1. notleia says:

    [insert quotation from Screwtape about “Lord’s name in vain” as only cussing]

    So this post isn’t so much about the issue of cussing (oh, the flame wars we could wage) than it is expounding upon the third commandment. Okay, then.

  2. HG Ferguson says:

    It’s always better to go to the Hebrew on things like this.  The upshot of the Hebrew word “vain” means “empty” — You shall not lift up the name of the Lord your God in an empty way — i.e., casual, no respect.  This most certainly does apply to explicatives involving His name, as well as OMG and other expressions — a sin which appears to be lost on the vast majority of contemporary Christians these days.  Any casual, empty use of God’s name must not be a part of the Bible-believing Christian’s vocabulary.  Why?  Because YHWH said so.  We should never toss His name around like it’s just another empty, ordinary, casual word.

    • R. L. Copple says:

      Strangely enough, H. G., Strongs breakdown of the word did not contain the definition of “empty.” Though, as the article states, I arrive to the same conclusion, though expanded, via another route as to what “vain” means in the Hebrew.


  3. sparksofember says:

    It’s article #1 on the topic, notleia. Taking the Lord’s name in vain is a form of cussing. The one thing I thought was missing was the debate on using it in fiction to add realism. But I’m guessing that will be in one of the follow-up articles?

    I agree with your conclusions, 100%, R.L. Copple.


  4. Good points in the article, Rick. I agree, sometimes we get caught up on one piece of God’s instruction and miss the whole picture. Cussing using various forms of God’s name is only one way that we may “take the Lord’s name in vain”.

    On a related note, I think it’s sad that many Christians use place-holders for an expletive and think that makes it okay. Like using “gosh darn it” (or any number of variations) instead of “God d-n it”. Or using “poo” for “sh–“. If they’re using the words the same way, then the intent and meaning is the same, even if the specific syllables are different.

    “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” is what Jesus taught. So when I make an outburst, I stop and ask myself, “What am I really saying here? Why did I burst out with this exclamation? What’s in my heart?”

    If I hit my thumb with a nail, what I’m really saying isn’t usually that I want the hammer or the nail damned to hell (for example). Usually I am saying, “OUCH!” But if I go with the flow of worldly culture, I might use a different word. If I’m frustrated because that’s the 10th time that I hit my thumb, then I might really be saying, “Why in the world isn’t this working right? It shouldn’t be this hard to hit the target! I wish I didn’t have to do this stupid job.” But it’s just easier to bust out with a short expletive.

    How Christians deal with frustration or pain or conflict does reflect on God. So taking the time to examine our hearts and figure out the root of what’s coming out of our mouths is always time well spent. Especially if we find something that we can repent of and renew our minds to a new and better way, so we can better reflect our Father in heaven.

What do you think?