James Meehan - Should Christians Cuss?
- Get involved
James Meehan: Well, welcome to this week's episode of Culture Makers. My name is James Meehan, and this is Ariana Lane. She is guest hosting with us, and today we're talking about should Christians cuss, March Madness, and how we need to stop the hate. It's gonna be a great episode and we're still thankful that you're joining with us. Kicking things off, we have a question from LeShae Miller. And Ariana, what you need to know is that LeShae Miller has frequently been watching our videos, leaving incredible questions. So please keep up the good work. LeShae, we love getting to hear from you and answer those questions. This question is for you specifically. Now LeShae didn't say that, but I'm adding that. What is your opinion on cursing/swearing go.
Ariana Lane: All right, wow, feeling the pressure.
James Meehan: I mean if you get this wrong then literally you will be leading hundreds, potentially thousands of people astray, no pressure.
Ariana Lane: Okay, well that is a valid question because I feel like we are faced with that all the time. You hear it in all the music that we listen to, popular music.
James Meehan: Maybe the music you listen to.
Ariana Lane: Oh, okay, you don't have to call me out like that, you don't have to call me out. Movies, TV shows, maybe our friends even, but I really try to look through the lens of building others up with my language. So whatever that means, it typically doesn't include cursing for me personally. And I think, you know, as believers we should always be trying to build up others, equip others, and speak truth and life into them. So that, in my opinion, doesn't include cursing.
James Meehan: That's so good. I mean, I like what you talked about though, putting the emphasis on how do we build people up? Because like I know for me personally, I used to be so proud of how easily I could tear people down. And like I would throw in, and again, these are long time ago, I'm almost fully sanctified. Just kidding, I've still got a long ways to go. Here's the thing, I know that when I was in middle school and especially high school, one of my favorite things to do was just to belittle people, to tear them down. And I would add in curse words to increase the harshness of what I would say. And now one of the things I'm working on is becoming more like Jesus. And in Galatians chapter five, the apostle Paul talks about one of the fruits of the spirit is gentleness. And that one is literally so hard for me to like actually live out. And I think that if I can be really intentional with my words, I wanna choose words that are more gentle, more uplifting, more life-giving rather than harsh and tearing people down. And so for me, that's part of why I choose not to cuss or swear or however you wanna call it. But at the end of the day, I really do think that the most important thing is our heart, is our intentions. Are we trying to build people up or tear them down? And if we are trying to build them up, then what is the best way we can do that? And what are the most effective words to accomplish that goal? And so I think it's great. Next thing we're talking about, March Madness.
— Oh wow. That could actually be the song of March Madness.
— Well it can't be because then I think we get copyrighted. So that's why I had to mix it up. The reason I mixed up has nothing to do with the fact that I don't actually know how it goes. One of the underdogs that has been outperforming any and all expectations, Oral Roberts University, actually is a school that was a mile and a half away from where I grew up. One of my sisters went to ORU. My nephew, his dad actually played basketball at ORU several years ago then he went off to play professional basketball overseas. And I'll tell you what I got a place in my heart for ORU. And the fact that they are just upsetting people is absolutely incredible.
— So ORU is like not expected to do well?
— No, so what's crazy is this is literally the first time in the history of that school they've made it all the way to the sweet 16.
— But I'm excited to see how they continue to perform. Hopefully they bring this whole thing home, number one in the world.
— I love a good underdog story. So I'm about that.
— Come on, that's fantastic, March Madness. Obviously I have no idea what I'm talking about. Thankfully next week Vince will be back, and he knows way more about this. This reminds me that one time when I said that I've seen Space Jam Two. Space Jam Two more like Space Jam Poo.
— It ain't even out yet, bro.
— I don't even know what I'm talking about. All right, moving on. Do you know what time of year it is?
— It is spring break time.
— Come on!
— I love spring. I love spring break. I'm not a fan of the cold. I am ready for activities, outside trips, safely, safe trips you know? But we wanna know, are you on spring break? Are you coming out of your spring break? Where are you watching this?
— Comment down below.
— We would love to know if you are somewhere with your family, with your friends. So fun.
— I remember when I was growing up my family every year for spring break, we would go to this hotel in our city, and we would just spend like two nights there because the hotel had a pool. And that was our spring break.
