Christians and Foul Language…
Does the Bible comment on the use of foul language? It sure does:
No foul language should come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for needed edification, that it may impart grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the holy Spirit of God, with which you were sealed for the day of redemption. -Ephesians 4:29-30, NAB
Recently, there were some debates in the Catholic blogosphere and Internet world about the use of foul language. Some Catholic writers have embraced the use of foul language, and it seems to be on the rise. When Patrick Madrid, a respected Catholic writer, questioned it, a debate ensued.
First of all, let me say that I am not one to judge. I may write like an angel, but I talk like a sailor. Actually, one of my focuses this Lent is to give up the use of foul language, so I can hardly call out the speck in someone else’s eye with a forest of redwoods in my own.
Many of the “pro foul language movement” have asked, “Does it matter?” Well, yes and no. They have made the point that it is not the language or words chosen that matter, but the intent. A valid point. However, as we learn from today’s Bible verse, our speech should only serve to lift others up, not tear them down.
As Catholics on the Internet, we are trying to evangelize the world around us. Some feel that we need to be more in-tune with society to effectively evangelize, and I wholeheartedly agree, but that does not necessarily mean we have to completely indoctrinate ourselves with society – giving up our moral values to follow theirs.
Personally, I choose to rise to a higher standard. Not because of pride, but because I want to follow the model of Christ and the saints. I cannot imagine Jesus cussing up a storm, or St. Therese using four-letter words. But if others choose to do differently, who am I to judge?
In the end, we have to ask ourselves one question: does the use of foul language build up the Church? Whether we like it or not, we are judged not just by our actions, but by our words, as well. When we speak, especially as a member of the Church, the world will judge us by our words. Make the decision for yourself. Does the use of foul language aide us in spreading the Gospel?
NOTE: Waking Up Catholic is a family-friendly site, and I pledge to not use foul language in an attempt to stir controversy and draw visitors.