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October 23, 2015, 12:32 PM

Don't Take God's Name in Vain

Today we are taking a look at the third of the Ten Commandments. I don't know about you, but this is one that I have been guilty of oversimplifying for most of my life. The commandment means that we are not to use the name of God incorrectly. But, that does not mean that we are simply to avoid using it in a negative sense or as a swear word.

One of the ways that we abuse and break this commandment in our culture is our loose use of the term Christian. There seems to be a movement towards not using the term Christian because of this. People who are serious about their faith may choose to refer to themselves as a Follower or Christ or a Disciple of Christ. Some might argue that this is simply trading out phrases that all mean the same thing. While that may be true, the fact that there is a felt need to differentiate between a common Christian and a follower of Christ is a huge red flag.

On one hand, it means that we as the church in America have failed to live up to the name Christian. Is it possible that we, the American Church, have let the name “Christian” become so diluted that we have to defend our identity within our own culture? It means that in our  culture, the church has allowed people to live as though they know nothing of Christ and yet identify themselves as “little Christ’s”. How could we, as the church in America, have been so complacent with letting so called brothers and sister take the Lord's name in vain?

On the other hand, perhaps it is evidence that our pride has backed us into a corner and forced us to be Christians who have forgotten that we are to be “little Christ’s”.   Perhaps our effort to to distinguish our attempt to follow Christ from those who we deem as not real Christians is evidence that our pride is getting in the way of displaying the grace of Jesus. Jesus labored hard for the spiritual maturity of his disciples, and then called them to do the same thing for others (Mathew 28:19-20).

Perhaps both are correct. To call yourself a Christian should mean something. The world should get to expect you to live a certain way. We should hold ourselves to the high standard of being “little Christ’s”. We should also be showing grace and laboring hard for the spiritual maturity of others as we engage in Jesus' command to make disciples.

To do anything less is to take His name in vain.


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