Some words are irredeemable. For some words, there is no context in which they are not offensive and wrong, and surely under the condemnation of Ephesians 4:29 and 5:4.
"Damned" is not one of those words. It's a janus-word; it can turn either way. If you're throwing it at an uncooperative computer program, or a stripped screw, or a car, or (worst of all) a person, I think it falls under that condemnation. Christians should never use it thus.
However there is a sober Christian use: to describe the reprobate, the dead who are under God's eternal sentence of condemnation. Then it is a substantive, and it is appropriate: the damned, people justly without hope forever.
Or it is properly used as a simple adjective to describe such a person or fate. The KJV uses some variation in 15 verses: damnation (11 verses), damned (3 verses), damnable (1 verse). Each translates a Greek word for "judgment" (i.e. krima, krisis, katakrima, etc.).
And so I have said (for instance) "damn cancer, anyway," and meant it. When I do, it isn't a pique. It's that I hate cancer, a lot. I see it as yet another dark, death-dealing fruit of the Fall. When Adam heard God warn him that, if he were to eat the forbidden fruit, môt tāmût — "You will surely die" — he had no idea the black, teeming, swarming hordes of pestilent miseries that lay behind the words.
Or so I hope, charitably. But I've often wished that I could flash back in time, and show him. Show Adam a montage of what was lurking behind that shiny, delightful-looking fruit. Show him what his moment's disregard of God, his attempted twitting of his Creator, would bring on himself and all his children.
Would it have mattered to him? No clue. I've known enough people to walk into (and persist within) absolutely ruinous, idiotic sin, completely heedless.
So I see cancer as a result of Adam's sin, of the Fall. And I see cancer as having no part in the new heavens and the new earth. When God deals with sin and its effects, He will deal with cancer.
My first memory of cancer was a little seven-year-old boy named Todd, who lived just down the street from me. Little Christian boy, and I was a new Christian myself. He had cancer. Horrible, just horrible; heart-breaking. He died in 1975, and his mother actually wrote a book about it.
Then I remember a friend's dad, lung cancer again. And others. There have been minor bouts in my family as well.
The worst of course was my dear father. Walking into work today, I spoke with a man older than I, who talks on the phone with his 91 year old dad every morning. Older than I, but his dad still lives. I really envy him.
Now, were my dad alive, he would be 103. Bet he might have made it, too. His was a long-lived family, and Dad was in very good health at 86.
Until that damned cancer took him.
My dad died of bone cancer, after months of painful mis-treatment under the misdiagnosis of arthritis. "Heart-breaking" is a pale description. I had dreams for months and months after his death. Cancer is such a vicious tease, such a robber, such a heartless, cruel villain.
The pastor of the church we're attending has a special ministry to cancer sufferers; a fellow in that church recently learned he has bone cancer, and is clearly and quite understandably scared.
So yeah, I feel about cancer as Joni does about her wheelchair. In her terrific talk at the DG conference on suffering, Joni speaks of finally seeing Jesus, of thanking Him for what He taught her through that wheelchair, and then saying, "...and you can send it to Hell now."
And He can damn cancer there, too.
Before I leave this topic, however, I'd be remiss not to say one more word. Perhaps you have cancer; enough people stop by this blog from all over that it is possible.
What you need is life, life that no cancer can take away. There is only one way to find life, one source of life, and that source is Jesus, who is the Resurrection and the Life. He is the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Him.
Learn how to find that life in Jesus, and come to Him. Because whether cancer lies in your future or not, death is a certainty. Only a fool faces death unprepared.
Don't be that fool.