The book of Proverbs and the epistle of James have much to say about the use of the tongue. James 3:10-11 says, ‘From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water?’ Paul speaks in a similar vein: ‘Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths’ and ‘Let there be no… foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place’ (Ephesians 4:29; 5:4).
Yet we live in a day when public discourse has become more and more coarse. Public figures commonly use words that simply were not uttered in polite company a generation ago. Even worse, some who claim to be ministers of the gospel use crude jokes and coarse language in sermons, claiming that they are only being authentic. Such practices only debase the users and encourage debased language in those who hear them.