OK, I just got through reading Lori’s post on "Krumping", an excellent post that everyone should read by the way, and there is a part in there that has rekindled some thoughts that I have had since Pastor Ryan’s sermon on the 10 commandments. Thoughts about how we view God in today’s churches and homes as Christians and I have to wonder, have we gone too far? We always hear about God being our friend, there is no friend like Jesus, and so on. While all this is without a doubt TRUE, have we crossed some lines that really should not be crossed. Ryan pointed out (and Lori reminded me of this in her blog)the part about taking God’s name in vain, which I completely agree with, I think that we need to take it a step further. Let me explain. We hear people both Christian & non Christian people all the time say things like Oh my God, and I used to be very bad about this also. Can this be considered taking God’s name in vain? I believe the answer is YES! I know most people are going to say, Jeff you really are taking this too far, or that is ridiculous, people don’t mean anything by that when they say things like that, they are not cursing or angry. Well the point is that they do NOT mean anything by that. We are using God’s name in a totally thoughtless, meaningless way. Let us look at the definition of the word vain (from Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary):
Hmmmm, that kinda sounds to me like that when God said, THOUGH SHALT TAKE THE NAME OF THE LORD THY GOD IN VAIN,that he was just not talkng about using it as a cuss word. I think the definition of vain points out that we are indeed using His name in foolish, ineffctive, silly, idle worthless ways with no real value when we say things like Oh my God.
In the days of the old Testament when scribes were writing the scripture any time they came to the word Jehovah or any word used for God, they would stop writing and go through the process of making themselves ceremoniously clean, then write God’s name. They would do this EVERYTIME! Imagine how long that would take to finish, but that was what was expected and I am sure if you research the old testament you will find that there is Biblical foundation for this. God had strict laws for the nation of Israel and it’s people and then the Pharisees had a bunch more laws on top of that.
The Jewish people of the Biblical days would probably want to stone us for how casual we are about God and using His name the way we sometimes do and consider us HEATHEN. I am not saying that we should start stoning people (although sometimes the thought crosses my mind..jk) or that we should make sure we are ceremoniously clean before we speak or write God’s name. I do not think any less of people or judge them when they do say things such as Oh my God, as I said, I used to be very bad about saying things like that & still do at times. Nor do I think God wants us to go through all of that just to say His name or approach Him. Yes, God knows and judges our heart and intentions.God created us to be His friends, and that is still His desire today. The Bible says as His children we can approach His throne BODLY, but that does not mean we without respect.
I guess all I am saying is that maybe we should take a little more time to look at our relationship with God from His viewpoint and be a little less cavalier in our attitudes, including how we use His name. After all, we are His creation, created to worship and serve Him, created to be His friend. I hope all of us, and most definetly myself, continue to understand that God loves us, desires a relationship with us that does not have to be complex and we do not have to be ceremoniously clean, nor jump through hoops to talk with Him. Lets just try to love God enough to give Him the respect deserving of the one and only true God, the Creator, and when we use His name, let us try to use it with meaning and thoughtfullness, not in vain.
MaY God richly Bless you and may you be a Blessing to someone today!