Written May 4, 2012     
 

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Do you use "Jesus Christ" or "God damn" as expletives?
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© 2015 Bob Lonsberry

 
 
YOUR SUNDAY SERMON

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There are two words I am going to use just once in this column. They are a name. A name and a title.

Jesus Christ.

I am only going to use them once because I'm trying to make a point. A point that seems for years to have been lost in this society.

And that is that those two words are not a curse or a profanity. They are not an expletive. They are not something to spit out of your mouth in a moment of anger, surprise or wonderment. They are a name, and a title denoting divinity, and should be used as such.

Or they should not be used.

This isn't Bible-thumping, this is simple courtesy. The respect one person pays another, or another's God.

They are tender words, wrapped for many people with love and purity. They are, for some, the center of a life's devotion. And their misuse is an act of desecration and cruelty. A stab at the heart of those who love the Son of God whose name they are.

And when you use them as an expletive, you commit an act that, for its thoughtlessness, debases you. It tears down something precious and sacred to others and within yourself. It displays a callousness that is offensive and brutal.

It is almost an act of religious bigotry.

Peoples the world over have reverenced the name of their diety. For thousands of years Jews did not utter the name of their God, and only wrote his name incompletely. That was to protect it, and to keep it from being profaned, from being cheapened or desecrated by uncouth usage. Muslims show respect for the name of Allah, and that of his prophet, Muhammed. And Christians similarly honor the name of the Savior, and his Messianic title.

This is natural. Just as it is natural to respect those customs, and to not inappropriately utter names or words sacred to others. It would be wrong to mock the name of the Hebrew God, or of Allah, or to use casually and profanely the name and title of the man Christians call Lord.

Those are words used by millions each day in prayer, as they ask favors of God and discuss with him the most important issues of their lives. They are words people will utter on their deathbeds, and as they stand above the deathbeds of loved ones. They are words we call out in times of crisis and joy, when we need love and comfort and some connection with the eternal.

They are words most Americans believe are tied directly to their salvation. A name they believe will give them victory over death, and reunite them in the next life with their loved ones from this life.

They are special words.

And to use them as a filthy cuss word, as a crutch in your conversation, is to track muddy footprints across a beautiful white carpet. To spit in the face of your mother. To throw dog feces across your dinner table.

So don't do it.

You control your speech, you decide what you will say. If you are going to use these two words, use them correctly. Use them reverently.

They are not cuss words. They are not for swearing.

They are for the best part of you, not the worst part of you.

They are meant to build up, not to tear down.

Use them right.


- by Bob Lonsberry © 2012

   
        
   
 
    

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