July 6, 2010
Is that actually a comment "in vain"? I've been bothered by this stereo-type, and don't think this sort of thing is what the intent of the scriptural passages. What constitutes "taking the Lord's name in vain"?
God should not be invoked lightly, sure, but I don't understand how a child's reinforcement of recently-learned rules is 'living out loud' and 'standing up for the faith'. He sounds like he is shocked because he's still at the age where rules are RULES and anyone who breaks them is mind-bogglingly offensive. I do object, however, to the idea that adding God into my everyday vocabulary is offensive to the Lord. Words have power. If people who worship other deities find it necessary to change their invocation (Oh, My Goddess! or Oh, My Gods!), then using flavors of OMG isn't necessarily toying with an empty phrase. It can be, it often is, but its also a reflection of Christian permeation in our culture and all casual invocations are not always in vain. Also, I think this blogpost I found on the intertubes is a good read for this particular subject: http://www.reclaimingthemind.o...
No, I don't use the expression. No, I would not let my children use it. Yes, it has become part of the American cultural lingua franca. Is it taking God's name in vain? I don't really know. I don't think so. "God" is not God's name; it's just a word we use in English for divinity of any kind. If it is used in reference to some pagan concept of God by the speaker, or to nothing at all, "Oh, my god" is really just a pluralized form of "Oh, ye gods". Is the adjective "godly" using his name in vain? Does substituting "gosh" for "God" change anything? I would say using "Jesus Christ" as an expletive is taking God's name in vain, since that is his name, and that is worth saying something about. But what about "Holy Spirit"? I feel we use that name of God in vain every Sunday the way it is casually tossed around with no sense of biblical balance or restraint. Just my opinion. No, I would not take a stand of faith on the use of OMG. It's the kind of thing that makes non-believers think evangelicals really are loony. When we become word police we have left the gospel somewhere far behind. Same goes for behavior, and even some values. That kind of moral policing is just legalism--creating external standards to judge who is and who isn't "acceptable." Frankly, it is much easier to make a stand against an external standard, than for the simple gospel (which is why legalism is so popular). The point is, those standards are NOT the gospel. If we care going to take a stand for something, let it be the gospel. (And note, this article is about religious standards, not about life--taking a stand against abortion and other life issues is a given.)I'm a lifelong conservative evangelical, but I'm rather ashamed of what evangelicalism has become. We will take a stand for everything BUT the gospel. Classical evangelicalism is about telling the world about a life-changing encounter with God's Word, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. If American evangelicalism is going to survive, we need to get back to those basics.
My question is: using the Lord's name in vain is wrong for whom? God's children or heathens? Unless the teacher is of a Christian establishment and professes to be a Christian, then Caleb was out of line (as out of line as a 4 yo can be). We have to remember that God's laws govern His people and we're to uphold them in our lives in order to show the world a greater way of living, not LIVE OUT LOUD. How does that mantra go along with Jesus' teachings or coincide with the fruit of the Spirit? Standing up for our faith comes into play when someone is expressly asking us to go against God's commands. That's the only time we see any true followers of God living out loud (correct me if I'm mistaken by all means).On the other hand, Amy, I do commend you as a mother training your child in the way that he should go. One more strong young man whose heart is towards the Almighty One can never be overestimated. Just please be careful that you aren't leaning him towards becoming a legalist. We all know that we have plenty of those roaming the planet.
Oops. Line in the first paragraph should read: "Oh, my god" is really just a singular form of "Oh, ye gods".
Perhaps I would be offended, if I felt it was an offense. However, it is not always so, and most diffucult to differentiate. OMG, is a calling out to God, usually, at times of shock, or fear. Only by knowing a persons heart, can we know whether or not this is the intended use. Sence it is impossible to know a person's heart, it is impossible to know the intended use. It mat well be, that the person is calling out to God, on a a deep inner level, a response to the deep calling of the Holy Spirit. I think it's better to acknowledge the calling, than to site legalism.
