Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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The Pervasiveness of Profanity

Immediately following the Dallas Cowboys victory over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game in December 1995, Michael Irvin, one of the Cowboy’s stars, was interviewed live on the national broadcast. While profanity is common these days on television, one of the words Irvin said caused quite a furor in that it is still considered unacceptable for use on TV.

The same scenario had taken place with a Pittsburgh Steeler’s player a few hours before. In this case, he uttered what is considered by many to be the ultimate profanity. While the Steeler later apologized, (in part), Michael Irvin refused to apologize, saying, “Now, understand, you put me right back in that stadium and somebody turn on a live camera and ask me that same question, I will say it the same way because those are my feelings, and if I’m going to talk to the media and I’m going to be honest, not phony, and you guys want me to express myself, I will express myself and I will show you deeply how I feel. I felt that deeply enough to say that word.”

There are many points to be made regarding such a statement, and the use of profanity. First, such language shows a lack of class. In defending Irvin, some pointed to his so-called “class”. They said, in effect, you would not say that he lacks class if you knew him better. However, the complete disregard for the feelings of others, the sensitivities of children, etc., shows a lack of class in anyone who uses profanity in public. (Or private, for that matter).

Second, it shows an inability to express oneself by using the English language. Irvin claims that the use of profanity is the only way he could express himself with sufficient fervor. Expletives are a lazy way of substituting gutter language for the adjectives and adverbs that make our language colorful and powerful. Young people, realize this. It is not cool to cuss, and it shows no power. The only thing that is revealed by your use of profanity is ignorance!

Third, it shows how pervasive the use of profanity is in our society. It is literally everywhere! It is almost omnipresent on television, in the movies, at work and school. It has become socially acceptable, and is heard often from the mouths of both men and women. It is just another indication of how profane our nation has become. The primary definitions of the adjective ‘profane’ in Websters is: “Not concerned with religion or religious purposes. Not holy because unconsecrated, impure, or defiled.” Surely we do not want such a word to be descriptive of our language? Listen closely to what scripture says concerning our speech.

“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Col. 4:12).

“But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth” (Col. 3:8).

Remember, God too is displeased when we use profanity. Let us heed the statements of scripture, and always speak only with grace.