Have any of you ever seen an episode of the television show Dog the Bounty Hunter? The lead character is a flamboyant bounty hunter who seems to make (or did the few times I saw it) a point of showing/claiming that he’s a faithful Christian. I don’t think he his, for many reasons, but one seems obvious: he curses quite often.
In my younger days, I used to curse quite a bit, and seldom thought much about it. As I’ve tried to be a faithful Christian these past few years I’ve worked to do that less and less and now rarely do (and try never to). I have known many people who don’t think it is a big deal. Many of them don’t think there is anything contradictory about cursing at will and being a Christian.
What does the Bible say?
- Hosea 4:2 – there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed.
- Psalm 19:14 – Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
- Ephesians 4:29 – Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
- Matthew 12:35-37 – The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.
- Matthew 15:11 – it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.
- Colossians 3:8 – But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.
- Titus 2:7-8 – Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.
- 1 Peter 3:10 – Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit;
- James 3:9-12 – With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
How exactly would we reconcile cursing and being a faithful Christian? Unless you believe that the Bible doesn’t apply to you, or think that only part of it does, or something equally irrational, I don’t see how you can.
And one last thing: I think there is a big difference between rebellion (I’m cursing and I’m not going to stop) and weakness (I’m trying to stop, but slipped up today and then repented and am trying to not do it again). This article is about the former, not the latter.