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"OH, MY GOD!" Taking the Lord's name in vain
by Mike Thomas from "Sound Doctrine" Volume III Issue xvi

I am amazed at those in our society who are quick to remove God's name from everything except defamatory language. God's name is not welcomed in our public schools or courthouses, but very few are upset when His name is associated with cursing or angry outbursts. "God damn" is a common phrase when someone is upset, and "Oh, my God" is a typical response to surprise. (HGTV should be renamed OMGTV because of the many people saying, "Oh, my God".) It is also common to hear "My Gosh" and "Gee" from people; since these are euphemisms for the Lord's name, they are all in the same category of taking the Lord's name in vain.

One of the Ten Commandments God gave the Jews was to have respect for His name. "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guilless that taketh his name in vain" (Exodus 20:7). If you and I were to list the top ten things we expect of people in living a righteous life, I doubt any of us would include a caution about how we use the Lord's name. It's not as offensive to us as the other things in the Ten Commandments: lying, murder, adultery, and so on. But to God, it is just as wicked to use His name as a common word as it is to murder someone. Both are acts of irreverence and disregard. Even though we are no longer under the Law of Moses, we are to be just as careful and respectful when referring to God (1st Timothy 1:20).

If I got mad and cursed your mother's name, would you be upset? If I used your name in association with evil, would it bother you? "Oh, my God" is no different to God. It is taking His name in vain by using it in a common and disrespectful manner. Our Creator deserves a better response from us. Correction: our Creator demands a better response from us!

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