PROFANITY = SIN
There is much language that is bad, such as swearing, cursing, blasphemy, and other forms of insulting, rude, vulgar, obscene, obnoxious, and disrespectful speech. We call all of these to be ‘profanity’.
When our holy God, His holy things, are desecrated, debased, with or without strong emotion, it is profanity. Foul words, insulting words, vulgar language is profanity.
It is reported that one out of every 200 words the average person speaks is profanity. One out of every 100 words spoken is a personal pronoun of ‘I, we, me, us’. So, people speak profanity half as often as they refer to themselves.
The word ‘PROFANE’ comes from the Latin word ‘profanus’, meaning ‘outside the temple.’ It carried the meaning of the words spoken by people passing the temple who looked in and spoke evil of the people therein, or the fact of the place of worship being there, or insult to the God worshipped there. Those words were called ‘profane.’
Today we see much secular attack on Christians, Christianity, moral stands of Christians, spoken verbally, and therein become profanity. Secular indifference and secular insult on the faith and those dedicated to it is profanity. Blasphemy differs in that it is more offensive in attack and insult.
Long ago there were comic cults which made a practice to laugh and mock, scoff and berate, the Christian faith. Today that still continues under a different name, and accompanied by the applause of many.
Swearing to many is something therapeutic, they claim. They use swearing to express pain, small or great. In their swearing, they insult God, defame themselves and others, call forth curses, and do so thinking it is beneficial to their lives. Even chimpanzees are seen doing similar verbal exclamations. The use of foul language, dooming of oneself and others to eternal hell, and calling for fornication to occur, is indicative of a sick and sinful mind.
We are told that men swear more than women, unless women are in a sorority, and then they are more equal. We are told that university professors swear more than the university librarians. Though foul language shows a void of vocabulary that would be more appropriate, we find that those proud of their supposed education, swear more than the less educated, and ones with smaller vocabularies.
Some point out that the Bible (II Kings 18:27) speaks of some who ‘eat their own dung, and drink their own piss.’ Those words are a quote from a heathen cup bearer of the king of Assyria, and cannot be called a condoning of foul words.
In the Book of Ezekiel, we see God calls the idols that people were worshipping to be ‘gillulim’, translated ‘idols’ but actually means ‘piles of dung’. This disrespect of God for heathen idols and the demon powers they represent is not justification for us to disrespect the true God, and to use foul language referring to the true God and His people. If one wants to insult and mock demon powers, God will not object. He did too. Yet, we are not to be respectful of His children and of the Trinity.
The word ‘damn’ and ‘damnation’ has often been used in profanity. Damnation is reference to divine punishment for sin. A ‘damned’ person is one in hell, or being wished to be in hell. The Latin word ‘damnare’ refers to ‘putting a pronounced judgment upon.’
The word refers to the condemning a person to hell fire. What wrong could someone do to you, that you would, even if you could, pronounce them bound for hell fire? Do any of us have that authority? Are any of us so perfect as to not have done sins greater than the one for which another is being pronounced doomed to hell for? The word is even used in belittling of the truth that some will be ‘damned’, and the truth is that some will be if they do not find Jesus.
We hear words like ‘damn yankees’ (a term southerners used to refer to those of the northern states), indicating originally that all ‘yankees’ were supposedly bound for hell. Then it took on a lesser meaning, and that lesser meaning belittles the truth that damnation is a fact, one not to be used in jest, not to be belittled as though it is not factual judgment for sinners.
Hell is what sinners receive in payment for their sins. The wages of sin is death and the judgment of hell fire for being unrepentant for those sins. Damnation is a reality, one we must not deny its true nature. We need to let only God decide who is going to receive damnation, and it is blasphemous to God for us to try to utter words of damnation to anyone. We have not that authority. God still loves sinners. God still is trying to redeem them. He is not going to doom someone to hell for the act of cutting us off in traffic, for doing something else we deem mean. He has set the rules, He has provided a time of mercy and grace, and only He can end that time and allow someone to go to damnation.
Today, some want to make ‘damn’ a mildly profane word. They change the spelling to ‘darn’, ‘durn’ ‘dang’, ‘dad-nab-it’, etc. but the meaning and emotional intent is the same. To try to make it mean something else is more easier than changing the words to ‘bless you’, ‘God forgive you’, or ‘I will pray for you.’ Those words would reflect the love a Christian should have, and any other changing of spelling for ‘damn’ is still as profane as the original word.
We see it now used as an expletive, in ‘D..., he/she is fine.’ Or ‘D..., that is a nice car.’ Or ‘Hot D....!’ Or as a response to ‘I just won the lottery’... answer ‘D...’ All these are still profane words, belittling (at best) the idea of damnation being a bad thing, not a good expletive.
Abusing our language gift from God is not indicative of the love and thankfulness we should have for the gift of speech.
Verbal abuse is speaking negatively toward others. If there is not an apology and retraction of insults and defamations, the relationship with the person is damaged, and the anger of God is aroused.
