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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

(39) The Lord's Name

Exodus 20:7
  • You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name
Most people think this is just about saying God and damn together, or to say Jesus Christ as a term of content for a situation.  These are true but it goes more than just these.

To misuse something means you are using it in all the wrong ways.  To mention the word God in and of itself is not wrong.  Many Jewish people talk about God by writing it like this:  G_d.  They do this because they feel this is misusing His name.  But leaving out a vowel to show this does not change anything.  All they did was replaced one symbol of a language (the "o") with another symbol ("_").  Sure it may make them feel better and it may show that they are trying to show honor to where honor is due, but it misses the point.

Using the name of God to invoke power or authority, or even authenticity is using His name in vain.  This is why scripture says let your yes be yes and your no be a no.  Do not swear by God's name.  This swear does not mean the same as "cursing".  It simply means do not have God as your witness just because you need Him to back you up.  If you are telling the truth then you do not need His backing.  Telling people, "I swear to God", should be a tell-tale sign that the person is lying or has a horrible reputation for lying.  Ministers (of all kinds) should not use God's name to bring glory to themselves.  Those that proclaim to be of God just to make income or fame are using His name in vain.  Saying you have healing, prophetic, or other miraculous power from God when you do not is using His name in vain.  This is not saying that some people do not have these powers.  There are some who abuse the naivete of others.

Using God's name in vain, as some would say, means you are invoking God into situations He should not be called for.  Blaming God for earthquakes is misusing His name.  He did not cause the earthquake.  Using God as an exclamation is misusing his name.  Using OMG on your text does not exclude your sin just because you omitted letters.

Calling Allah, Buddha, or anything else God is misusing His name.  As a matter of fact it is idolatry and even blasphemous, but that is a different lesson.

Calling upon God is not wrong.  Calling out the name of God is not wrong.  Using it for your own gain, pain, or wane is when it becomes a sin.


hawkssong68 said...

I like how you think. However, of course, I have a slightly different take on the whole thing.

I believe one can take the Lord's name in vain, without ever uttering the word. My belief is, it's what is meant in the heart.

If I hit my thumb with a hammer (and it's happened!) and scream, "G-dammit!", I don't really mean in my heart that I'm wishing damnation upon my thumb!

However, I can look someone in the eye, with hate in my heart (Tom Brady, for example) and say, "Gosh darn you to heck" and really mean....well, you know.

I do like your thinking when it comes to using the Lord's name in vain by blaming earthquakes on Him. One could even say there's misuse of His name when a Christian shows hatred for his fellow man. Or proclaims that God "hates" anyone. Or says, "Thank God for 9-11" or "I.E.D.s". Or protests a funeral "in His name". Or starts a war "in His name". Or perpetrates a fraud "in His name".

By the way, just informational only. Buddha is not a god. Nor did he proclaim to be. None of his followers believe him to be a god, either. Just so's ya know.


Gozreht said...

Never thought of that. Killing in the name of God may be taking His name in vain.

I would exclude the journey into the promised land by the jewish nation. It was a command. I know it seems cold-hearted but the only way to get the land back since the people lving there had defiled the land was to get rid of them. The jewish nation was not supposed to intermix with them...but they did.

And before we get into the crusades episodes, technically thre Ottoman Empire started these feelings andf did horrible things to the jews as well and first.

But to blow up an abortion clinic saying they did it for God is wrong. But even worse perhaps is when people fly airliners into two very tall buildings in the name of "God".

And remember Christians are people unfortunately above all. None are perfect. They will say and do stupid things. But they also happen to be the most watched and when one "goes bad", the whole "religion" goes bad in the eyes of some.

Gozreht said...

By the way, I got this from buddhanet.net

If the Buddha is not a god, then why do people worship him?

There are different types of worship. When someone worships a god, they praise him or her, making offerings and ask for favours, believing that the god will hear their praise, receive their offerings and answer their prayers. Buddhists do not indulge in this kind of worship. The other kind of worship is when we show respect to someone or something we admire. When a teacher walks into a room we stand up, when we meet a dignitary we shake hands,when the national anthem is played we salute. These are all gestures of respect and worship and indicate our admiration for persons and things. This is the type of worship Buddhist practise. A statue of the Buddha with its hands rested gently in its lap and its compassionate smile reminds us to strive to develop peace and love within ourselves. The perfume of incense reminds us of the pervading influence of virtue, the lamp reminds us of light of knowledge and the flowers which soon fade and die, reminds us of impermanence. When we bow, we express our gratitude to the Buddha for what his teachings have given us. This is the nature of Buddhist worship.

It's yes and no thing. They do not see him as GOD, but they worship him in ways you do not normally do for the human being. They do consider him "the enlightened one". He showed the way to Nirvana by going through something called the Four Noble Truths or something like that. He claimed this was they way to harmony. So if he wasn't God, or a god, then he was surely the messenger of the heavens or even perhaps the savior of souls since he knew the way. People rub his belly, an idol. He started a whole new religion.

In all essence he is god-like. So, I would consider him the god of buddhism.

hawkssong68 said...

Just like some people thought Jim Jones was a god. Or David Koresh was Jesus Christ. Or a Catholic makes the sign of the cross..

True Buddhism ........(uh-oh...)......doesn't believe in a god.....at all.

By the way. I am not Buddhist.

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