Profanities and vulgarities are becoming more common in American culture. Words once reserved for the locker room, barracks, or factory floor are now shouted as cheers at major sporting events. In San Diego, the Padres vanquished their hated playoff rivals—the Evil Empire known as the Dodgers—and a player coined a rally phrase which has been shortened to LFGSD. The clean version is “Let’s go, San Diego.” The organization flashes those letters on their reader boards to incite chants from the crowd. You can fill in the blank with the missing F word—as children around me in the ballpark did last week. In addition, my frequent trips to college football stadiums are consistently marked by vulgar cheers—usually starting in the student section and joined by fans of all ages. And many of those fans will also be singing along with Taylor Swift’s new album released last week—profanities included.

Raw language has been part of my life for a long time. Growing up with a father who managed racing teams and ten years as a chaplain in a major league baseball clubhouse means I have heard it all. And, in my younger days, I even said a few choice words. One of clearest memories as younger teenager was the first time I uttered profanities in the shop in front of my father. He turned to me and said, “You can talk like that out here if you want. But if I ever hear anything like that in front of your mother, I will slap those words back down your throat.” Probably not an acceptable parenting strategy today, but the message was received and heeded! Some words are offensive, communicate disrespect, and should be used circumspectly—if at all.

Many people today, however, insist, “They are just words and people should be able to say whatever they want. Free country!” Just words? The inconsistency in that argument is ludicrous. I can think of three words, that if I typed them in this sentence, would lead to my immediate termination. Even if I wrote them only as an example of what not to say, it would still end my career. So, please don’t try to make the case that words are “just words.” Words matter. They have power and reveal the character of the person using them.

So, what can be done about the coarsening of language in our culture? Nothing. The genie is out of the bottle. You can, however, choose what you say and quietly influence others by your example.

The Bible instructs believers “no foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear it” (Eph. 4:29). When you avoid foul language—offensive, disrespectful words—and speak “what is good” you build up others and shower grace on them.

One of my Christian friends was a young executive in a major company. One day, I was standing nearby while he talked with the company’s owner about an issue. When my friend walked away, the owner turned to his grandson standing next to him and said, “Watch that man and try to be like him. Did you know he never cusses when he gets upset? He’s the kind of man you want to become.” Overhearing that conversation reminded me of the power of words and how unusual it is today to communicate without resorting to profanities and vulgarities. People notice and, as the Bible says, grace flows.

Words matter. Grace others by using words that build up, rather than denigrate or demean—even at the ballpark!


Read More

Contentment

Dr. Iorg provides four ways you can start reinforcing contentment in your life.

Jeff Iorg
President
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president of Gateway Seminary. Prior to his service at the Seminary, Dr. Iorg was the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost ten years. He was also the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Oregon, and has served as a pastor in Missouri and a staff pastor in Texas.

God’s Sovereignty in Esther

The implicit language of Esther maintains the mystery of God’s sovereignty—a topic human beings naturally are unable to comprehend.

Sang Boo
Pastor of Canvas Ministry, Good Community Church of Torrance
Pastor Sang joined Good Community Church in June 2014. He earned two degrees from Gateway Seminary: the MDiv in 2009 and the PhD in 2017.

Listen

Study Isaiah
November 21, 2022

King Cyrus: Servant of God – Isaiah 40-41

In this episode, Dr. Wegner introduces the next palistrophe: Isaiah 40-48. He loves palistrophes.
Lead On Podcast
November 20, 2022

Cultivating Contentment

Dr. Iorg discusses checking personal ambition and achieving contentment and provides four ways for leaders to grow and practice contentment.

Watch

Spirituality of Jonathan Edwards | JEC at Gateway Seminary

Dr. Chris Chun hosted a digital symposium with Dr. Michael Haykin and Dr. Robert Caldwell to discuss Edwards’ spirituality, devotional life and theological impact in American Christianity.

Chris Chun
Professor of Church History | Director, Jonathan Edwards Center
Dr. Chris Chun is the professor of Church History and the director of Jonathan Edwards Center at Gateway Seminary. Chris’ doctoral research at St. Andrews University was focused on the eighteenth-century Edwardsean Baptists in Britain. He also has served as president of The Evangelical Theological Society (Far West Region).

Faculty Dialogues: Dispensationalism or Not

In this episode of Faculty Dialogues, Dr. David Rathel and Dr. Paul Wegner held a live discussion on their views on dispensationalism.

David Rathel
Associate Professor of Christian Theology
Dr. Rathel is the associate professor of Chrisitian Theology at Gateway Seminary. Prior to Gateway, Dr. Rathel supplied pastoral care to churches in the United States and Scotland, served as an Adjunct Professor of Theology and Philosophy for the Baptist College of Florida, and provided teaching assistance for the University of St Andrews.

Get updates on new content!