|Magic Mountain, an amusement park in Southern California, is known for a roller coaster named X. Coincidentally, I was there to speak at a youth event when I overheard an X-rated conversation—between churched teens no less. It prompted me to address the issue from stage. I asked, “How many of you struggle with using bad language?” Many hands went up. I followed up with questions we’ve all probably considered at some point: Is it wrong for a Christian to use curse words? If so, why? And what makes profanity, well, profane?
Entertainment is full of swear words, sexual innuendo and scatological slang. I recently read a study of prime-time TV in which the Parents Television Council found more than 11,000 expletives—nearly twice as many as in 1998. Indeed, in our coarsening culture, some young people can’t recall a time when f-bombs weren’t part of “normal” discourse. Kids use it because they’ve grown up hearing profanity and having it reinforced by the media. And somehow it becomes a personal habit that even Christian teens may consider acceptable in certain situations.
I’ve heard people argue that words are just noises we make. They’re sounds. They don’t really mean anything. But such a position is contradictory. To deny the power of language one must debate with … words. And those combinations of letters and sounds require meaning to be grasped. You have to assume that, objectively, your listener understands what you’re saying. We can’t get around the fact that words contain meaning.
Words also yield consequences. For proof that language matters, consider that we have an entire lexicon associated with their misuse: fraud, slander, libel, perjury, harassment, defamation. The ways people abuse words have social, psychological, legal and even spiritual implications.
All to Jesus I Surrender The Bible reminds us that we should speak in ways that honor God and benefit others. Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” James 1:26 warns us to keep a tight rein on our tongues, while Colossians 3:8 says, “Rid yourselves of all things such as these: anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips.”
Regarding the use of coarse language by believers, some people contend that since Christ has made us free, how we say things doesn’t really matter. While salvation sets us free from the penalty of sin, freedom doesn’t equal license. In fact, the Bible makes it clear that Christians have an obligation to pursue holiness (Eph. 4:24; Titus 2; 1 Pet. 1:13-15 and 2:24).
Indeed, God’s ownership of a believer extends even to the words we use. According to 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 we’re mere stewards. Jesus Christ owns us lock, stock and barrel. That includes mind and mouth. Discipleship and spiritual maturity require a level of obedience that should find us yielding everything to God.
Judged by the Words We Use Teens should submit their vocabularies to the lordship of Christ, in part because God is always listening. His grace is perfect, but if words didn’t matter Jesus wouldn’t have said, “I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matt. 12:36-37).
We derive our word profanity from a biblical term that means “outside the temple.” Profane means “unholy” or “unwholesome.” As we saw in Ephesians 4:29, some types of speech are literally unholy. Spouting certain four-letter words can hinder spiritual growth, harm relationships with others and undermine our credibility as bearers of Gospel truth.
Christians possess an advantage by having a pure well of words from which to draw. Years ago, as a new believer working my way through college, a superior noticed that I didn’t tell off-color jokes or use foul language like others in the workplace. Not only did this create a witnessing opportunity, but I was promoted to a level that no 21-year-old had ever held in that company. My boss later told me that my habit of avoiding profanity convinced him that I must be honest, and this led him to promote me.
Every communicator has thousands of words at his or her disposal. In the quest for individuality and self-expression, there’s no shortage of raw material. Teens need to talk! Comment! Express! Emote! But only in ways that speak well of themselves and of their Savior.
Alex McFarland is Plugged In’s teen apologetics expert. For more on his ministry and speaking schedule, visit alexmcfarland.com.
Published July 2007http://www.pluggedin.com/familyroom/articles/2007/whyprofanitymatters.aspx
“Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Master Yahushua and love unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; that the Yahuwah of our Master Yahushua, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power.” Ephesians 1:15-19.
In these words the importance of our having a connection with Yahushua, the source of all wisdom, is presented before us. We must have living faith in him, and trust him implicitly, so that we may reach the heights of wisdom and perfection that Yahuwah would have us. If we come short of attaining this, we cannot be the light that Yahuwah designed we should be in the world. Yahushua alone can impart to us the light which it is essential for us to have. We should be more diligent students in the school of Yahushua than we now are. We should study the word of Yahuwah more earnestly, that we may know the way, the truth, and the life. The best followers of Yahuwah are those who continually grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Master Yahushua.
