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“Locker Room Talk”

Back in 2016, in a town hall-style debate, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump strongly denied that he had sexually assaulted women after a leaked video captured him saying that. Though Trump made a defiant apology after the leak, he downplayed the recording as he answered the first question of the night.

“It’s locker room talk, and it’s one of those things,” he said before pivoting to another topic. In defending himself, Mr. Trump also threw the light onto what previous President Bill Clinton has done physically to women in the past to the unwanted groping to rape charges. “Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — not even close,” Trump goes on to say. In no way am I defending either of what these men have said or done, but quite the opposite. Trump has said along with many other Americans that doing the action is worse than speaking about it. The question is … is it worse to speak evil or to do evil?

Let’s begin with speech. Most people will say that it isn’t a big deal to speak on unwholesome subjects just as Mr. Trump did, but the Bible says otherwise. In Ephesians 4:29-31, Paul tells the Ephesian brethren, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” The apostle Peter also tells us in 1 Peter 3:9-10, not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing for, “THE ONE WHO DESIRES LIFE, TO LOVE AND SEE GOOD DAYS, MUST KEEP HIS TONGUE FROM EVIL AND HIS LIPS FROM SPEAKING DECEIT.” James tells us in James 3:9-10 that with our tongue “we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.”

From just a few passages we can see that speaking about evil is a sin.

Finally, let’s look at action. There is no question the Bible condemns sinful action. It speaks against sexual immorality. In 1 Corinthians 6:18, Paul tells us, “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.” In 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, Paul also tells us, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God.”

It speaks against murder. In Matthew 5:38-39, Jesus tells us, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” Also in James 2:11, we read, “For He who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not commit murder.’ Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.”

It speaks against stealing. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Paul once again tells us, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” Also in Ephesians 4:28, we read, “Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.”

Once again, from a few passages we can clearly see that doing evil is a sin.

So, what is the answer? Both! Both speaking evil AND doing evil is absolutely wrong! If we are to be a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession as 1 Peter 2:9 tells us to be, then we need to be careful not only what we say, but our actions as well because both of them can lead to sin which will lead to spiritual death. Let us truly dedicate our lives to God to be pure and holy to him!

Joseph Lachausse