Friday, February 24, 2012

Language - Purity of Thought, Purity of Word: V

Many Christians are bilingual. They have a language of purity and a language of profanity. Can we have a language of purity while maintaining a language of profanity? Can we be fluent in purity while engaging in profanity? Do we think in the language of purity or the language of profanity?

Manifestations of the language of profanity include “spin” and passivity, which have been touched on in previous posts. Two other manifestations are the language of human anger and the language of common profanity. By common profanity I mean that group of words that once was commonly recognized as “profanity” as well as combinations of words that conjure profane word pictures.

As I’ve written before, an ethos of anger is a grave danger to the American church. The world lives in the chaos of perpetual anger, and that anger has been welcomed into a significant segment of the professing church. As James writes, “…the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.” James associates anger with filthiness and wickedness (see James Chapter One). We excuse our anger and insist that it is righteous anger; is it? Is it over the poor and the needy, the disenfranchised and downcast? Is Christ, the Prince of Peace, the source of our anger? That is, is Christ animating our anger? If so, it is reasonable to expect that anger to be expressed through us in humility, love for those with whom we disagree, no matter how wide the chasm of disagreement; sacrificial living, and a denial of self interest.

Popular media feeds anger; not reflection. Popular media perpetuates confrontation; not thoughtful dialogue. Imbibing the waters of popular media is not drinking at the still waters of our Good Shepherd. We become what we gaze upon, we become what our soul partakes of, and listening to and watching perpetually angry people is the antithesis of allowing the peace of God to rule in our hearts (see Colossians 3:15; James 3:17). There are also angry churches, churches that preach continually what they are against rather than preach what they’re for; rather than preach Jesus Christ. This is a profanation of language in thought and word.    

That language of common profanity, as defined above, is a secondary language that much of the professing church engages in with increasing comfort. It is a language that has polluted pure language; can pure language be pure with impurities?

Can a holy people watch unholy actions for entertainment with impunity? Can a holy people invite unholy images into their hearts and minds for entertainment and remain holy? Can a holy people listen to unholy language for entertainment without consequences? Was ancient Israel able to introduce idols into the Temple with impunity? Were there no consequences when they setup idols on hills and street corners and brought them into their homes?

When we stand before our Lord Jesus will we say, “But Lord, surely you must excuse my indulgence in profanity; after all Lord, everyone was doing it, and entertainment is an inalienable right.”

“What’s that Lord? You had thoughts for me to think? You wanted to fellowship with me? You wanted me in relationship with others for our mutual blessing? You actually wanted me to talk to my wife on a daily basis? I was supposed to spend time with my children? I was really supposed to live a life of prayer?”

“Oh no! You mean what Paul wrote about being the Temple of the Holy Spirit was true? I actually did bring idols into Your Temple? You really wanted me to be Your Presence in my family, neighborhood, and vocation?”

“Lord, is there anyway I can do it over again?”

To be continued…

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