If we are content to take a low level in the life of a follower of Yahushua, the truth will never become wrought into a deep experience; we shall not be fruit-bearing branches; we shall not honor Yahuwah. Kind words, kind looks, kind deeds, and thoughtful consideration of others,–these are the fruits that grow on the tree of a follower of Yahuwah. Yahushua is our example, and we must form our characters after his. By beholding his purity and perfection, we shall be changed into the same image. If Yahushua is dwelling in us, we shall reveal him in all our actions, and we shall see new charms in him every day. It is impossible to tell what work Yahuwah will do for us and through us, If we will only consent to become channels of light.
There are many who claim to be followers of Yahuwah who have defective characters, and erroneous views of the Yahushua-like life. They are not a light in the world. But let us seek by faith to attain unto a blameless life, that our Yahushua-like character may be made manifest to all. Our conversation must be holy and without murmuring. If we think we are having a hard time, let us remember the Author and Finisher of our faith. There were a few that were not ashamed to confess Yahushua when he was on earth. He said that many of the chief rulers believed on him, but they would not confess him, for fear of being put out of the synagogue. “They loved the praise of men more than the praise of Yahuwah.” (John 12:43).
We must have a higher sense of the work and claims of Yahuwah upon us than did the Pharisees. It is for our present and eternal interests to make friends with Yahushua. We need him in every trial and perplexity of life. We should have living faith in him,–faith to trust him as a little child trusts its earthly parents. He invites us to come to him. Let us tell him all about our troubles and our sins, and he will know just what to do in our case. We have a great High Priest to whom we may come boldly; we have a Mediator in the heavens. “For there is one Yahuwah, and one mediator between Yahuwah and men, the man Yahushua: who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”
1 Timothy 2:5, 6.
The mission of Yahushua to this earth was to direct erring human beings to Yahuwah, to lead them to seek for holiness of character, to lead them to pray to Him that is mighty in counsel. Confess your sins to Yahuwah, and he will never betray your trust. Although we are sinners, he will pardon abundantly.“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”(John 1:9). He marks our contrition of soul; and our sins will go beforehand to judgment; and when the times of refreshing shall come, they will be blotted out by the blood of the Lamb, and our names will be retained in the Lamb’s book of life. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Master imputeth not iniquity.” (Psalms 32:2). Neither learning nor riches can bring us into favor with Yahuwah. Moral worth alone is esteemed of value in his sight.
I do not covet rich farms nor costly palaces, I care not for gold or silver; but I prize the blessing of Yahuwah. I have had a glimpse of the glories of heaven, and I would that every one of you could see what I have seen, that you might have a proper estimate of the eternal weight of glory that is to be the reward of the faithful. We need a more intimate knowledge of Yahushua. We should sit at his feet, and learn of him the precious lessons of meekness and lowliness of heart. The more we know of him, the more we shall want to know. As we behold and dwell upon his love, we shall see matchless charms in his character. He was perfect in all things, in soul, in spirit, in word, and in deed. He was all that the law required; but what the law demanded of Yahushua, it demands of all humanity. We must be Yahushua-like, and give an example to the world that is worthy of imitation. In this way we shall honor Yahuwah. And the Master says, “Them that honor me, I will honor.” (1 Samuel 2:30).
