Sunday, November 28, 2010

Is cursing/profanity a sin?

November 28, 2010

 Is cursing/profanity a sin?

Is using foul/profane language sinful? What is cursing from a biblical perspective? Are certain words said to be unclean in the Bible? If not, why are we told we can’t use them? These are a few questions I hope to answer in this article. Many people today believe a man sins when he uses certain words. These are words with particular meanings and in many cases are useful in expressing ones opinions and feelings. In order to answer these questions from a Christian perspective we will have to go to the scriptures.

What does the Bible say?

The most popular verses people use to denounce the use of words considered profane/curse words are as follows:

Colossians 3:8

“But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth”

Ephesians 4:31

“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:”

There are many other scriptures worded in this manner, but I will only cover these two in this context in order to prove my doctrine. However, I will cover this subject thoroughly and use many verses from the entire Word of God to do so. Let us first discuss the two quoted passages above. In order to understand what is being said here me must first define the words used to express this teaching. After all, if you don’t understand the definition of any given word you cannot discern what is being said in any language, let alone Greek. That being said, we will define the Greek words and then the English in order to better understand what Paul is saying. Let’s deal with the phrase, “filthy communication out of your mouth.”

If Paul is telling us to remove this from ourselves then there must be a clear definition (from a biblical standpoint) as to what it is. Let us explore the definition of this Greek word. This word (filthy communication) is Strong’s #G148

īs-khro-lo-gē'-ä (Key)
Part of Speech
feminine noun
Root Word (Etymology)
From αἰσχρός (G150) and λόγος (G3056)
TDNT Reference
Outline of Biblical Usage
1) foul speaking, low and obscene speech
Clearly this word means foul speaking/obscene speech. But, what is obscene speech or foul language?
Webster define the word foul as such,
adj \'fau̇(-ə)l\
Definition of FOUL
1 a : offensive to the senses : loathsome b : filled or covered with offensive matter
2: full of dirt or mud
3 a : morally or spiritually odious : detestable b : notably unpleasant or distressing : wretched, horrid
4 : obscene, abusive
5 a : being wet and stormy b : obstructive to navigation
6 dialect British :
homely, ugly
7 a : treacherous, dishonorable b : constituting an infringement of rules in a game or sport
8 : containing marked-up corrections

9 : encrusted, clogged, or choked with a foreign substance chimney
was foul and smoked badly>
10 : being odorous and impure : polluted
11 : placed in a situation that impedes physical movement : entangled
12 : being outside the foul lines in baseball

Now which one of these best fits our use? Are words considered any of the above from a biblical perspective? Does the scriptures clearly define any particular word as being,
3 a : morally or spiritually odious : detestable b : notably unpleasant or distressing : wretched, horrid
10 : being odorous and impure : polluted
I think not. Clearly some words are found to be,
1 a : offensive to the senses : loathsome b : filled or covered with offensive matter
But only to those who have been ignorantly taught to think of them this way. The idea that anything is impure in and of itself was refuted by, Paul. Paul said,

Romans 14:14

“I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that [there is] nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him [it is] unclean”

Romans 14:20

“For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed [are] pure; but [it is] evil for that man who eateth with offence”

Paul says that nothing is unclean of itself. The context of the above (Romans) scripture is food and drink, of course, but can be applied to anything. After all, he did say he was convinced by Jesus himself, “that [there is] nothing unclean of itself.” NOTHING! Wouldn’t that include words? Of course it would! In Titus Paul says,

Titus 1:15

“Unto the pure all things [are] pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving [is] nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled”

This passage has to do with “Jewish fables” and “commandments of men.” Rightly so, Paul says, once again, all things are pure to them that are pure. The only instance in which a word (or anything else) would be impure would be where a man thinks it’s sinful, as Paul stated in Romans 14. A man must have a clear conscience before God in order to partake in anything. My goal is to weaken men’s burdens, as the current so-called churches have mislead men into all sorts of “fables” and “commandments of men.” Thus laying heavy burdens on men, just as Jesus accused the Scribes and Pharisees,

Matthew 23:4

“For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay [them] on men's shoulders; but they [themselves] will not move them with one of their fingers”

This should not be, but is just as the Bible predicted it would be in the future, and as it was in Israel when Jesus made the accusation. Certainly, there is nothing new under the sun. Just as the Jews leaders waxed worse and worse, so have the leaders of the modern day churches. They restrict men from things without any biblical precedent whatsoever. The proof in this article is just one of many examples.

