September 20, 2010
And He (Jesus) called the people to Him and said to them, "Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person." Matthew 15:10-11
My memory isn't as good as it used to be. Now, what was it that Rhett Butler said to Scarlett at the end of Gone With The Wind?
Wasn't it something like "Frankly, Scarlett, I don't give a hoot and a holler"?
Clark Gable really got people fired up when he said what he said in that movie. Since then many words have lost their negative stigma. The use of foul words, sexual words, and blasphemous words have become commonplace, and things once whispered about are now shouted from the housetops.
Recently, the Federal Communications Commission decided enough is enough. In the future, it said, "really foul language on TV would be punished by levying hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of fines."
That was the plan, and it stayed the plan until a federal appeals court said regulating foul language this way was unconstitutional.
So, if I understand this rightly, these are the facts: I can go on TV and throw verbal garbage into the faces of millions, but I can't read a Bible in a high school.
Yes, I know, a person doesn't have to watch a program if foul language is being used. But I also know foul language tends to show up in the most unexpected places and times.
So, what is to be done? I guess we Christian parents and grandparents are going to have to do our own policing of what our youngsters see on TV ... and what we watch ourselves. Of course, that means we're going to have to make sure our own language doesn't set a bad example either.
On that Jesus would agree. After all, the Savior told us it's not what goes into the mouth that defiles us; it's what comes out.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, Jesus was rejected, beaten, abused, spit upon, whipped, and nailed to a cross. Still, Scripture records no time when His language became foul, abusive, offensive, or sacrilegious. Instead, He spoke words to uplift, encourage, challenge, and forgive. May the things we say show we have learned from Him and are inspired by His example. In His Name. Amen.
PS ~ (Yes, I know "vulgariousness" is not a word.)
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries