"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." 1 Peter 3:15
WHY ARE YOU ACTING THAT WAY?!
The use of the Lords name has become as casual as casual day on Friday. You cannot turn on a movie or a TV show where God or Jesus Christ is not used flippantly or
frivolously. For that matter some Kids movies are known to use God’s name in a flippant manner. People who write these things, or say God in a way that is not reverent do so because to them…God’s name is no different saying “couch” or “chair”. Take for example the movie Pulp Fiction. God is said 34 times in a way that is not reverent at all. Jesus Christ… an additional 4 times. I wonder when God or Jesus Christ is used in vain during this movie if anything is actually added to the movie. This means that God’s name was taken in vain at least every 3 to 4 minutes. While Pulp Fiction may be an extreme it is an illustration of how socially acceptable it has come to take the Lords name in vain.
Commandment 3 – You shall not take the name of the Lord in vain.
Rather than dwelling on the obvious uses of God’s name in vain let’s focus on some things you probably haven’t considered.
As a Christian…are you taking the Lords name in vain when you say “I am a Christian”, and then act to the contrary? I ask this question knowing full well that we are not perfect, and that we will make mistakes. What I am talking about is willingly committing sin, either privately or for all of the world to see. I would argue yes. Consider this. As Christian’s we are ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). We are Christ by name. If we represent the name and we act in a way that is irreverent to that name… we have taken that name in vain. It really is that simple. So in this since it goes beyond the spoken word in into our actions. Yes…you can act a certain way…and take the Lord’s name in vain.
Take for example the common mistake of a Christian saying that God doesn’t belong in a work place, and then proceeding to act VERY un-Christ like. It could be lying, or backstabbing someone, or demeaning someone in front of the office or what not. Then this same person talks about Church or being a Christian or how passionate they are about Christ. I am sure we have all seen this person, or you are thinking about someone in particular as you read this…I know I am. The question then becomes…is that person taking the Lord’s name in vain? Even allowing for grace, we are all going to sin, and make mistakes. I am in no way advocating that we have to be perfect. But never the less…these actions are taking the Lord’s name in vain. (check out this funny, yet powerful illustration, by BlueFish TV)
We as Christian’s must be cognizant of our own representation of God’s name – In fact, the word “Christian” literally means “little Christ.” Others, who see us use God’s name in vain, usually call it being a hypocrite. But the effect of these actions are on the level as dropping the worst, profane use of God’s name possible because the impact is the same. The holy name of God is tarnished in the eyes of unbelievers.