Who, me?#3. “Swearing…?”

Who, me?#3. “Swearing…?”

There was a time when some Christians believed that movie theatres were no-go zones for good church folk. Of course, with Television bringing those same films into the home, the “Faithful Christians don’t go to Movie Houses” movement quickly died out.

This did not mean that the godly film critics were wrong. On the contrary, it just meant that the sinful language and behaviour that people once travelled to and paid for was now freely piped into their living rooms.

As a brand-new Christian, I quizzed my preacher and his wife as to their reluctance to watch the latest John Wayne movies. “There’s no swearing in them,” I said. It was at that point that the preacher’s wife smiled and said, “That’s because you don’t consider “Hell” and “Damn” to be swearing.” Which, I had to admit, was true.

Tragically, even some of today’s daytime Disney Children’s Programmes have worse things than “Hell” and “Damn” in them. Like the more than 20 times that the name of Jesus is blasphemed in the latest Batman movie, the ungodly content in children’s programmes is missed because such stuff is considered ‘normal.’

Our faithful preachers and teachers can teach, cajole, and even bully us into better speaking and viewing habits, but that just can’t last. These are conversations that must first be had in our heads, and then taken before the Lord in prayer.

Having dealt with all of this myself, I have long since realised that I have to stop and decide if something is wrong before I start praying about it. Otherwise, I have a tendency to either minimise the sin or claim some degree of victimhood in my exaggerated exertions of weakness. Amazingly, thoughts of self-control suddenly escape me.

Praise God that scripture offers a solution that cleans up our mouths and minds for productive service in the church:
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen”
(Ephesians 4:29).

John Staiger


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