(We are beginning a new series this week: 5 Things Christians Should Stop Doing.)
It began years ago – decades ago – with the Church-ification of Gee, Golly, Gee Whiz, Jeez.
The attacks on God are not limited to infringing on His Name. His Attributes are also subject to the Desensitizing campaign.
My Goodness, Gracious Me, seem innocent, but, do I really have any goodness or graciousness that is inherent in me? These are specifically characteristics of God that He emphasizes when defining Who and What He is.
The only good that I can do is dependent on the Goodness of God.
There were also some less blatant expressions, harder to make the connection to swearing: Gadzooks: close to the word god, with an addition that obscures the connection.
Variations on Damn, such as Darn, claim a right that belongs only to God. Damn indicates a condemning to death, specifically, a death with no possible resurrection.
In a time when many ‘natural’ calamities are clustered under the term “act of God” Christians are called upon to protect God’s reputation.
What really is meant by “take the Lord’s Name in vain”?
What is the prohibition?
What is the breaking of this command? (Exodus 20:7)
>Any speaking or use of the names of God or His Character in a casual way, or in anger, or in a way that infers the attribution to myself. (See Isaiah 14 for a connection to Lucifer’s sin.)
>Careless, casual insertion of ‘God’ or any number of His exclusive attributes, to punctuate or accentuate displeasure, surprise, fear, anger.
>Oh, My God! Online or spoken use of OMG.
Who is Holy, but God? So, placing the word ‘Holy’ in front of any other word or expletive becomes a misuse of His characteristic.
“Holy Cow!” also has the allusion to the heathen gods used throughout history. If the worship of the cow image at Sinai was an egregious sin, why would Christians choose to use it in their speech?
Why is the Lord’s Name to be guarded, reverenced?
In simplest terms, because of Who He Is and What He has done for me.
Unless you're praising, praying, preaching, or witnessing, don't speak God's Name (even in abbreviations).
Let’s suppose that you are in a romantic, committed relationship. Married or engaged. Or let’s think of your relationship with your mother or father.
What endearing names do you have for your spouse of fiance? Or Mother or Father?
I will choose as an example: Musician.
Would it be respectful for me to use the word ‘musician’ to express my anger? My disgust over something bad that happened? My displeasure over something that repels me? My wife would call it disrespectful.
God holds the universe together and yet knows me personally. We have no capacity to comprehend His existence or authority or connection to each of His created works.
Swearing with God’s Name and Attributes desensitizes us to the characteristics that should fill us with awe and wonder and worship. Over time the words and ideas become commonplace, casual, not worthy of special devotion.
Satan wants to obscure God’s role in the universe as Creator, Life-Giver, Sustainer.
Evolution theories are his work to deny God’s power and involvement in the life processes on this earth – and throughout the whole universe.
My father believed – and often said, “If you need to swear or use vulgar language to communicate your thoughts, ideas, and emotions – you have an inadequate vocabulary.”
It is time for Christians to
1. Clean up our vocabularies
2. Learn some new words.
1. Read the Bible to learn more about God and Jesus.
2. Read the dictionary. Pay attention to the Etymologies.
3. Take an online Communication 101 - 401 course.
When you love someone you don’t denigrate them to others.
You are a guardian of God’s reputation.
I would appreciate you comments and suggestions.
Eldon.roberts @ gmail.com