2Timothy 3:13

“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived”

It is my contention that men are free to use whatever language (words) they choose in order to express themselves, so long as they do it according to scriptural rules, not man made rules. In order to better understand this subject we must look further at what scripture calls “filthy communication.” We will also look at the word, “evil speaking” which was used in Ephesians 4:31. Let us now discuss “evil speaking.”

Strong’s #G988
blä-sfā-mē'-ä (Key)
Part of Speech
feminine noun
Root Word (Etymology)
From βλάσφημος (G989)
TDNT Reference

View Entry
Outline of Biblical Usage
1) slander, detraction, speech injurious, to another's good name
2) impious and reproachful speech injurious to divine majesty

In Ephesians 4:31 Paul tells us to put “evil speaking” away from us. Paul didn’t consider any particular word to be impure. We can conclude that by his comments in Romans, as well as Titus. It was slanderous/reproachful speech, as the definition above says, that Paul was referring to when he said that. The idea that the Bible claims certain words are unclean is absolutely ridiculous. It makes no such claims, men do. Men lie. God does not; neither does he leave us uninformed as to what he desires from us. Thus we can conclude He (God) doesn’t consider a word in and of itself impure, as Paul said. Never in scripture is it said not to use a particular word/words.

It is as simple as defining the word/words in question in order to understand what is being proclaimed, just as we have done here. You must define the Greek/Hebrew words. The KJV, NJKV, NIV, ESV, NLT, as well as many other translations are not the divine inspired Word of God. They are translations of his Word, and in many instances are corrupted. But, that is another issue altogether. Let us stay on topic. Paul told Timothy,

2Timothy 2:15

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Unless a man is willing to do the necessary work (study) he will never understand what the scriptures say. He will never have the ability to “rightly divide” the Word, and rightly so. If a man doesn’t study, he will one day be very ashamed. If not today, then sometime in the future. We will all stand before God one day and be judged by “every word which proceeded from our mouth“, just as Christ said. But, at the same time, Christ never claimed that words in themselves were impure/unclean. It isn’t the words that are unclean, but the way these words are used. If a man uses words to both bless and curse, James says,

James 3:5-10

“5Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!”
6And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.”
7For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
8But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
“10Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

It is for this reason a man will answer for every word that proceeded from his mouth.

Matthew 12:36

“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment”

And why men must live by,

Matthew 4:4

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God”

Man must live by God’s word, not his own. The commandments of men do not save men from the everlasting judgment, but hearing the Word and doing it will. That is the prerequisite for being a brother of Christ himself. And only the children of God (Christ brethren) will be saved from his sin come judgment day.

Mark 3:35

“For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.”

Men use words to lie. They slander one another and curse each other, and then proceed to bless God with the same filthy mouth. Just as James said, it ought not be. That brings us towards the end of my conclusion. You see, it is the use of language to offend others in a hurtful and inappropriate way that is being condemned.
Every word in any given language serves it purpose. Words are added to the dictionary every year. Some words to the dismay of a few who believe they are either inappropriate or simply for their dislike of the word based on their opinion of it. But, that in itself doesn’t make the word sinful. Let us define some words now in English, some of which are considered inappropriate. I mean no offense in any way to anyone, but must do so to prove my point. First let us define the word, “curse.”


noun \'kərs\
Definition of CURSE
1 : a prayer or invocation for harm or injury to come upon one : imprecation
2 : something that is cursed or accursed
3 : evil or misfortune that comes as if in response to imprecation or as retribution
4 : a cause of great harm or misfortune : torment
5 : menstruation

It is popularly said that If you use certain words, such as, shit, damn, fuck, ass, bitch and numerous others, you are cursing. According to the above definition there is no way that statement could be true unless you were using the word to invoke harm on another. That is, unless the word itself does great harm. I doubt anyone would argue that. I mean we teach our very own children the popular saying,

“sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never harm me.”

That being said, I fail to see the logic in the accusation that one is “cursing” when he uses these words. Let us now look at the definition of the word, “profane.”