— Staycations, that counts, those are amazing.
— And I remember as a kid thinking it was the best thing ever 'cause we got to swim. And then my parents would let each of us invite one friend to come and stay with us. And it was just like, we would be playing like elevator tag. Good memories. All right, next up on the list, we're talking about something that is actually super unfortunate, and it is the amount of violence and discrimination that's being perpetrated against Asian-Americans, there's a hashtag you might be familiar with called #stopAsianhate. And the reason what I wanna talk about this is just the reality that for those of us who are followers of Jesus, who consider ourselves Christians, what we know is that we are called by God to love and serve others regardless of the color of their skin or where they might be from. And it's just one of those things I think can be really heartbreaking knowing that we do live in a world where there are people who choose to do things to others that is just not okay. And for those of us who are Christians, man, we wanna look for opportunities to share love, to stop hate, and to find people who are hurting, and offer them help. Ariana, do you have any other thoughts on that?
— What this makes me think of is just the importance of checking in on your friends, on those people who you know are either taking in all this information or news, and just do what you can to love them and serve them, and have those conversations with your friends and your family and just check in.
— That's so good. You know, one of the things that I think is really easy for me to do is get really angry at the people who are causing the hate and who are acting out and doing the discriminating things. And what I think is really interesting about the way of Jesus and Christianity is like Christianity actually didn't put the spotlight on the villains. Christianity puts the spotlight on the victim and it was Jesus who's crucified on a cross who is the hero of the story. And I think that there are times where I can hear a news story about somebody who does something wrong and all of my energy and anger can be directed towards that person to the point where I forget about the victims and the people who are hurting. And so literally this last week, I remember reading a story about a guy who did some really horrible things and ended up killing multiple people. And I literally had to pause and direct some of my anger away from him and then begin to just pray for the families, and the friends of those people who had been killed because it's just one of those things where I think that if we are putting all of our attention on who might be the villain in the story, and we're forgetting about the victims, the people who are hurting, who are literally having to deal with the horrible things that have been done to them then I think we might be missing an opportunity for us to show mercy and love and compassion to those people. And so, like I said, I had to repent of my own anger, and choose to actually pray for those people because again, if all we do is glorify the people who are doing the wrong things without showing mercy to the people who are being hurt I think there's some opportunities that we're leaving open, that we're not stepping into that I really do believe as followers of Jesus we're called to be a light in those dark times, to bring hope and healing to people who are hurting.
— Changing the topic.
— Okay, too? You got a question?
— Yes, hold on.
— What is it?
— I'm putting all this pause because this is something that we've been building up towards for multiple weeks.
— Oh gosh, okay.
— For several weeks now we've been talking about a show that just released on Friday. Falcon and Winter Soldier. And dear Lord have mercy. Episode one has been released. It is on Disney plus.
— It's really good. I'm not gonna say anymore. We've been building up. I don't wanna tell you anything. You know, if you've got Disney plus maybe check it out. If not comment down below, and tell me why you hate me personally.
— I'll check it out. I honestly don't know what you're talking about, but I'm excited.
— Well, I take personal offense at that. Next question, Ariana, this is for you. How should Christians respond to things like K-pop? So this is a genre where Korean singers often refer to themselves as idols, not just run-of-the-mill celebrities. So what's y'all's take and point of view? Should I continue to listen to these foreign artists if I myself only see them as musicians and God's children, and there are even some K-pop artists that are Christians too. This is from SafariGuide1. So how should we respond as Christians to things like K-pop?
— That is also such a great question. I totally understand having a bunch of different genres that you love. That's personally me. Like I have a ton of different music tastes that I really love to listen to. I think the place we have to be careful is that idol word, like just placing anything, a person, a relationship, working out, your dog, whatever it is, if it's an idol in your life, and that is not the Lord, then that is just not how we're called to live. So I would definitely stay away from that and be careful of that. But I don't think that you can't listen to K-pop.
