CHRISTIAN
CURSING

J.W. HIEBERT

   I. Introduction
   We approach a delicate, yet important, subject to all the
saints today and especially to those in the Lord's churches,
that is: the matter of "Christian Cursing."   The Christian of to-
day thinks nothing of taking upon himself the ways and ap-
pearances of the world.   In our society nearly every one pro-
fesses belief in the Lord but few give evidence of repentant,
converted hearts that is characteristic of all who are truly
saved.   An area that points out this psuedo-christian trend is
the utilization of the language of the world.   To directly accuse
professing people of using God's Holy name in vain as an
outright, deliberate curse word would be an overstatement.
Yet, many euphemisms for God are heard every day and often
truly born-again saints are guilty.
   A. What is a Euphemism?
   Let me give Daniel Webster's report: "...to use good or
auspicious word for an evil or inauspicious word..."
-- of good
sound.
   1. It is the use of a word or phrase that is less expressive
or direct but considered less distasteful, less offensive, etc.
than another.
   2. A word or phrase so substituted.   Thus, it is a form of
cursing that replaces a direct curse word with a more accept-
able word which in effect does the same thing.
   B. The question must be asked of modern-day Chris-
tians: Do you ever use the name of the Lord in vain?

   The word "vain" means "empty," "as nothing," or
"lightly."   When referring to the subject at hand, it applies to
"false-swearing" or "light- swearing."   These are words that
have little meaning, or an empty purpose or something that is
said lightly.   Some will use the name of the Lord, yet, go on to
defend their position by saying, "I didn't mean anything by
it."
  Others make a defense by claiming that God knows our
weakness and therefore will forgive us.   However, premedi-
tated sin in God's sight is inexcusable.
   C. Are we responsible for our words?
   What does the Scripture say in the 3rd commandment?   Ex.
20:7, "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in
vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh [H]is
name in vain."
  The words, "in vain" mean empty, without

thought, or lightly.   This is clearly a violation of the 3rd com-
mandment and that is a transgression of God's law which is
sin in God's book!   The truth is that God still holds all of us ac-
countable for our words: Matt. 12:36-37, "But I say unto you,
That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account
thereof in the day of judgment.   For...by thy words thou shalt be
condemned."

   Your swiftest defense may be to quickly bring up the fact
that God's saints will not stand in the judgment of sinners.
That is true.   But beware that words have a way of describing
what is in the heart.   Matt. 12:34, "O generation of vipers, how
can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of
the heart the mouth speaketh."
  While the truly saved will not
be judged as to their eternal position in Christ by their perfor-
mance of works, it is difficult to believe that born-again saints,
those changed by the Spirit of God within and have been taken
out of the pig-pen of sin, will want to return to it.   Scripture
says that a pig returns to the mire but that is because of its
nature.   Therefore, the person who says he is a saint of God but
by nature loves the practices of the world and is not convicted
of the use of sinful words of the world, that one is of the world.
   Ignorance is no excuse to sin when we have the indwelling
presence of the Holy Spirit to keep us in truth.   So, let us
develop and identify some words.   This will not be an ex-
haustive list but rather examples.

   II. Words that are used which involve God's
name in vain or with lightness.

   These definitions will be according Webster's Dictionary.
Any good dictionary will give you all of these.
   A. Euphemisms of God.
   1. Gosh: "...an interjection, an exclamation of surprise: a
euphemism for God."
  The world would make light of the use of
this word but the saints ought to heed the meaning of words.   It
is the using of the word "gosh" in the place of the word "God"
to make it seem less offensive.
   2. Good: (used by itself or together with other words as in
"good-night," etc.)
   a. The word "good" is often used as an adjective with a
descriptive intent by comparison.   However, the etemology of

the word shows that it is not an innocent word when used as
an interjection.   Etemology: from the word "gode;" Anglo-
Saxon, god, akin to German, Gut.
   b. Used as an interjection: "In some exclamatory
phrases expressing surprise, consternation, etc. (e.g. good-
gracious! good-grief! good-night!)   Good is an euphemism for
God."
  That includes forms of the word goodness, even when we
personalize and say "goodness me," there is a wrong connota-
tion and it is just a replacement for being able to use the name
of the Lord.
   3. Golly: "it is an interjection, an exclamation of sur-
prise, etc.: a euphemism of God."
  It is a milder, socially accep-
table way to use God's name in vain.   This also includes all the
shortened forms as in "gol" (gol-darn).
   4. Gracious: "as an interjection, an exclamation of sur-
prise, it is a euphemism of God."

