Using the Lord’s Name
Using the Lord’s Name
My God’s name is not spelled g-o-d. Christians capitalize god to turn
it into a proper name but it really is a generic title. When you
mention god to Muslims they think of Allah. God in the Eastern
Religions brings up all sorts of images of things that the Bible says
our God created. Jews think of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob -
Jehovah, or Yahweh – but an Orthodox Jew might be likely to use the
title of Lord because to even say His name might sound disrespectful.
Christians love all the names for God and put them in their music and
explore the meanings. Like:
Adonai – which means My Great Lord
El Shaddai – meaning, The All Sufficient One
Immanuel – or God With Us
Elohim – The All Powerful One
Jehovah-Shalom – The Lord is Peace
…and MANY more.
Christians also believe the title “God” can refer to the Father or the
Son or the Holy Spirit, or all in one but clearly the term G-O-D
translates into many things around the world. So what is taking the
Lord’s name or the name of our God “in vain” as referenced in the
third of the Ten Commandments?
It isn’t about using the word god, I know that much. Although I find
it interesting and odd that nobody makes exclamations like “OH BUDDAH”
or “Mohammad dang it”. It’s always God and Jesus Christ they go
after. You think that’s coincidence? No, I think not.
I think it’s somewhat disrespectful to take a term so precious to much
of the world and used it in frivolous, un-necessary exclamations, but
it’s not what that commandment is all about. I think using “Jesus
Christ” in profane ways is a direct affront to Christians in the same
way using the name Allah would be to Muslims, but that’s a different
level of insult.
For most people using profanity or other expletives merely
demonstrates a lack of command of the English language. Intelligent
people find more descriptive words or at least use the words they
spontaneously spew correctly. Most all do have specific meanings.
To take or use the name of the Lord thy God in vain is to claim His
power and not give Him your obedience. To claim to be a follower and
not follow – to claim His forgiveness and not forgive – to count
yourself a Child of God and not respect Him as Father. To say your
have been saved by the atoning death of Jesus Christ and not do as He
commanded, you take His name in vain. It’s pointless to take His name
if you are not going to live for Him and it is in vain that we obey
the law and not love God. It is in vain that we claim the Love of God
and not love our neighbor.
Taking the Lord’s name is not a matter of grammar it’s the first step
toward sanctification. God’s name says who He is and if you don’t
accept WHO He is it won’t matter what you call Him or what respect you
show the names of God.
If you merely take the Lord’s name on your tongue and not take it in
your heart you take it in vain. He is the great “I AM”. We have
words to describe His character but He is unique and alone in His
being; He needs no name, only that we know who HE is.