ChurchSpeak That Needs to Die #3: “Shut the #2&@!*@ up!” and Cussing

I remember well sitting in my high school freshman AP English complaining about pastors who curse while preaching. “I will not listen to any pastor who does such a thing.”

I thought she was stiff. In my rebellious 15-year-old brain, cursing was edgy, cute and irreverent enough to annoy my parents.

Twenty-one years later, I’m siding with my “stiff” teacher. The Driscoll-Macarthur-Piper drama about cursing is not the beginning or the end of the matter.

Why this issue is not a no-brainer for Christians is beyond me. As a believer who occasionally (and wrongfully) drops an expletive, I cannot make excuses for my sins—yep, my sin. According to the apostle Paul, “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” (TNIV, Ephesians 4:29).

I will not point a finger at Driscoll or anyone else. Instead, I face the woman in the mirror, challenging myself to glorify God with what I say and what I allow to meditate upon.

And may I also be so blunt as to suggest that much of the discussion about pastors cussing is misdirected because all believers are accountable to God for what we speak no matter what our spiritual gifting is.

For any of us to cuss simply to fit in is to make an idol out of culture and refuse Jesus His rightful place (the center) in our lives.

So stop cussing, missional girl—and every other Christian out there who has the same sin issue!


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