What the

... #$%!#$@?

I had an interesting conversation with some folks the other day when I revealed that I'm okay with swearing. As I blog this I imagine some readers having the same reaction as these people. I was and wasn't surprised by their intense response, and from it I assumed that they believed swearing was sinning. They couldn't believe that I could condone such behavior. As I relayed my conversation to Bryan, he noted that we were talking about two different things. While they were objecting to excusing swearing from sin, I was addressing the hierarchy of sin in our speech.

Many believe that all sin is equal. Yes and no. All sin leads us to separation and alienation from God. However, there is scripture that points to more severe consequences for some sin (Matt. 23:14-15), and there are some sins that are more detestable to God (Ezekiel 8, 16).

I think most Christians also have a hierarchy of sin, and what bothers me is that sometimes that hierarchy seems out of order. I rarely get such intense reactions from people who listen to gossip nor do I see people call out sin when others lash out in anger. Mr. Anger Management might have not used the culturally defined swear words, but his sentiment is obviously there.

Something else that I take issue with is that there is a lot of mean teasing among Christians, but it's not called out. In fact, I don't think people see it as sin because it's only a joke. What's kind of troubling is that it becomes a contest of who can cut each other down in the most witty way. I find this more insidiously damaging than swearing.

I think swearing is an easily identifiable action among Christians that separates between the bad and the good. It's another way we pat ourselves on the back for being holy while turning a blind eye to our daily sins that no one else knows about. I want our understanding of sin to go past the surface issues. When I consider all the ways that I may have murdered someone in my heart, swearing seems like small potatoes.

Now I'm not advocating that everyone adopts a potty mouth and that it's okay to f-this and f-that. I just think there's bigger fish to fry.

But... I do find that sometimes, there really is no better word to describe a situation. I particularly like the sentiment behind the metaphor "when the sh@# hits the fan" or the term SNAFU (situation normal all F-ed up).


crystalpchau said...

peggy, i realized what i like so much about your posts-- they totally crush and push on so many "christianese" assumptions and ask the "oh really, is that REALLY true?" questions. And then there's the major BOOYA at the end. I like that. I think we need to be booya'd a lot more than we are.

But i remember one of the first "real" convos i ever had with you maybe early jr year...and i almost screamed blasphemy. I kind of want to spy on all the different convos you'll have with freshmen and unsuspecting people this year.

Seriously though, these are an incredible breath of fresh air.
That's it. I'm dubbing these "Pega-Booya" posts. Complete with E-bombs. classic =).

peggy said...

my area staff team swears. i love it. hahahahHAAHHAHAHhahahah. and i love you. keep making those froshies squirm in their seats! mWUAHAH Jesus rocks.

Beloved said...

LOL i love how both crystal and peggychen thought that you were talking to freshmen when they read this. :P

i'm starting to agree with you, peggy, but at the same time am still being cautious with my language in general. haha, i agree with Crystal, too. i love you, peggy enderle! <3 <3

Lena said...

I agree with your view of mean joking. It's been something that I find hurts my feelings even when I'm not the subject of the joke. Below are two verses that helped me to understand God's heart on the matter.

Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows is a man who deceives his neighbor and says, "I was only joking!" ~ Prov 26:18-19

But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. ~ Matt 12:36