Daniel honored Yahuwah in the courts of Babylon. He was surrounded by temptations to indulge appetite. Luxury was on every side, but he would not suffer himself to be enticed to selfish gratification. Those who were accounted honorable in the kingdom were self-indulgent. They gratified appetite and passion, and king commanded that Daniel should follow their example; but the servant of Yahuwah purposed in his heart that he would be true and loyal to his Master. Says the Scripture, “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” (Daniel 1:8). He would not yield the principles of his religion, and Yahuwah gave him knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom. The youth of today, if they will stand fast and unwavering to the truth, will receive heavenly wisdom, and Yahuwah will pour upon them his richest blessing. We desire to see our people growing in grace, and in the knowledge of our Saviour Yahushua. He loves you, and longs to bless you, and to increase your faith and your knowledge of himself. But in order that he may do this for you, you must live for Yahuwah. There are many who are becoming anxious to understand the claims of Yahuwah’s law, and you must do your best to be a light and an example to them. Do not depend on the ministers to do all the work in your church and neighborhood. The pastors must seek the lost sheep, and you must help them; and while the ministers are called to labor in other parts of the vineyard, the people of Yahuwah must have light in themselves, speaking to each other in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in our hearts and making melody unto the Master. While you should respect the ministers highly for their work’s sake, you must not trust them as your saviours, but build yourselves up in the most holy faith. When you assemble in the house of Yahuwah, tell your experiences, and you will grow stronger. While you speak in meeting, you are gaining an education that will enable you to labor for others. What a precious privilege it is to bring souls to Yahushua. It is the greatest work that mortals can do, for in so doing they are co-laborers with Yahuwah. But of ourselves we can do nothing. If we try to work in our own strength, we shall fail completely. Yahushua came to our world to bring divine power to combine with human effort. When Yahuwah unites his power with man’s effort, the work is brought to perfection. Yahuwah wants to do great things for his people; and if we only have faith in him, he will work for us mightily.
A longtime substitute teacher in Phillipsburg, NJ, has been fired after he shared a Bible verse with a student – and upon request gave the child a Bible.
The Phillipsburg School Board voted Monday night to terminate the employment of Walter Tutka. He was accused of breaking two policies – distributing religious literature on school grounds and another policy that directs teachers to be neutral when discussing religious material.
“It’s unfortunate the Phillipsburg School District chose the path of religious hostility and intolerance against a retired man serving his community and simply responding to a student’s intellectual curiosity,” Hiram Sasser, director of litigation at Liberty Institute, told Fox News. “What’s next – are they going to ban Shakespeare because his plays have Bible quotations?”
Joe Imhof, a close friend of Tutka, was at the school board meeting.
The school board, he told Fox News, was basically telling God to “go to hell.”
“Just because this guy gave a student a pocket New Testament on his lunch hour – that’s enough to throw you out of school,” Imhof said. “They have said tonight, ‘God, we don’t want you in this school.’”
Imhof and Tutka serve together in Gideons International – a ministry known for providing Bibles to school children across the world.
“One of the Gideons in our local camp is from the Soviet Union,” Imhof said. “In most countries overseas we are allowed to go into public schools and give Bibles to students. But since this is America – you can’t do it here.”
“When the Soviet Union fells, Bibles were allowed in the schools, people could pray in the schools,” Hussey said. “It seems we have more persecution in America than they do in Russia.”
Tutka’s trouble started in Octoboer when he was standing by a door waiting on middle school students to enter the building. One student trailed behind the rest.
“Just remember, son,” Tutka told the tardy student, “The first shall be last but the last shall be first.”
A few days later the student asked about the origins of the quote. Tutka told him it was in the Bible.
“Over the next few weeks, the young student asked about a half dozen times where the quote was from in the Bible,” Imhof told Fox News. “Walt kept forgetting to look it up.”
On Oct. 12th, Tutka was eating lunch in the cafeteria when the student approached and brought up the Bible verse. So Tutka took out his Bible and showed the student the verse.
At some point the student mentioned that he did not have a Bible.
“Walt basically said, ‘would you like mine?” Imhof said. “The student said yes and so Walt gave him his personal New Testament.”
Tutka, who is a well-respected member of the community, is also a member of Gideons International. It’s a ministry known for providing Bibles to school children across the world.
The school superintendent did not return multiple calls seeking comment.
Sasser, who is providing Tutka with legal advice, said the board’s decision sends a clear message to Christians in New Jersey.
“I am sure the school would have celebrated if the issue was a Koran or Hindu text, but this school sent the message that anything associated with the Bible, even good, old-fashioned intellectual curiosity, must be squelched at the source,” Sasser told Fox News.
The district’s treatment of Tutka decision infuriated many residents of the New Jersey community.
“It is so awful,” said Tutka’s pastor, Chris Hussey. “I’ve never seen something so absurd in my life.”
