The Journey

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

So, I know I just posted, but I was looking at some other blogs and came to a conclusion. Many people use the blog as an excuse to use prophanity. What is that all about??? Pastors, seminary students and all others out there blogging...You don't have the right to swear just because your writing on a blog. I guess I am not inherently sensitive to swearing, but it just makes people sound ignorant. I don't know about you, but I want to sound intelligent when I am putting my thoughts out there for the public. (Not that I am saying I do sound intelligent...I just want to sound that way.) Anyways, it struck me as a little wierd and a little funny that these people open up the prophanities in this venue and then filter them in other venues. Dualistic life or harmless venting? I don't know!


  • At 6:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Damn, you Mr. Torkelson... For your damn comments. Hahaaha... you totally had that coming. Here's a golden rule about this kind of a thing, if you complain about something, your prolly going to get hit with alot of what your complaining about. Seriously dude though, words do not have meanings, do not get offended by people venting and expressing themselves in superflous ways. I respect your right to vent though, i mean it is your "damn" blog. Do not be a hater... hahah.. damn, thats good.

  • At 12:09 PM, Blogger John Torkelson said…

    I understand what your saying and expect to get hit with exactly what you did. In addition, I am not offended by swearing...I believe I made that point. However, my concern is with people I know who act one way in the public forum I have interacted with them previously and then decide that because they are typing on the computer they can let loose and swear. It isn't about's about maturity. What is the kick in swearing anyways. Thanks for your comments and please keep them coming. I love a good discussion!!!

  • At 10:16 PM, Blogger Chris Good said…

    Me personally I have had issues with swearing, I don't find it cool. In fact I tend to skip blogs or postings that include it. I have started down a road that is a life of purity, some how swearing shouldn't be part of that. I am not saying I am perfect...but I really don't believe it's God honoring. So I am trying to root it out of my life.

  • At 12:16 PM, Blogger Bradley M said…

    How do you categorize purity? That is interesting that you can decide that certain words contain internal values of "purtity" while other words are more or less neutral. Also, it is interesting that word meanings change over time, are constantly changing in fact, and some words come to mean their exact opposite over time. Look at the word "let" 200 years ago, i meant to stop action. Now it means precisley the opposite. I take it your relying on what a word references that make it pure or impure. So if i used the word "shit" i am referencing a steaming pile of dump. I dont get it. I dump ever morning. I see dump at horse shows. so what? Interesting, purity in your objection seems to have more to do with how society has determined what a "cussword" is. Swing over to england sometime and hang out with some very devout Chistians there, youll hear them say "shit" "fuck" "damn" and all those words we thing are "impure." No biggy to them. I dont think we can really say words have imherent purity statuses. It has alot more to do with social definitions. Didnt Christ do away with purity categories anyway that the preists used to seperate themselves from the common man? When i hear "religious" people saying that swearing is impure i just cant help thinking "pharisee." Its a good way to seperate out and judge those who arent believers isint it? by outward signs. very convienent.

  • At 1:03 PM, Blogger John Torkelson said…

    Nice try justifying your practice of swearing. However, as much as I agree with you in theory, practice is a different thing entirely. See, first of all, you can't just go and do what you want and ignore cultural norms. Jesus did eliminate the purity status, but did not at the same time eliminate the idea that we are to live pure. If you disagree, maybe we should take a look at the narritive. (I mean the narritive, not proof texting.) Now, is not swearing a part of purity. I don't think I can sit down and find that in the narritive. However, Jesus did suggest that we are to love our neighbor as he loved us, which means sacrifice. If our Chris... has a personal conviction that causes him to be offended by swearing, then maybe we shouldn't do it.
    On a second level I would like to suggest that your argument about the meanings of words does not really apply here. See, most people don't go through the process of searching out the history of a word and most people don't even think about what that history seems to say about the meaning of words. They know what the meaning is in our cultural context and interpret what is said by that knowledge. So, while there is truth to your philosophical ramblings about words, the rest of us are living in the reality of what the people around us will think when we use words. Also, as much as you would like to think that non-christians appreciate your oppeness to swear, it has been my experience that they respect you more as a Christian if you don't! We don't live in England, Brad, we live in America. And as much as you may despise it, here, swearing is thought of as a offensive in most public forums. You may not care what others think, which used properly is a postive stand point. However, I believe the way you have used it crosses the line. In swearing you may and I will goes as for as to say you will cause your neighbor to stumble. And, while you may argue that my subtle reference to Jesus words in the NT is a proof text, I would say that my point is covered in a the narritive of scripture. Causing your neighbor to stumble is definitely not loving them and I think you would agree that loving others is well established in the biblical narritive.

  • At 1:15 PM, Blogger Chris Good said…

    So your telling me that I judged outside nonbelievers...when I was really talking about Christians not swearing.
    I know people at my work make comments about those who swear and those who profess to be christians and how they are so 'TWO FACED'. I just figured that I should not be two faced.

  • At 1:24 PM, Blogger Chris Good said…

    Also if you knew me, you'd know that I have had issues with swearing and being rude through my words. So some context of my comment is not there.
    I am on a road to become more Christ like, I don't expect others who are not on that road to abide by the same rules. One of those items that has been pointed out to me by others and I belive by Jesus is that I truly don't look 'Christ Like' or act as a postitive influence on the world around me when I SWEAR.
    Not only do I appear uneducated, but I also appear to only follow Christ or be a Christian when it's convienient. I have decided, most recently, to turn away from that.

    Again...not perfect...not even close.

