Thursday, October 20, 2005

Factory Work and Swearing

I just spent the last two days working in a factory. I didn’t have the worst job in the world but it was pretty bad. The whole time I was working I couldn’t help but think how unnecessary this job was. Without trying to explain what I did, it just seemed to me that the job they were paying three of us to do could have somehow been avoided altogether. Then again, I’m a musician who plays in a band. I know nothing about the process of plating steel.

I stood in one place doing one motion over and over in a very noisy and dusty environment. This meant I had earplugs and earmuffs on my head as well as a full facemask to keep out the polluted air. It made my head feel heavy. So with all that gear on, there is no way you could communicate with anyone around you. You could stop and yell whenever you wanted though, as well as sing as loud as you want and make all the weird sounds that you normally stop yourself from making. Well maybe that last one is just me. Fortunately for me I only had to endure two days of it.

While I was there I forgot about the bubble I live my life in. I was in the change room and a guy came in, walked up to his locker, sighed and while exhaling simply said f#%k. I have to admit, it made me laugh. Then once conversation got rolling, so many F-bombs were dropped that if this scene of my life were a movie it would certainly have received an R rating. Most people in school or working outside of churches deal with this all the time, but like I said, I live in a bubble, playing Christian events, going from church to church, constantly with likeminded people. The Bible makes it clear that we shouldn’t use God’s name lightly or meaninglessly, so when that happens I often wince, but any of the other standard North American swears often make me laugh more than anything. I think it’s just because I rarely hear swears. Is it bad that I find some swearing funny? (At least the dumb pointless swearing.) Am I way off here? I figure that some words that we use everyday are considered nasty elsewhere and in other places in the world some of our nasty words are acceptable.

So as a Christian how do I respond to swearing? How about this from Col. 3:8.

“But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.”

What is filthy language? I mean, there are some pretty obvious things that fit into this category but is saying a$$ filthy? Is saying poop filthy? Real poop is filthy but is the word filthy? I don’t know. I normally just try to avoid the grey areas as much as possible. If it’s questionable, then I avoid it. That’s the easy answer. Certainly saying any of the well-known four letter words doesn’t make me sound smarter.




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