I want to begin this article with a warning and an apology. A warning because it contains two commonly used partial acronyms that use God’s name in vain and an apology for having to use them for the context of the article. Col. 3:8, “But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.” In speaking to the Colossian church, Paul had much to say that applies to us today as well, but this morning I want to concentrate on “…obscene talk from your mouth.” Over time, our language has descended into what can only be described as a precariously awful state. “Awful” because of the actual language used, and “precarious” because of where it leaves the speaker. Let’s begin with what I consider the vilest of all obscene talk. In Ex. 20:7, we read, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.”
The worst of all the ugliness that comes from people’s mouths, including many Christians, is expressly forbidden in the ten commandments. Presently, it seems nearly impossible to watch a movie or a Television show where we do not hear the term “om…!” But it is not the only term used; another is “…C!”. While the former is more commonly heard, both are equally blasphemous and should be avoided at all costs. The saddest thing about that is that their prevalence in almost every aspect of life, including entertainment, politics, and everyday speech, has caused a lot of Christians to be guilty of their use. I often say to my wife that it sounds like a motto these days, used to express happiness, sadness, excitement, and disgust.
Is it mocking God? I think so, even if the speaker is not aware of it, which is highly doubtful if they are Christian. There is a warning in the Bible about mocking God that should be carefully read and stored in the front of every mind. Gal. 6:7, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” We should never fall into the trap of thinking that words “don’t matter” if they are not explicitly meant. Moreover, what does it say about Christianity if non-believers hear the supposed children of God blaspheme the One they purport to follow.
Other cuss words, disparaging terms and phrases, and lewd language are so common that they don’t seem to raise an eyebrow amongst many Christians anymore. Personally, I think a lack of proper vocabulary forces the speaker to use foul language to get their point across. It is also purposely used to intimidate or provoke someone and often leads to arguments and even fights. Eph. 5:4, “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.” We should never partake in anything that disgraces us or what we believe in. And we should make it quite clear to others that we do not want to hear it from them either. The problem is that many will not do that because they fear losing a “friend” more than the wrath of God, so they overlook it or pretend they did not hear it.
Years ago, a young girl in our church was the epitome of what a Christian should be in that respect. She was a teen in high school at the time, but she felt no fear of admonishing those who were using foul language in front of her. I asked her if she was not afraid of their reaction, and she replied, “No, I don’t need friends who do that.” What a lesson for all of us. Why would we not stand up for morally sound speech, and why would we not admonish those who use our Father’s name in vain. But above all, why would we blaspheme the name of God who gave His Son as a sacrifice to allow us to have the hope of a place in heaven? Watch your language because He is listening.