The Heat, Language, and Evangelism (or lack thereof)

Last weekend my wife and I went to see The Heat with Sandra Bullock and Sooki (I always think of her as her character on Gilmore Girls, but I guess her real name is Melissa McCarthy). It was a funny movie in a messing with the buddy cop convention sort of way. But when I walked out I told my wife. “I don’t know anyone who talks like that.”

I wasn’t talking about accents or slang, I was specifically talking about swear words, cussing, cursing, or whatever else non-cool sounding word you want to use to talk about words my dad would tell me not to say when there were ladies present.

Now I am an English major, I love words, and I believe that well chosen words are powerful, valuable things. I also believe that words are just sounds and no one word is inherently evil. We have made them evil by deciding they were words we don’t use in polite society, but we could just as easily decide that we were all going to accept those words and they would no longer be bad. In a whole lot of ways what we call cussing is just an arbitrary rule we have made that some words are bad, and some are good. The thing is that list of words is fluid, and there are words that my kids think are bad words (such as stupid, racial slurs, and such) that were commonly accepted when I was young. Not only that what is a cuss word is different depending on where you live, even in different regions of the country.

So I’m not going on a diatribe about how they should change the movie (although if they would have toned it down a bit they could reach a wider audience to a movie that is funny, but that is a whole different blog post). I want to get back to what I told my wife.

“I don’t know anyone who talks like that.”

That means that one of 3 things are true: 1) The movie is exaggerating and no one uses cuss words like that. 2) People know that I am a pastor and don’t use those words around me or 3) I just don’t know enough people who don’t know Jesus.

I have to say that I am pretty sure it is the latter. I live in a pretty insulated world of church, church kids, and church parents. It is only when I venture out to t-ball games or school plays that I interact with non-Christians in large quantities, and this is a problem, a big problem. How am I supposed to model witnessing to my friends when all of my friends are already in my church?

I know they have ChristianMingle.com. I wonder if there is something similar, but for Christians who need to have more non-Christian friends? I’m taking suggestions for the site name.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *