For many people, the ultimate violation of the third commandment is saying, “God damn it.” And that you can use almost every other word, but when you include this phrase, you’ve crossed the line. You may even be accused of blasphemy against the holy spirit.
Is this true? Is saying damn a sin? Stay tuned to find out more.
Is Saying Damn A Sin?
Saying damn may or may not be a sin; it all depends on the context in which the word is said. Saying damn when talking about damnation and damning evidence is not considered a sin. However, damning someone, like wishing them eternal suffering, is a sin.
However, it’s best to avoid using the word damn for various reasons. Here’s why:
According to the Bible, misusing important realities like God, Jesus, damn, and hell is strongly condemned. The Bible says in Exodus 20:7 believers should not use the Lord’s name in vain.
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltiness who takes his name in vain.”
When you use damn as a swear word, it shows you don’t take it seriously but as a throwaway word. This can turn an unbelievably important serious matter into a moment of smallness, leading to a disconnect between how the word is used and its weight.
So, when you use words like damn, hell, God, and Jesus as a throwaway standard expression of anger or irritation, you are belittling God, Christ, hell, and the seriousness of damnation. And you don’t want to belittle these big things.
Some words are categorized by the Bible and the English language as indecent, crude, vulgar, and crass. These words are present in every culture and are considered inappropriate.
Moreover, 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 and Ephesians 5:4 say:
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.”
“Let there be no filthiness, foolish talk, or crude joking, which are out of place, but instead, let there be thanksgiving.”
These two verses strongly forbid crude language, filthiness, and foolish talk.
The last part of Ephesians 5:4 says let there be thanksgiving. This means if your heart is brimming with gratitude to God in all things, there’ll be a monitor on the crudeness coming from your mouth. However, if it’s the opposite, any crude words may come from your mouth.
Many people who use a lot of harsh, scatological, rough, and crude talk generally sound pretty angry. They are mostly not contented nor happy with Jesus. Something is usually off in their hearts. Because words like damn rarely come out from a good heart.
Ephesians 4:29 says:
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
This verse encourages talking in good language, which builds people’s and ministers’ grace, not in a harsh or ugly way.
So, before you use the damn word, pause and think about how it will affect people. Will it minister grace for them? Is it going to be good for people? Will it build them up and make the stronger? Will it make Christ more beautiful in their eyes?
If your answer is a resounding NO to all these questions, it’s best to steer clear of the damn phrase.
What Does The Bible Say About Bad language?
Bad language can include many things, like using Lord’s name in vain, cursing, blasphemy, or plain old profanity. The second commandment talks about the use of bad language and strongly condemns some forms of abusive language. Some of them include the following:
Abusing God’s/Jesus’ Name
Using God’s or Jesus’ name in some other forms is mortally sinful. The same applies to abusing the name of saints or the blessed mother.
Here, you may ask yourself, “Why use the name Jesus as an expletive when impatient or angry? Would that not show arrogance and disrespect towards God, whom you should love above all things?”
Blasphemy, contempt for God expressed in word, thought, or action, is also a sin. Using words vocally or mentally in a way that shows reproach, hatred, defiance, or disrespect against God is sinful. The same applies to the blessed mother, the saints, and sacred things or church-related traditions.
What’s more, blasphemy also involves invoking God’s name to legitimize harmful actions or actions against others. All these are prohibited and considered grave sins.
Cursing is like calling down evil from God. It involves invoking God’s name and his power. Like saying, God damn it or God damn you.
These two phrases command God, who is all good and powerful, to damn someone or something in hell for eternity. Now, who are you to ask God to damn anyone or bestow some evil upon them?
Although profanity may not involve the name of God, it’s wrong in itself. God gave humankind the gift of language, which should be used positively. Language should build relationships among individuals and let people share their lives intimately with each other.
Unfortunately, people nowadays speak profanely even about good and holy topics like human sexuality and marital love. They also make the light of hell a place of eternal damnation. For instance in anger, surprise, or inquiry, someone may say:
“Go to hell! What the hell! How the hell are you? And what the hell are you doing here?”
These phrases show a lack of respect for what the hell is, and if someone believed in hell, they wouldn’t be using the word so casually.
Saying damn may or may not be a sin, depending on circumstances. However, it’s best to avoid using the word altogether. And if you must use it, consider its impact before doing so. If using the word will reveal a bitter, angry and dissatisfied heart, offend, or make someone feel bad, don’t use it.