Just Because You Can Does Not Mean You Should
By Chris Woodward
Governor Ralph Northam (D-Virginia) recently signed measures legalizing swearing and fornication. To be sure, states and their governors have all kinds of rights, and they are free to do whatever they please, provided of course that it does not violate someone’s constitutional rights. That’s not the point of this blog, however. Just because you can do something, in this case, swearing and fornicating, does not mean you should.
Think for a moment how you’d feel if someone used foul language in front of you and/or your child. It could make you want to do the same in return, especially if you have a history of using foul language. I do. It was a habit I picked up working in a television newsroom where people swear so much that it makes a battleship full of sailors seem like a Gaither homecoming. Since I repented of my sins and asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior, I now try to avoid swearing, especially in front of my children. What if my daughters go to school and use bad words? They could get in trouble, I might have to leave work for a parent-teacher conference, and their classmates might do the same.
God tells us to avoid using bad words. He also tells us to avoid fornication, meaning consensual sexual relations between two persons not married to one another. Why? Primarily because He has identified it as sin and sin is an affront to His holiness. But also because it could lead to, among other things, an unintended pregnancy, the transmission of disease, and or a broken marriage. If we would simply listen to Him, rather than giggle at the idea of swearing and fornicating, we would have a better understanding of why it is that we should avoid things such as swearing and fornicating.
Where does it say we shouldn’t use bad words?
No, there is no verse saying, “Thou shalt not cuss.” However, the Bible does say to put off “anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, and filthy communication out of your mouth (Colossians 3:8 KJV).” That same verse in the NIV is translated as “filthy language.” And just what is swearing or “cussing?” It’s filthy language.
Okay, but what about fornication?
There are more verses featuring the word “fornication” than there are scriptures about bad language. For example, I use e-Sword to look up words and how often they’re used in the Bible. According to the program I have on my computer, there are 32 verses in the King James Version that feature the words “fornication.” Depending on your translation of choice, you may find more verses. You could also find fewer verses. Regardless, all Scripture is given by God for doctrine, correction, and instruction (2 Timothy 3:16 KJV). What then are we to take away from the following:
“Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body” – (1 Corinthians 6:18 KJV).
“Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband” – (1 Corinthians 7:2 KJV).
“But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints” – (Ephesians 5:3 KJV).
“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication” – (1 Thessalonians 4:3 KJV).
Again, these are just a few of the verses. In Revelation, Jesus tells churches that he has a few things against them, and one of them is “fornication.”
I realize that some people view God as a fuddy-duddy. He’s not. He is God. He is our Creator. He knows what is best for us, and He loves you so much that He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, to die on a cross for you and rise again so that you might be afforded the opportunity to spend eternity with Him.
Instead of saying something nasty about God, I acknowledge that someone may set their sights on me and mock what I have written. Yes, that might cause me to think of a harsh response, but I’ll try my best not to let it out of my mouth. Why? Well, just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.
“…Be ye holy; for I am holy” – (1 Peter 1:16 KJV).