Holy _____________. You fill in the blank.
Yes, this word can be followed by Spirit or Bible or God. But, most often, it is followed by crap (or crap’s crude counterpart) or cow or some other meaningless word. I hear this ALL. THE. TIME. I hear friends and family explode with these terms in surprise. I hear people I consider very godly use these terms. I even heard a pastor on the radio use one of these terms in a sermon.
For some reason I cannot fathom, Christians think this is perfectly okay to say.
So…why do I think it’s not okay? (And, trust me, I am well aware that I am probably the only Christian on the planet who finds offense when this is said.) But here’s why I believe these are terms better left unsaid–
A. The meaning of the word holy is is almost exclusively religious outside of it’s crude expression. There is no meaning apart from its sacred definition. While it doesn’t explicitly apply to Christianity, it does always have a religious meaning. It is most often applied to the Christian God and used in the Christian religion.
Find the definition for HOLY here. You will notice that only the 7th –7th!– definition has nothing specifically to do with God or religion. So when we speak the word holy, we are using a religious term.
B. God is made up of three persons –God, the Father, Jesus, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Comforter. We Christians are offended when we use the names God or Jesus as a swear word (well, some of us are, which I already addressed in a post here), but for some reason we can use part of the Holy Spirit’s name and not find offense.
These are the two reasons why I, personally, do not use these terms. It just doesn’t seem like the best thing to say. I am not making a judgment about your spirituality or godliness if you do use these terms. I am simply asking that we give some thought to this term.
Is it the best term to use? Or could we express our surprise and shock in a way that is more pleasing to God? It’s just something to think about.
7 thoughts on “Holy What??”
I agree, Leslie! “Wow!” is a good replacement.
That’s a perfect replacement, Chris! :)
Very well said, Leslie.
Amen, we raised boys, and that was not a word/phrase that was allowed. I was beginning to think we were the only ones that believed God alone is Holy!
So nice to know we are not alone! :)
We have taken a zero tolerance stance on “flirty” words, or any word that is a “safe” bad word. We actually have muted “Little House on the Prairie” because we knew a word was coming. We are looked at a little askance once in a while, but I feel that we need to do everything we can to try to be holy as God has called us to be. If looking at a woman with lust is considered adultery by God, then maybe saying derivatives of His Name is the same as blaspheming His Name.
I think you are very wise and your children are very blessed. I am working to eliminate some words that, unfortunately, have become commonplace in my language. They aren’t “terrible” but I know they aren’t best!