verb fuchen meaning 'to have sexual intercourse'. It is not an English word. However, we don't use it because to us the act of marriage is sacred...and private. But if you bother to do some research on the origin of the common phrase, 'it sucks', you would discover that it is even worse that the 'f' word and that it derives from a 1950's term with connotations to the highly despised male homosexual practice of oral sex with another male. In the light of this origin, do you really think a believer should be using such an expression? Just because you have forgotten or never knew its original meaning doesn't justify using it. Yahweh expects both a clean heart and a clean tongue of believers, and this kind of language is unclean. It's filthy. So when you say something like, 'Life sucks', what you are really saying is that life is like a homosexual man engaging in unkosher oral sex. Remember that. There are better illustrations - after all, our language is one of the richest on the planet. Why limit your choice of words to the gutter?

    Most cuss words explain themselves. A great many of them are cursing Yahweh or simply using His Name casually and disrespectfully. Some Messianics excuse themselves from dropping 'Oh my G*d!' or 'Good G*d!' from their vocabulary because, they say, it's not Yahweh's true Name. Which is true. That being the case, why are they swearing in the name of an Indo-Germanic pagan fertility deity, Ghodh? (Incidentally, 'Oh my G*d' is women's favourite way of swearing and occupies a full 25% of their cussing vocabulry).

    I was once talking to a friend years ago who just didn't get it. Let's say his name was Philip. So to make my point, every time I found an opportunity to cuss (from a secular point-of-view), I would say: 'Oh my Philip!' or 'Good Philip' or 'Philip's Teeth' or 'Philip d*mn you'. He got the point. When people swear in the name of 'God', whatever the etymology of the word, it is commonly understood that it is the Most High Elohim who is being addressed. It is, quite simply, disrespectful. Be honest, it's not godly. When godly men and women of the past said, "O my God (Elohim)" (e.g. Dan.9:18), they were not swearing or being casual but were in deep sincere prayer to Yahweh.

    Many believers think that saying 'd*amn' or 'd*amn you' is inoccuous, but how can it be innocuous when believers are commanded to bless and not curse their enemies? We are supposed to "bless those who curse you" (Matt.5:44, NKJV). Does that sound like a licence to curse anyone?

    When I once worked in a laboratory the 'f' word was common-place. It got on my nerves after a while, apart from being offensive so I devised a strategy to make my point that I did not approve of the men's cussing. So in situations where the men would say 'f' I would start saying 'sexual intercourse'. This caused no small amount of amusement at first but after a while it irritated them and they asked why I was doing that. They too eventually got the point. They didn't stop swearing but tended not to do it around me as much as they did before. One man at the place of work was fond of the 'sh*t' word so one day I asked him why he was so obssessed with faeces, implying that he had fettish. He was embarassed and stopped using it. (I am not suggesting you necessarily use this trategy at work - it might not work in your situation. Simply telling them that you find their swearing offensive might be enough. Listen to that the Ruach tells you - a lot of people would simply respond by swearing more in order to be nasty, especially in the modern climate of anti-Christianity).

    When I lived amongst American Mormons one of the common swear-words was 'shoot'. They were shocked when I told them that this swear word was just the more common 'sh*t' word toned down to sound less offensive. Many believers I have known have equally been surprised and shocked when I told them that the the cuss word 'Jeeze' or 'Jeese' was just a toned down version of 'Jesus' to make it seem less innocuous. Some Messianics continue to swear using 'Jesus' because they say it isn't the Messiah's true Name, but like the 'God' situation I mentioned earlier, they still lose, because if it's the name of a pagan deity (Ye-Zeus they claim) then they are swearing in the name of a demon (they're not, but that's another matter). Either way they are cussing.

    Every swear word carries a spirit behind it. And that spirit is the same spirit that originally 'inspired' it's use in the first place with the original meaning. A lot of believers reject this explanation because in truth they are too lazy to work on their bad habit and would rather not know the truth. But it is the truth.

    Cussing is so common these days that nobody really cares anymore. It's an epidemic of conjuring up demons. Before 1939 you would never have encountered cussing in the movies, the first time it was used being in Gone With the Wind when the word 'd*mn' appeared. It started an avanlance of obscenity. Yesterday my family watched a children's movie called Short Circuit made in 1986 about a friendly robot and were shocked at the amount of filthy language in it. The language of the entertainment industry is now, beyond question, overwhelmingly satanic. That's why we have no TV in our home any more.

    Our speech is important and reflects back on our heart and character however much we may wish to protest to the contrary. Isaiah testified of this when he said:

      "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips, for my eyes have seen the King, Yahweh of hosts" (Isa.6:5, NKJV).

    Someone who has met Yahweh of Hosts and been convicted of sin will be convicted of unclean speech too - inevitably. So serious a matter was this that a radical solution was applied:

      "Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: 'Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged'" (Isa.6:6-7, NKJV).

    Our mouths as easily start metaphorical 'forest fires' (Jas.3:5-6) as they do swear if they are not checked.

    I have no respect for people who swear, less believers who swear and excuse themselves, whether hardcore or softcore swearing. I am gulity of the latter myself, I regret to say, sometimes. And even though you may think my occasional expletives of 'blast' or 'nuts' is harmless, they aren't. They are, in truth, the thin edge of the wedge. Softcore sinning often leads to hardcore sinning and before long a 'darn' will turn into a 'd*mn' (which is what it was originally). Why not stop it altogether? And as for hardcore swearing, it is just plain filthy and blasphemous and belongs to the society of the spiritual low life. We were made in Yah's image to sing His praises, not to curse and blaspheme Him. We were made to be gentle and cultured kings and queens of the Most High, not coarse and vulgar gutter merchants. Rather let us have the mind of King David:

      "Blessed art thou, O Yahweh: teach me thy statutes. With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word" (Ps 119:12-16, KJV).

    If you are an habitual swearer or cusser, you have a spiritual issue. It is not inoccuous or harmless because behind the spirit of swearing is an attitude of disrespect and blasphemy. Swearing is not of Yahweh but of the devil. Period. These things I teach my children and my household and is what I expect. So should every Bible-believing Christian and Messianic. If you have a swearing problem, may you be blessed as you seek to resolve it. Do what is right, honour Yahweh and honour His children, however rebellious - they are in His image after all.

      "Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one" (Col 4:6, NKJV).

    Recommended Reading

    [1] No Cussing Club

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    This page was created on 27 July 2010
    Last updated on 27 July 2010

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