  • At 10:22 PM, Blogger Bradley M said…

    Well well well boys, id like to say something. First, Jonny.
    You are doing ideological violence to the bridge between intellection and praxis. By this is mean you feel it savy and lucritive to disregard what you know about the philosophy of language because it doesnt fit into the way you want your particular reality to work. By this is mean swearing is so much a part of daily life and communication you best suck it up and deal with it like a big boy. Just because you go to a Christian seminary, have Christian friends, and work in a "Christian" environment doesnt mean that is what the rest of the world looks like. The world is a mean son of a B and swearing is a way to emphatically isolate and in poetic fashion "hyperbolize" certain existential realities.
    Ever consider the word Jesus uses in the gospels, "Raca." Notice how the bible translators left that in Aramaic? Yeah, thats because it roughly means "mother fucker." No, Jesus doesnt swear though, no way, he cant do that, or can he?

    You bring up a very interesting question, "what does it mean to be on the road to becoming more Christ like?" That is interesting, and i hope you continue to struggle with the question and further, i hope you dont define that road by the rules and legalities of fundamentalism and "legal Christianity".

    Im just trying to be real i guess. Not some fake and not someone who doesnt actually care about the issue.

  • At 3:04 PM, Blogger John Torkelson said…

    It is interesting that you try to claim a closer proximity to reality and the way the "real world" is. Especially, when you know hardly anything about either of us. If you notice, I talked about how the "real world" responds to Christians that think it is better to swear with them, then to take a stand and be set apart. NOT IN SOME PERFECTIONIST,LEGALISTIC,EXCLUSIVE manner. (put that in bold so you don't miss and use those cleche words in your response to me again.) Anywho, back to your errogant statements that suggest that I don't know about the real world. See, I think you are assuming that Chris and I are ghetto Christians that don't associate with non-Christians and have a view point of the world that is nieve. Well, I guess maybe you shouldn't assume things that you don't know. Just because I don't agree with you, doesn't mean I have no experience or less experience in this world than you do. Indeed, I would argue that the fact that I am several years older gives me more time to have been involved with the "real" world than you. I agree that makes no difference if I haven't been in the "real" world, but you don't know that I haven't. The fact is, that I have. The fact is that I speak from experience in swearing and interaction with non-Christians. My other question to you is, "What qualifies you to define swearing as "poetic hyperbole." I know several literary critics, both Christian and non-Christian that would beg to differ with you. (This being a subjective point of contention, I don't guess that I'll get anywhere argueing very much with you, but I thought I would at least mention it.) Finally, you are suggesting that I am letting the so called reality around me define my action or praxis. (Nice that you slipped in a word we just learned about to sound intelligent!) Well, if that is true and that is what I need to do to better accomplish the mission that has been given us through the story of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Then, that is exactly what I will have to do. I am not afraid to stand out from the crowd where it counts and will actually make a difference with out alienating people. See, Brad, what you aren't understanding is that I am not expecting non-Christians to not swear. You also don't seem to understand that I am not shocked or offended inherently by these words. I am simply calling Christians to a higher standard in representing Christ. My last request is never, ever, group me with a fundamentalist or "legal Christian" again. That is a loaded term, which is pretty much like a two year old calling another kid "stupid head." Lets keep the debate above the belt and actually use intellegent arguements to hash this out.

  • At 12:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think that all this debate about swearing is absolutely ridiculous. If you hit your thumb with a hammer, then go ahead a drop a bomb under your breathe. But if you go and stand up in front of a group of people to tell them Jesus loves them and welcomes him into his kingdom, use some words that highlight all that is true and beautiful and marvelous.

    I can't think of one 'swear' word that paints a picture of wonder and beauty in people's mind.

    sh* = excrement, forgetfulness, error
    fu* = demeaning word for God's amazing creative act of sexual intercourse, putdown, forgetfulness
    a* = body part, putdown
    bi* = putdown

    Maybe I'm missing some, but come on. Are we seriously arguing about swear words. Especially for a group of people who claim to be, and act like intellectuals, this is what we fight about and use fancy words for?

    I highly doubt that someone like N.T. Wright has time for such a useless debate. Focus your intellectual energy on something more meaningful.

  • At 4:37 PM, Blogger John Torkelson said…

    Amen! All I was trying to do is point out that swearing makes you sound un-intellegent! I guess getting all into this huge hoo-ha isn't worth it. I still don't appreciate being grouped with the fundamentalists and told I am not connected to the "real world" though. However, everyone has a right to their own opinion!

  • At 12:10 PM, Anonymous Marvin Hansen said…


    You put down a great argument and simultaneously suggested that we shouldn't argue about this topic? WTF?

    It is indeed a valid discussion point as you yourself point out by your submission of an argument to the discussion. It is always a difficult task to answer the "How shall we then live?" qustions. Regardless of what the actual topic is, these are the very things that matter in how we interact with and communicate to the culture we find ourselves in. This is why these questions never go away - the culture around us is ever-changing and we thus need ever-evolving ways to interact effectively.

  • At 11:10 PM, Blogger Chris Good said…

    I find this discussion close to crazy. I say one thing that suggests that I think it's wrong for Me to swear and it get's blown way out of proportion.
    Do I swear, yes, do I try not to...very much so. Do I want to continue to swear, not really. This is me.
    Honestly the viewpoint thqat Anonymous has works for me....look at the definitions...nuff said. I really think that everyone here is making HUGE assumptions about me based on a fragment thought.
    I am not a one sided beast...I am a complex creature of God...thank goodness I am not easily figured out.


Post a Comment

<< Home