Bullying involves verbal abuse. There is far too much bullying in marriages, in families, in churches, in society. The news reports, the political discussions, the arguments at the dinner table of husbands and wives, is too often filled with verbal abuses.
All of us, regardless of gender, race, culture, age, size, etc can be victims of verbal abuse. Depression, post traumatic stress disorder, emotional pain, mental anguish, and deep hurt are created by verbal abuse. Verbal abuse is the most common form of abuse. Some want to ban guns, ban bombs, and yet the tongue and the lips are far more common weapons in the warfare of mankind.
There are multitudes of forms of verbal abuse. All of them can be called profanity if said to those who belong to Jesus. There is judging and criticizing, there is trivializing, there is threatening, there is name calling, there is anger, bullying, emotional abuse, psychological manipulation, etc.
Those need not be part of our words. We may insult the devil, speak of his doom in hell, bully him away from us, and get angry at his stupid interference in our lives. For others, we need to be very careful in our words.
The profane language is to be ‘put off’, and that is a command from the Lord. The ‘old man’ was put off, with all his deeds, and yet, now the deeds need commanded to be put off again. The words keep creeping back, and are difficult to remove.
Colossians 3:8-10 (KJV)
8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
The evil man will speak evil things, for out of the heart will flow the evil therein. When we become saved, we find the good salvation in us will generate good words. We shall have to account for ‘every idle word’ that we may speak. There is coming a ‘day of judgment’, and our words will testify against us, or for us.
Matthew 12:34-36 (KJV)
34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
The words that flow out of us will defile us. There are multitudes of persons in the faith at the moment that spend much time and effort telling us what to eat, drink, and what pills to take to make ourselves healthy. That may be true, and good, but the real defiling is not done by what we allow to go in our mouths, we are defiled by what we allow to flow out of our mouths.
Why are there not more interest in telling people to beware what is flowing our of our mouths?
Matthew 15:10-11, 17-20 (KJV)
10 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand:
11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. ...
17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?
18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.
The profanity that comes out of our mouths will increase to greater and greater sins. Sin defiles, and sins of the tongue do not remain in that form only.
2 Timothy 2:15-17 (KJV)
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
Hymenaeus and Philetus were two men that Paul says let sins of the tongue lead them to more and more sin. Their words had worked as a ‘canker’ and led them to more ungodliness.
In I Timothy, Paul had addressed Hymenaeus and Alexander:
1 Timothy 1:20 (KJV)
20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
They were speaking words that Paul called ‘blasphemy’. They must have continued in that sin, and it led to more sins. Hymenaeus made shipwreck of his faith, and finally led others into sins, and into overthrowing their faith also. The II Timothy verse shows the addition of Philetus and his similar sins to Hymenaeus. Alexander had also continued on, and in fact, he had done much evil to Paul, withstanding the teachings of Paul, adamant and hateful to Paul. His sin too started with smaller verbal sins, and now were progressed to greater sins than before.
2 Timothy 4:14-15 (KJV)
14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:
15 Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.
All of these formerly had faith and a good conscience before shipwrecking there lives. Hymenaeus and Philetus sinned with the tongue, and ended up overthrowing their own faith, and the faith of others.
Philetus is a name that means ‘amiable’ and he and Hymenaeus said that the "resurrection was past already".
2 Timothy 2:18 (KJV)
18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
This was a Gnostic heresy held by the Nicolaitanes of that day. That heretical teaching that the rapture and resurrection had already come, and that those still present were suffering the tribulation period was a doctrine that hindered, scared many of the believers. They had given their heart to the Lord, and trusted that He would keep them from God’s judgment in the tribulation period. Yet, now they were being told that Jesus had not raptured them and they were going to have to die in this current judgment to reach heaven.
Their faith was ‘overthrown’. The word anarepo means that their faith which had been growing was now turned around and decreasing in the despair of the false doctrine being taught by these men. Their words of despair were called here to be ‘blasphemy’. Their words were denigrating the message of deliverance from God’s wrath, as taught by Paul.
Paul had “delivered” Hymenaeus "over to Satan". This was a form of excommunication, to show him that without God, the alternative in satan is a fearful thing. He must have been restored after repentance, and then again fell into sins of the tongue. The sentence of excommunication had only worked for a time. When Paul wrote II Timothy, Paul was soon to be beheaded, and go to heaven. So, here in his last epistle, he announces that Hymenaeus had gone far too far in his sins of profanity.
He is to be "disciplined." The purpose of this ‘discipline’ was to make them ‘learn’. The punishment was to be grave, and shake up this loose lipped group.
The seriousness of all profane words is that they are a canker to one’s life. A canker is a dying or decay of a part of the body. Profanity and vain babbling ‘increase unto more ungodliness.’ The body of believers will have a ‘canker’, i.e. a dying part upon it, weakening and endangering the whole of the body.
A little yeast leavens the whole loaf. One corrupt person in the church, uttering profanity can deprave the whole church. We must purge out the leaven of foul words, lest the whole church be corrupted and harmed by those words.
So, yes, profanity is sinful.