Hussey, the pastor of Abundant Life Community Church, told Fox News that he’s been disturbed by Tutka’s treatment.
“Walt is a spiritually strong guy,” he said. “He knows not to hold any animosity or bitterness – but it is emotionally taxing on him.”
Pastor Hussey said the incident should serve as a stark reminder to Christians that there is a war on the culture.
“Christianity is under attack in America,” he said. “It seems our government officials are afraid of Muslims and yet they capitulate to them and any other religious group. But when it comes to Christians – they are completely intolerant of Christians.”
Under Barack Obama, the U.S. economy has performed worse than it did under any other president since the end of the Great Depression. After every other recession since World War II, the U.S. economy always regained what was lost and got even stronger before the next recession began. During this “economic recovery”, we have not even come close to getting back to where we were in 2008. In fact, the number of Americans living in poverty and the number of Americans that are dependent on the government both continue to explode even as Barack Obama runs up trillions of dollars of new debt. Anyone that believes that Barack Obama is going to “fix the economy” if he is given another four years in the White House has taken way too many sips of the Obama kool-aid. The truth is that Barack Obama is not going to save you. Barack Obama has royally messed up our economy (along with a lot of other things) and that is not something we should be thanking him for.
Yes, Barack Obama is not solely responsible for the economy. In fact, he does not even have the most influence over the direction of the economy.
However, if he had been willing or able to actually do what was necessary to fix the economy, he certainly had ample opportunity.
For example, the Democrats had full control of Congress during Obama’s first two years in office.
They were in a position to push through just about anything that they wanted to.
But just about everything that did get through Congress during those two years was full of really, really bad ideas.
More importantly, Barack Obama has done absolutely nothing to stand in the way of the nightmarish policies of the Federal Reserve.
Yes, the Federal Reserve does have more power over the U.S. economy than Barack Obama does.
But Barack Obama has made no moves to reign in the Fed or to stop their idiotic policies.
In fact, Obama has had nothing but good things to say about Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, and he nominated Bernanke for another term.
Talk about stupid.
If you were the owner of a pro football team and your coach had lost every game for several years in a row would you give him a new contract?
Of course not.
But even though Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has a track record of failure that would make the Washington Generals blush, Obama has given Bernanke his unquestioning support.
Obama insists that it would be a really bad idea to ever question the “independence” of the Fed. Obama believes that it is a good thing that U.S. monetary policy is determined by a panel of “experts” that work for a secretive organization that has no direct accountability to the American people whatsoever.
Yet their decisions have a huge impact on all our lives every single day.
So since Barack Obama has steadfastly refused to stand up to the Federal Reserve and has had nothing but wonderful things to say about Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, it is fair to hold Obama at least partially responsible for the nightmarish economic conditions that Fed policies have helped create.
In the final analysis, basically every single decision that Barack Obama has made regarding the economy has been wrong. He has added trillions to our debt while flushing our economic future down the toilet at the same time.
Thanks Obama – you really have been awful.
The following are 24 stats that show just how much Obama has royally messed up our economy….
#1 Under Bill Clinton, the average unemployment rate was 5.2 percent. Under George W. Bush, the average unemployment rate was 5.3 percent. Under Barack Obama, things have been much worse. The month after he took office the unemployment rate rose above 8 percent and it has stayed there ever since.
#2 Under Barack Obama, the velocity of money (a very important indicator of economic health) has plunged to a post-World War II low.
#3 Real median household income has decreased by more than 4000 dollars since Barack Obama entered the White House.
#4 The United States has plenty of oil and we should not have to import it from the Middle East. Unfortunately, Barack Obama has an absolutely nightmarish energy policy. Under Bill Clinton, the number of drilling permits approved rose by 58 percent. Under George W. Bush, the number of drilling permits approved rose by 116 percent. Under Barack Obama, the number of drilling permits approved decreased by 36 percent.
#5 When Barack Obama took office, the average price of a gallon of gasoline was $1.85. Today, the average price of a gallon of gasoline is $3.71.
#6 Under Barack Obama, the United States has lost more than 300,000 education jobs.