   5. Gee: "it is an interjection (a euphemistic contraction of
Jesus), (slang), an exclamation of surprise, etc."
  All forms of
Gee, Geez or Cheez, Cheese, Cheece, Sheece, still relate back
to the Lord Jesus Christ when used as an exclamatory remark.
   6. Jiminy Crickets: has been used by many professing
people, however, it is also a euphemistic expression of Jesus
Christ.   It is just a way to try to exchange acceptable words
with which to euphemistically use our Lord's name lightly.   It
is an interjection.
   7. Many forms of expressions as: Great day, Toledo, etc.
While the words may not in themselves mean anything
wrong, their usage makes them a replacement for the Lord in
an exclamatory remark.
   8. The expression "man at the wheel" has a direct
reference to the Sovereign God of the universe who is in con-
trol of all things, but here euphemistically applied and taken
lightly or disbelieved altogether.   It is not a light thing to
acknowledge God's sovereignty in an empty statement.   For
He is Sovereign.
   9. Egad: "(igad,' egad') interj. (prob. ah God), a softened
or euphemistic oath."

   B. The usurping of God's authority of judgment or
making light of His character.

   1. Darn: (all forms of this word included) an interjection,

a euphemism of the word damn and is a form of a curse.   A
curse is never inflicted seriously except it call upon God to do
the damning.   It places the curser in the seat of authority in
God's place to sit judgment over the one being cursed and
makes God subordinate to the one using the curse word to in-
flict damnation at their will.   It is calling God to take ones own
side and condemn the other person to Hell.   It matters not
whether the person says, "dag-nabit," or "gosh-darn," or "dar-
nation,"
all of these words use God's authority and name
lightly and wrongfully.
   2. Holy Cow: Holiness is an attribute, a perfection of God
in which we view God separated from all sin (morally and
spiritually).   A cow has no soul, it is a-moral and is without a
spirit.   These kind of words have a way of making light of God's
character.   There also is nothing Holy about smoke.   It too, is a
euphemistic way of using a word with a wrong intent to make
it seem acceptable, and with lightness (in vain).
   3. The Lord willing and the creeks don't rise: is a
mockery of the Lord's sovereignty.   As a matter of fact He does
control the creeks, therefore, the two are not contrasts.
  (Beware of telling of jokes that use the person of God as a
character within a joke.   And while it need not directly attack
or directly mock His being, it does use Him in a lightness or
manner of foolish jesting.)   Eph. 5:4, "Neither filthiness, nor
foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but
rather giving of thanks."

   III. Conclusion:

   There is no intent to go into all the foul, filthy words of
modern-day vocabulary, it should not be necessary.   Eph. 4:29,
"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but
that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister
grace unto the hearers."
  Col. 3:8, "But now ye also put off all
these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication
out of your mouth."

   The Jews, as was their human custom, would use God to call
upon Him to be their witness in oaths.   They refrained from us-
ing His Holy name in conversation because of His power and
Holiness.   They had first-hand historical experience for
disregarding His Holiness.   Yet, because they were not born-

again their actions were often only legalistic in nature and not
because of their love and relationship to the Lord.   They were
commanded to "not swear" in lightness.   Matt. 5:34, "But I say
unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's
throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by
Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.
[..]" (vs. 37), "But let
your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is
more than these cometh of evil."
  Israel was taking oaths lightly
and calling on God to back their position.   Jesus said just say
yes or no and back your word with action.
   What's wrong with using sound proper words?   Why do
Christians need the crude, rank, unwholesome, blasphemous
cursing language of the world?   Look at Col. 4:6, "Let your
speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may
know how ye ought to answer every man."

   To use euphemisms for God is the same as if His own name
were used.   Christian cursing and cussing is getting more
popular and socially acceptable as the world infiltrates the cir-
cle of the Lord's people.   Many of the New Evangelical chur-
ches (which are no more than some type of religious organiza-
tion of people) are using this modern jargon to identify
themselves with the world and to show them that they are just
like them.   Well, maybe they are.   But that does not justify us.
   Remember, it is not always the words by themselves that we
use, but often it is the intent of the expression, whether anger,
frustration or disagreement that we feel toward God.
   Now what can we do?   It is simple.   Don't use words (actual or
euphemistically) that will break fellowship with our Saviour.
And as important: learn to direct our thoughts, words, and
feelings to the Lord.   He is Sovereign.   He is coming soon!!!

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