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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Before I retire for the evening, (sleep) I had a semi-serious, semi-funny story about myself. I cuss. Being fully cognizant of 'polite' society, I don't cuss in public, in the presence of elders or children, etc. I could even say that I don't do it out loud much at all. But I have always been challenged, er, convicted by this section of Scripture. (Most clearly, verse 8.) Do you see what "filthy language" is placed alongside? Truly bad stuff. That's the troubling part; you see, I use filthy words when reading theology. Yes, I'm serious. I cannot tell you how many times reading Luther or Watson or Calvin I've exclaimed, "Holy s---, that's brilliant." It seems fairly obvious this prohibition, don't degrade people, don't cuss in anger, etc. But has anyone ever frankly felt that we don't have enough words expressing awe or appreciation that do as well as the foul ones?
And if we return to the previous example, the exclamation is an oxymoron. That which is holy cannot be fairly compared to feces of any kind. And if you use a softer form of the same words, what's the difference? I want to be like Christ. But I fear turning into Ned Flanders. I remain utterly convinced, for instance, that the film Major League is not half as funny when censored for TV. I'm broken and fallen, I know. But I hate it when we don't have (or feel permitted to use) words that fit our intended meanings. On the other hand, I utterly hate the mainstreaming of the word 'piss.' (and its more common form, "pissed off") I'm well aware that I'm using a foul word in that case. But apparently, it's not a naughty word anymore. Does that scare anyone else? The other night, I watched "How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days." Loved it, by the way. It was on cable TV--not a premium channel, mind you--and they bleeped 'Bulls---' but not the GD bomb. That's ridiculous, utterly stupid. Let's see, a colorful metaphor of animal feces that doubles as a way to say, "You're lying," or a phrase that blatantly violates the 3rd Commandment. I think I know which one is worse. So I really don't know what this post is about, except to say I don't really have an answer for myself or anyone else. But please, please, don't use God's Name as a foul word. I think I need even to repent of that.