Taking The Lord’s Name in Vain?
by Nick Bishop
Today, there seems to be little or no respect for the name of Jesus Christ. Whether through a social media platform, radio or television, blaspheming the name of God and using it for profanity seems to bother fewer and fewer people these days.
Even phrases like ‘OMG’ (Oh My God) have become just another throw-away word to many. People do not know or do not care, whether they use names or titles of God in ways it was never meant to be used. Blasphemy has become for many, an old-fashioned or irrelevant concept.
Should we blame our humanistic society for its lack of reverence? Is science to blame for there being, little or no respect for God anymore?
For some, the beginning of the universe and the big bang theory advocates that everything came about by chance, so they do away with the need for a creator. It is surely a foolhardy and naive position to suggest that though the universe had a beginning, all the spectacular life we see on earth is merely coincidental and a result of chemical processes alone?
Outside of those in the scientific community who reject intelligent design or theistic evolution, there are godless and Communist regimes who do so, such as countries like North Korea, China, Vietnam. The very idea of God threatens the godless creed these governments hold to.
Islam, Judaism and Christianity hold to the belief that using the name of God in an irreverent and careless manner is sin. However, religious extremism has also made the grave and sinful error of punishing blasphemers. The actions of the Islamic extremists over the Charlie Hebdo cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed is just one example of this. Jesus warned us about taking God’s name in vain but he did not advocate bloody revenge.
Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism are recognised by many, and rightly so. However, Christophobia is not even given the same credence. As soon as anyone is suspected of saying, showing or doing something, Anti-Semitic or Islamophobic, they are called out. However, Christians and Jesus are daily lampooned, as if mocking our faith is fine. Jesus and his mission on our planet were mocked by the people of his day, so in this regard, nothing has changed.
God has shown time and again, that our faith is big enough and strong enough to survive. All these insults and barbs are the works of God’s nemesis, Satan. But by Christ’s redeeming death on the cross, resurrection and promised return, Satan knows he is on a losing wicket.
Christian Orthodox Holyman, Serafim Alexiwich Slobdosky, summed up the name of the Lord Thus: “Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is conscious and hardened opposition to the truth because the Spirit is truth (1 John 5:6). Conscious and hardened resistance to the truth leads man away from humility and repentance. Without repentance, there can be no forgiveness. That is why the sin of blasphemy cannot be forgiven, since one who does not acknowledge his sin, does not seek forgiveness”.
Another example of blasphemy being an unforgivable sin is backed by the Methodist church which states: “The unpardonable sin is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Blasphemy includes ridicule and attributing things to the work of God when they are fact, the works of Satan”.
The signs of disrespecting our creator and its consequences are all around us. Whether it be the advancement of other faiths, secularism, atheism, humanism and those who have no regard for our fellow humans and disregard for other species, God’s name and character are constantly blasphemed.
So as Christians, what are we to do? We must continue to mindfully and prayerfully, be an example of God’s love in a lost world. That people might see by our thoughts, words and deeds, that there is an alternative life to that of a godless society. Also, we are told that we are to be in the world, but not of it. We must be beacons of light in a world of darkness and that by our fruits, people will know this to be so.
Finally, here some Biblical scriptures for homework as it were, that address the matters in this article:
Leviticus 19:12: “You shall not swear by my name falsely, so do not profane the name of your God, I am the Lord”.
Matt 6:9: “Pray then like this, our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name”.
Hosea 4:2: “There is swearing, lying, stealing, and committing adultery, bloodshed follows bloodshed (not unlike our society now) they break all the Lord’s commandments”.
God bless you.
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