— Right, but I think what's interesting too is how Safari guide pointed out how in the genre the singers referred to themselves as idols instead of celebrities. But the reality is is that oftentimes the word celebrity and idol can be interchangeable, right? Just because we don't call our celebrities idols doesn't mean that we don't have to face the temptation of making them idols, which is literally just anything that we put before God becomes an idol. And the things that we worship, which is the things that we idolize will absolutely shape who we are. And the unfortunate reality is that when we worship anyone or anything besides God it's gonna turn us into people that honestly we don't want to be. Like I don't wanna be the kind of person that is obsessed over money or fame or fortune or any of those other things. I wanna be the kind of person who's obsessed about love, about justice, and about goodness. And it is through worshiping God and putting him first that we become that kind of person. And so as far as K-pop goes, if you enjoy listening to K-pop, I don't think there's anything wrong with that. But if you find yourself tempted to idolize those K-pop singers then I think that's a really important thing to ask yourself. Okay, like what is it about them that I'm idolizing? And why is it that I'm putting that in front of God? So last question before we close this thing out. Are you ready?
— I think so.
— We saved the best for last. This is from somebody who sent us a DM on Instagram, and it was God's Daily Messages sent this to us. So it looks like they've got an account where they're just trying to encourage people with the truth of God's Word.
— I think that's awesome.
— They said, they've just recently gotten into Christianity, and they feel like they're having some problems with letting themselves relax and actually have faith because basically their whole life they've been relying on themselves and trusting only themselves. So they're finding it really hard to actually trust God. They wanna trust God, but they're having a hard time of choosing to trust him instead of themselves. So, Arianna, what is your advice on how we can choose to trust God?
— I think no matter how long you've been following God, there's gonna be times where it's hard to trust him. You're finding it hard to rely on him and take that next step of faith and that next step and that next step. But I think what we can find comfort in is reflecting back on what God has already done in our lives. I personally keep a journal of God's faithfulness, and I'm not saying everybody should do that, but it's just a really great chance for me during those seasons where I'm like, okay, God, seriously, what are you doing? It's a chance for me to look back and tell myself God was faithful on this day, and in this season and in this moment in my life, and he's gonna keep doing that if we walk and trust in him.
— You know, when I think about this idea of trusting God I think about any relationship that we're in that when we first meet somebody before we actually know them it can be really hard to trust them, right? I think the same is true with God. Like, as we begin to get to know God, we'll start to trust him a little bit more. But the difference between our relationship with God and our relationship with say like our friends is that our relationship with God is really the only relationship where we're asked to trust God more than we trust ourselves. So like, I can trust my friend and still be friends with them, but trust myself more than I trust them. But God literally asks us to put more trust in him than we have in ourselves. And that can be really, really challenging to do. But I think like you described, the longer that you are in that journey of following God, the more that you can look back and see how he has been trustworthy, the easier it is to trust him. Now that doesn't mean that you eventually get to this point where you never have any questions or doubts or insecurities at all. Like literally we've talked about this before in Switch. The idea that the disciples of Jesus, standing on the mountain, right before he ascends into heaven, right before he gives them The Great Commission to go and change the world, this is after he's been resurrected. What we read is that some of the disciples worshiped and some of them doubted. And so it's like, hey, I know y'all are doubting me, but I'm still gonna send you to change the world. I think this is what's so beautiful about Jesus is he acknowledges that we're humans, that we're gonna doubt, and that doubt never disqualifies us. It actually is an opportunity for us to get to ask some really hard questions, and to learn to trust God more. And so if you're doubting, if you're wrestling, if you have questions, man, I need you to know that this is the best place that you can be because Switch is a movement. It's a family of people, just like you, who are doing the best we can to wrestle with the truth of who God is and what that means for our lives. And the best thing to do is to not wrestle alone, but to do it in community. And if you don't have that, man, I'd love to invite you to one of our Switch online experiences or one of our in real life Switch locations. If you just go to like life.church, you can find all of our life church locations, and there might be one near you, so that you can show up to our Switch in real life experience or Switch online happens literally multiple times a week. You can join in from all across the world. We have people from over a hundred different countries who are a part of it. And there's a group of students with an adult leader who wants to be a part of your life, that you can get connected to, and the best way to do that is head over to Switch online. Oh, I'm just waiting for you to end the show.
— Oh, that's a wrap. And that's a wrap, like comment, subscribe, peace.