Your son is very smart! I think he is very wise for his young years! I think this scenario so often occurs and believers just sit and listen to those around them drop the OMG. Personally, I try to say oh my goodness instead or simply avoid the OMG. But, I think it's just as important to correct others as well. I think it should be done in a loving, educational manner and not condeming. Just like this, we should all strive to stand up for our beliefs.
I think you need to be careful about dumbing down behavior and/or values just to avoid being labelled "loony" by those who do not believe. I'm not sure of your age, but rewind 40-50 years and in many corners of American Christendom it was still unacceptable to go out for dinner or go shopping on a Sunday. I don't condone going back to such standards, but you really can't look at Christians and say that we HAVEN'T ceded our ground to the secular world in terms of what we watch, how we act, what we buy, etc? Aren't we called to be different? And how do you reconcile that with taking the Gospel to the people and meeting them at their level?
With a user name like' solid 4JC' maybe I should not say TOO much about OMG ! but at my age-66 yrs- it annoys as much as the now dying out 'Awsome' ! from anything from baked beans to Almighty God.I see taking the Lords Name in vain as when someone ( usually Christian) makes a pronouncement in Jesus Name as if it came from Him- & it did not. This is using the Name of God falsely & causes much more harm to the cause of Christ than OMG.
The phase "in vain" means to fail in the intended porpose. I.E. You go to the store to get some milk and the store is close, thus, your trip was in vain. So, examples of taking the Lords name in vain would be; swearing to God, and breaking that promise, saying you trust in God, when you don't, and saying you believe in Him, when you don't.
The idea behind the Hebrew term "in vain" (Ex 20:7, Deut 5:11) is to use something in a worthless or false way. With God's name, it would mean using it in a way that negates the respect and honor it is due. At that time, it could probably apply to a number of things--swearing an oath, making a pledge, invoking God's action, using his name in common conversation. It is, in essence, profaning his name--turning what is holy into something common and mundane.But the bigger question here is what is meant by his "name." To the Hebrews, it probably meant the unpronouncable name YHWH, and perhaps even its verbal substitute Adonai. I really don't think our English word "God" is what was in view for the third commandment. "God" is not a name; it is a term of divinity. Nonetheless, since it is perceived as a name to English ears, perhaps it is reasonable to apply the spirit, if not really the letter, of the law. I think the spirit is that we should be careful how we refer to God, whatever "name" we use--God, Lord, Jesus, Jehovah, Christ, Almighty, Spirit, Abba, Papa, Daddy (only Jesus should use those last three, never us), whatever. We should not use words that refer to God in a common or mundane way. I still don't think OMG is breaking the third commandment, but it's certainly not a respectful way to speak of God.
I'm not sure that it matters, but I'm 59. The reason I believe Christians are perceived as loony is because we try harder to "make Christians" out of nonbelievers with standards of belief and behavior, than we ever do to just share the gospel with them. I agree that, as Christians, we should be the ones living the standards as a witness to the world; however, we should not be applying them to those who don't know Christ. When the standards, whatever they are, become more important than the message of the gospel, that's legalism. It is the same problem Jesus confronted in the Pharisees, and Paul confronted in the Galatians. What I observe is that most "standards" that get defined are rarely clear biblical standards--they tend to be "Christian law," a truth or value that is externalized into rules of belief or behavior that can be judged and deemed acceptable or not. I agree that we are called to be different, but it is not our lifestyle that we should be holding up as something we believe others should emulate so America can be a more "Christian nation." That's a false gospel. We need to be holding up Jesus and the gospel.
We all need to watch our "Ps" and "Qs" and "Os" and "Ms" and "Gs"...Eric BruntmyerTwitter: @ericbruntmyerBlog: www.3qfl.comFacebook: http://www.facebook.com/profil...
When I say OMG! I think I'm sharing my excitment with the Lord. The Holy Spirit has never checked me for it. It's not using God's name in vain. My heart is to serve him. I'm not understanding what is wrong with sharing my God with everything I say and do. OMG your so cute is the same in my head has Praise the Lord your so cute. This is not a challenge just a question. I will give this more thinking.
I find this 3-letter symbolic phrase deeply offensive. Thank you for your comments.
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