60 Seconds - Filthiness, Foolish Talking, and Coarse Jesting

A coachman, pointing to one of his horses, said to a traveler, "That horse knows when I swear at him." "Yes," replied the traveler, "and so does your Maker."

In Ephesians 5:3 and 4, Paul spoke of "filthiness, foolish talking, and coarse jesting," stating, "let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints." "Filthiness" refers to "obscenity, all that is contrary to purity." "Foolish talking" is "talk which is both foolish and sinful." In the Greek, it is the word from which comes the word "moron." Someone observed, "Profanity is an evidence of the lack of sufficient vocabulary and brains." "Jesting" carries the connotation of all sorts of low-type conversation, including shady jokes, which are supposed to be funny, but are unwholesome. Lord Byron declared, "He knew not what to say, so he swore."

pocketwatchThe adjective "profane" is found five times in the New Testament. The word comes from two Latin words – "pro" meaning "in front of," and "fane" meaning "temple.' A profane word is one you would not use in church, and is a good way to judge the language we use. No dedicated Christian will use profanity, yet some will use substitutes, which the dictionary calls euphemisms ("the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive word or expression for one that is harsh, indelicate, or otherwise unpleasant or taboo"). "Gosh" is defined in any unabridged dictionary as a substitute for "God." "Gee" is a form of Jesus, used in minced oaths. "Golly" is another euphemism for God. "Darn" and "darned" are colloquial substitutes for "damn, damned, damnation." "Dickens" is used for "the devil," and "doggone" for "darn." It has been stated, "The minced oaths we use are just profanity dressed up in Sunday clothes, but they are profanity just the same."

George Washington's Perspective

George Washington's Orderly Book of August 3, 1776, included this comment: "The general is sorry to be informed that the foolish and wicked practice of profane swearing, a vice hitherto little known in the American army, is growing into fashion; he hopes the officers will, by example, as well as influence, endeavor to check it, and that both they and the men will reflect that we can have little hope of the blessing of Heaven on our arms if we insult it by our impiety and profanity. Added to this, it is a vice so mean and low, without temptation, that every man of sense and character detests and despises it."

Psalm 19:14, "Let the words of my mouth...be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer."

Dave Arnold, Pastor
Gulf Coast Worship Center
New Port Richey, Florida