#7 Since Barack Obama became president, the number of long-term unemployed Americans has risen from 2.7 million to 5.2 million.
#8 For the first time in the post-World War II era, the employment-population ratio has not bounced back after a recession. The percentage of working age Americans with a job has been below 59 percent for 35 months in a row.
#9 While Barack Obama has been president, U.S. home values have fallen by another 12 percent.
#10 More than three times as many new homes were sold in the United States in 2005 as will be sold in 2012.
#11 Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row. Thanks Obama.
#12 When Barack Obama first entered the White House, an ounce of gold was going for about $850. Today, the price of gold is over $1630 an ounce.
#13 Since 2008, our economy has lost 1.3 million jobs while at the same time 3.6 million more Americans have been added to Social Security’s disability insurance program.
#14 The number of Americans on food stamps has grown from 31.9 million when Barack Obama took office to 46.4 million today. How much more “hope and change” are we going to be able to endure?
#15 As I wrote about the other day, it is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.
#16 If you can believe it (and this really is hard to believe), more than half of all Americans are now at least partially financially dependent on the government.
#17 The total amount of money that the federal government gives directly to the American people has grown by 32 percent since Barack Obama became president.
#18 Under Barack Obama, federal spending as a percentage of GDP (25 percent) is the highest that it has been since World War II.
#19 The Obama administration has been spending money on some of the most insane things imaginable. For example, in 2011 the Obama administration spent $592,527 on a study that sought to figure out once and for all why chimpanzees throw poop.
#20 The U.S. government has run a budget deficit of well over a trillion dollars every single year under Barack Obama.
#21 Under Barack Obama, U.S. debt was downgraded from AAA status for the first time ever.
#22 Since Barack Obama took office, the U.S. national debt has increased by 50 percent.
#23 Since Barack Obama became president, the U.S. national debt has increased by an average of more than $64,000 per taxpayer.
#24 During the Obama administration, the U.S. national debt has grown more than it did from the time that George Washington became president to the beginning of Bill Clinton’s second term as president.
Liberals double standard…
Rupert Shortt of the UK-based think tank Civitas has released a study entitled “Christianophobia: A Faith Under Attack” in which he cites “there is now a serious risk that Christianity will disappear from its biblical heartlands,” as reported Dec. 25, 2012 by The Trumpet.
As cited in his report, Shortt estimates:
“200 million Christians (10 per cent of the global total) are socially disadvantaged, harassed or actively oppressed for their beliefs.
Exposing and combating the problem ought in my view to be political priorities across large areas of the world.”
The author then sharply stated:
“That this is not the case tells us much about a questionable hierarchy of victimhood.”
Citing that “in the large area between Morocco and Pakistan, for example, there is scarcely a country in which [Christian] church life operates without restrictions.”
Iraq As A Microcosm…
Christians have historically never fared well under Muslim regimes, but “the early 21st century has seen a steady rise in the strife endured by Christians.”
In what has been widely ignored by the Western Press, Shortt notes:
“Half to two thirds of all Christians in the Middle East have been killed or forced to leave.
One of the most dramatic drops in number comes from Iraq.
In 1990 there were 1.2 to 1.4 million Christians.
By the start of the second Gulf war, that number had plummeted to 500,000 fewer.
Now there are under 200,000.”
What Race Is Islam…?
In what could be the most damning section of his report, Shortt states that the crisis facing the Middle East’s Christians has not gained the attention it should have because:
“[p]arts of the media have been influenced by the logical error that equates criticism of Muslims with racism, and therefore as wrong by definition.”
Dropping Like A Stone…
A report by the European University Institute illustrates that during the early 1900s, the Arab-Christian population of “Greater Syria” (Lebanon, Syria and present day Israel) stood at 33 percent overall.
Similarly, the Christian population of Lebanon during the 1960s was slightly over 50 percent nationwide.
Prior to the country’s Civil War (1975-1990), Lebanon’s Christian population was estimated as high as 85 percent
Lebanon has seen that number drop to as low as 30 percent, with Syria’s number dropping to low single digits, and still falling.
The numbers are similar throughout the Muslim dominated region.