These have been my observations with certain words that I hear every now and then when hanging around the general Christian community. This is not a study on whether it is acceptable to use a bad word, which it’s not (Ephesians 4:29 & 5:4; Colossians 3:8; James 1:26 & 3:6-10; and much more). Now the question we should answer is what will constitute a bad word? Will saying poo be something that would be put into the realm of bad words? Here is my answer to cover the topic quickly: a bad word is a word that we would find obscene if we heard a child use it. These are the words that children will get in trouble for for saying or writing. It is a taboo word.
Some of the words that are used today were not used as bad words in the past. Many have new meaning put on them over the years, but regardless, Christians should adapt to the changing vocabulary in order to not sin. Probably the biggest argument against bad words is the lawful but not profitable verses in 1 Corinthians. Even if the verses before do not give you enough reason to not want to use profanity, it is almost never profitable to use them. They are the taboo words that will catch a person off guard, and that is not the kind of attention we need to create.
Now, there are levels of these words. The F-bomb is one that is top tier curse word that is the worst of the worst. It being combined with other words just continue to add to it’s profaneness. Then we have the female dog and the donkey words. These words are lower on the rank of bad-wordness. They are still the kind that might give you a jerking feeling when you hear it, but you can occasionally hear it being used in the jargon of certain communities of people (dog breeders and farmers). It is still considered as a general consensus that Christians not use these words either. Lower on the scale I would call the slurs and racial insults. These are only meant as derogatory in most situations, and do not do anything to lift someone up. The N-word is one that I used to use and think I was not sinning in doing so. I had a few friends that would also think the same as me with this. Now these words are generally still considered taboo, but the next area is gray.
My last tier are the words that could be slurs of various body parts or bodily functions. These words often make me feel uncomfortable hearing and I think the only situation SOME of the words can be used are in the confines of marriage between you and your spouse. Some examples are words that used to mean Cat or the nickname for Richard (this is where a large gray area is formed). Other words that stand for being angry or ticked off that can also be used to saying you just urinated (starts with a P and ends with SS). This last word is the word that I hear way too often that I know I needed to address it. These are words that are still considered taboo in a way, and by no means do we think it is child’s language to use it.
The P-word has infiltrated itself into common Christian vocabulary. I have also been part of the ones affected by using the word as an everyday word. I find that this could be the pressures of the secular world trying to make Christians be less “holy”, and maybe even argue that it is a way to relate to the world in general. It is like becoming a Roman to save the Romans. In reality, it is not that. This is my statement, Christians should stop using these lesser bad words because in no way does it bring good attention to the Kingdom. It allows for those outside to blaspheme God and His Kingdom.
So instead of using the P-word to say that you use urinated say you just peed, or if you want to use the P-word to say you are angry, you can say you are livid or ticked or angry. Honestly, there are plenty of words we can use instead of these words, and we do not risk hurting the Kingdom by using the clean alternatives.