Beliefnet
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For
those of you new to this sight and are lifelong Christians, I’ll wait while you
have sufficiently picked yourself up off the floor and taken some nitro
capsules for the near heart attack brought on by your reading of the word “jackass”
in a Christian website.

My
column has one rule, only the truth is important, because truth is designed to
renew our minds from error, which for Christians usually results in legalism.
The truth is calling someone a jackass isn’t a curse word any more than calling
someone a pig or chicken is. Sure it CAN be
used as a malicious verbal attack but I am assuming you have a dictionary and
if so look up the definition before you throw stones. For those of you who
don’t have a dictionary and are Christians, you may have already trained
yourself not to think deeper but instead to have others think for you which is
not only a sin but should be illegal and grounds for excommunication and/or a
return to the tried and true biblical motivational tool of stoning.

The
reason I believe there is a season for using harsher words to drive home a
point is because Jesus did it. Jesus referred to Pharisees as a “generation of
vipers” which means either “sons of snakes” or “snakes”. Did Jesus curse? No.
Apparently using metaphors to describe a sinful act or behavior is ok by God.
Can you honestly reason that calling me a snake is less insulting than a
donkey?

Context
allows us, when trained, to hear someone out and evaluate concepts before our
traditional, usually denominational filters kick in. There are words that are
spoken only as an insult when the word isn’t inherently insulting. What IS
insulting is what the word represents.
I’ll bring up the word “bastard” as a perfect example because I read that Clay
Aiken inseminated someone, more than likely a woman, and she had a baby. Progeny
that came from the process of insemination without the marriage commitment USED
to be called bastards.

It
was a stigma that was supposed to shame the inseminator and inseminate-e to do
the right thing and get married and raise the child responsibly. In other
words, words, were supposed to carry
weight and at times shock and disturb so as to have some shot at affecting
change.

Words
like adultery, whore, bigamist and secular humanist were all designed to shock
and shame us into remembrance of our sinful nature. Even the word “bitch” which
is still used daily in any kennel in the world to describe a female dog would
still cause outrage if used in the Christian church community even if used in context!

The
reason some words are vanishing is not because of the church and all its
holiness. It’s dying by decree of the politically correct that realized if you stigmatize
the power of a word instead of the person’s behavior, you then magically make
the act or behavior no longer outrageous.

Creating
a “bastard” now becomes your choice. I mean why judge the child right? It’s not
their fault they’re a bastard so lets just say it doesn’t matter and be done
with it. While we are at it though it would really
help to make good words bad.

“Father”
now is the equivalent of bastard since it is sexist and oppressive to believe
that a man must be involved in a child’s life to make it legitimate. I believe
in the power of words. I have made my living as a comic for 20 years by NOT
using curse words as in the case of comedy I believe it is overused and a
crutch often times for poor uncreative writing.

It is
only in specific gatherings (men only, trusted friends, hardened hearts) that I
may at times use harsh words like jackass for example specifically to drive
home a point that I know will be more expedient and forceful in delivering the
truth, just like Jesus did. That’s what words are for! If I was to say to
someone that being a legalist makes you a self-righteous jackass, I believe the
shoe fits.

If the
word demands they evaluate their behavior or worldview then it is changing
their life to drive them deeper to Christ. I also believe, as did Jesus
apparently, that it is being done in love. The best kind of love mind you,
tough love.

Love
by the way, is how we are expected to communicate; it’s not a suggestion, it’s
a command. It is time for true believers to learn the spiritual habit of always
judging words by context, not content.

 Remember all things are lawful, but not
everything is expedient. Certainly I would never use crass expletives,
obscenities, blasphemy or profanities, my point is that often Christians have
defined some words as such that clearly can’t be if we see how Jesus spoke.

Believers
are not to abuse Gods grace but to understand words are tools and not to be
feared. We as believers should be the most proficient in using them
effectively. Anything less is creating a stable of jackass’s masquerading as
Christians. MAN it feels good to say that. Why not, it’s expedient!

 

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