Definition of PROFANE
1 : not concerned with religion or religious purposes : secular
2 : not holy because unconsecrated, impure, or defiled : unsanctified
3 a : serving to debase or defile what is holy : irreverent b : obscene, vulgar
4 a : not being among the initiated b : not possessing esoteric or expert knowledge

Now, unless you consider particular words to be unholy/holy in and of themselves (the scriptures make no such distinction) definition #2 would apply. If the word is used as described in definition #3 then it would be blasphemy. I doubt most people use any of the words I listed above in this manner, or at least in every instance with this objective. That being said, I have no idea how this word even applies to any so-called “curse word.” All we need to do is use a dictionary and very little common sense to conclude this. Let us know look at the word, “obscene.”

adj \äb-'sēn, əb-\
Definition of OBSCENE
1 : disgusting to the senses : repulsive
2 a : abhorrent to morality or virtue; specifically : designed to incite to lust or depravity b : containing or being language regarded as taboo in polite usage c : repulsive by reason of crass disregard of moral or ethical principles d : so excessive as to be offensive

Now, this word, which many would say applies to “cursing” and “profanity” has a pretty clear definition.

Now, I will ask a few questions, which I will also answer.

#1. Does God’s word declare any word disgusting? No! Although some words are used in a disgusting manner, the words are not in and of themselves disgusting and neither does God declare them to be. It is the use and manner in which they are used that makes them disgusting.

#2. Whose morality or virtue are we considering here? The worlds? The world has no morality, let alone virtue. Now if one uses a word in a manner which incites others to lust or depravity, then I wouldn’t say the word was obscene in itself, but the manner in which it was used, as is the definition. I won’t bother giving examples of this type of use because I have faith the reader can clearly discern what this speaks of. Mainly you would think of the sexual use of any given word usually directed at the opposite sex in a vulgar manner. I wouldn’t say, however, this word led to lust, but rather the user was already guilty and thus spoke (Matthew 12:36). However, his words can lead others to lust simply by calling attention to it. Jesus said,

Luke 6:45

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”

The mans heart was already filled with lust before he spoke a word. His words are proof of his sinfulness and his need for repentance. His heart is filled with evil. Jesus said so.

Most of the words we could define in the English language pertaining to this subject point to the same thing. It isn’t the word itself that is vulgar, obscene, profane, foul or any other word you might include, but rather the use of the word that defines it. Words are defined by their usage, according to the context they are found in. Nothing (not even words) is considered biblically or otherwise impure in and of themselves. The context in which they are used will define the word from any perspective, biblically or otherwise. The fact that men teach these words are sinful doesn’t make it so.

On another thought, I would like to address the reasoning in exchanging words for the ones taught to be inappropriate. One might call shit 'poop' for instance. Do you know that poop has nothing to do with excrement. It’s earliest known use for defecation, according to the dictionary was in 1903. Let’s look at this word “poop.”
Definition of POOP
intransitive verb
: defecate
Origin of POOP
earlier, to break wind, from Middle English poupen to make a gulping sound, of imitative origin
First Known Use: circa 1903
This word is usually associated with a ships stern. However, at some point was decided by someone to use it to describe defecation.
noun \'püp\
Definition of POOP
1 obsolete : stern
2 : an enclosed superstructure at the stern of a ship above the main deck
Definition of POOP
transitive verb
1: to break over the stern of
2 : to ship (a sea or wave) over the stern
First Known Use of POOP

Apparently this word has been in use a much longer time than the verb form above (#3) which describes defecation. At some point it was decided to use for describing the act of defecating, probably by the general public, as it happens all the time today. After a word becomes popular it is decided by men to put it in the dictionary. The word then is considered legitimate. I would like to point out the words used in the KJV version of the Bible. Some of which are words considered by many to be useless and sinful as follows:

bastard: Deuteronomy 23:2, Zechariah 9:6

Ass: Matt. 21:2, 5, 7 and too many other places to mention

Piss/pisseth: 1Kings 21:21 2Kings 9:8, 1Samuel 25:22, and various others.

I will point out that these words are all considered to be vulgar, and yet the translators of the Bible chose to use them; the readers of the Bible have no problem with their use, and yet the preachers in the pulpit tell us they are of no use, are vulgar when used, and are sinful. How ridiculous! If I declared I had to take a piss some little old lady, probably grandma or a close relative, would slap me in the mouth and rebuke me for the use of that word. Is there some kind of double standard here? Yes, what hypocrites! I guess only the Scribes and Pharisees can use those words!

