Does the Bible say anything about not using obscenities?

Does the Bible say anything about not using obscenities? We limit what music our teenage boys can download. Obviously, we do not allow songs that glorify extra marital sex, violence and the use of foul language. My 17 year-old wanted to know where in the Bible it prohibits the use of obscenities. I pointed out the verse where we are instructed to think on all things that are noble and pure. There must be more. Thank you.

Dear __________,

Pointing to Philippians 4:8 was a good response. Another place that addresses this issue is Ephesians 4:29: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Of course, this, as with Philippians 4:8, is not an direct prohibition against swear words all across the board. You won’t find that anywhere in the Bible. As usual, we aren’t given an explicit list of do’s and don’ts; rather we are instructed to take heed of our motives. If your son is looking to find a biblical rule about swearing, then he will also be able to find a loophole. That’s the problem with a litigated life. The context of both Philippians and Ephesians is an appeal for unity in the Body of Christ. That is the principle we’re given for judging when swearing is unwholesome (mostly it is). If our focus is on “making every effort to keep unity of the Spirit” (Eph 4:3), rather than simply not swearing in the hopes of pleasing God with a civil religion, then we are sure to do right, and more importantly, make it right when we do wrong.

May the Lord bless and keep you and your family.

Warm regards,

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3 Responses to Does the Bible say anything about not using obscenities?

  1. wolfsrosebud says:

    Speaking in Psalms and Songs… may you continue to be a godly witness to your family.

  2. James 3 is a good chapter on the power of the tongue. Something I have to think about a lot!

    • reneamac says:

      Yes. Excellent. James, a letter to the church about how to be a church, is another great example of the bigger picture.

      > But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then > peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, > impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of > righteousness. (3:17-18) > Thanks, Joy.

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