Matthew 23:4

“For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay [them] on men's shoulders; but they [themselves] will not move them with one of their fingers.”

I sure am glad, and praise God for saying,

Matthew 11:30

“For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light”

Those Pharisees can keep their yoke off my neck!

What is the Bible proclaiming about cursing and profanity and who is guilty of it?

Let us know explore the scriptures and find out. Jesus said,

Matthew 15:11

“Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.”

Just as he said,

Luke 6:45

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh”

It is your words which you will be judged by and your words which identify you. It isn’t a particular word which condemns you, but rather the use of said word, as described earlier in this article. Words tell us a lot about a person. They either tell us the person is evil or good. They are identifying characters, as described in Luke 6:45 above. The Word says,

Proverbs 10:11

“The mouth of a righteous [man is] a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.”

Just as Christ said a good man brings forth that which is good, Proverbs says, the righteous mans mouth brings forth a well of life. There is life in his words, he speaks of Christ, who is life. The wicked man, however, is violent. God hates those who love violence.

Psalm 11:5

“The LORD tries the righteous: but the wicked and him that loves violence his soul hates”

The scripture says,

Proverbs 19:28

“An ungodly witness scorneth judgment: and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity.”


Psalm 10:7

“His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue [is] mischief and vanity.”

The word cursing in the above text is Strong’s #H423
ä·lä' (Key)
Part of Speech
feminine noun
Root Word (Etymology)
From אָלָה (H422)
TWOT Reference
Outline of Biblical Usage
1) oath
2) oath of covenant
3) curse
a) from God
b) from men
4) execration

It simply means to curse men with their mouth as James described in chapter three. I once witnessed Benny Hinn do this in the name of Jesus on live television. By the way, he’s also a fraud and is full of deceit. Men like him who rob the simple minds of every day people have a lot to answer to God for. The scriptures say concerning the righteous,

Proverbs 10:31-32

“31The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out.
“32The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.”

The beginning of the wisdom spoken of is said to be,

Proverbs 9:10

“The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy [is] understanding.”
Men such as Benny Hinn, James Dobson, Jack Van Impe and too many to mention in an attempt to “look” holy do as the Pharisees of Jesus day and,

Matthew 23:27

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead [men's] bones, and of all uncleanness.”

These men are the same as those. They wear their thousand dollar suits and tell us to watch our mouths and yet they are the ones in danger of Hell fire. They are nothing more than white washed tombs or false angels of light as the scripture describes Satan coming. These men are full of cursing, deceit, slander, and all sorts of blasphemy. They are wolves in sheep clothing, hirelings; they speak evil of Christ and his Spirit. The scripture says,

Psalm 34:13

“Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.”

These men can’t help but speak lies and guile. They were appointed to it.

Proverbs 16:4

“The LORD hath made all [things] for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.”
Just as Peter said they were,

2Peter 2:12

“But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;”

These men are the heads of the churches (daughters) of the great whore spoken of in Revelation, who is said to have many names of evil speaking (blasphemy).

Revelation 17:3

“So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.”

As well as the mother of all harlots and every abomination of the earth.

Revelation 17:5


This mother of the harlots is Roman Catholicism. Every protestant church in America and the world is considered her daughter. The scriptures warn,

Revelation 18:4

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”

I wrote this article in hopes of exposing the lies and hypocrisies of the modern day so-called church. I have done my best to prove my doctrine concerning the use of certain words. I in no case advocate the use of any word to curse or bring harm to his fellow man in any way. Remember Jesus never returned any reviling when he himself was reviled. He simply accepted it and moved on. I only write this to help the reader understand the illogic in the teaching of the modern church. I simply cannot agree that anything in and of itself is impure when the scriptures say otherwise. If that ideology were true then we would all be impure due to the sin residing in us from birth, but thank God Jesus Christ died on the tree in order to save his people from the everlasting punishment due them for their grievous sin. This is just one of many fallacies in which I hope to address soon. I pray you will use the words you choose carefully and within your understanding. Remember James words,

James 3:10-12

“10Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
11Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
12Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.”

I hope and pray this will enlighten the reader. May God show you his truth.
Joshua Kelley

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