Marsha West
God's holy name, misused and abused, even by believers
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By Marsha West
June 20, 2019

You can run, you can hide, but you can't get away from it, "God knows I've tried." It seems that wherever you go, whether it's to the mall, a movie, the golf course, the hardware store, or even a buffet line, God's name is being misused loudly and proudly. It's so common that most people don't even notice it.

But some of us do.

It's rare to watch a TV program without hearing G-d this, G-d that...."Oh my G-d!" Some people like to punctuate each word, "Oh – my – G-d." Others say it as if it's a single word, "OhmyG-d!" And there are those who shorten it to "Oh G-d" in a despairing tone. If he's a guy of few words, just saying "G-d!" will make his point. For added punch, some people tack on damn, as in "G-D America!"

I don't mind when someone says, "God bless you," or "God be with you," or my mom's personal favorite, "God love ya." I take offense when someone uses God's name as a curse.

It's disheartening to hear the Lord's holy name abused, especially by Christians who say they love Him. The way we use God's name is an indication of how we feel about Him. According to Exodus 20:7, anyone who misuses His name is treading on thin ice. "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name."

God holds us accountable for every word we utter. Sobering thought, isn't it?

The Lord loves those who pursue righteousness (Proverbs 15:9). He wants His people who are called by His name to love one another; to be compassionate and sensitive so that we might win others to Christ. I admit that being sensitive isn't one of my strong suits. In fact, I'm often viewed as insensitive because I say and write what's on my mind. But it's never my intention to hurt people's feelings. If I engaged a Buddhist, or a Muslim, or someone who's into Native American spirituality in conversation, I certainly wouldn't be so crass as to say, "Swear to Buddha," or "Oh Allah!" or "Great Spirit damn you!" Yet those who believe in the God of the Bible are rarely afforded the same respect.

The politically correct brigade would rather throw themselves in front of train barreling down the tracks than offend anyone, but without the slightest hesitation abuse the Lord Jesus's name. Christians are to stand there quietly and take the abuse!

You choose the words you use. John (not his real name) is a good example of a person who chooses the words he uses. Until my husband retired a few years ago, he and John worked together on several projects. He's a really nice guy, but like so many people today he has a potty mouth. A few years ago John was at a conference we attended. We noticed him in line at the buffet table a few people ahead of us. He was close enough for us to hear some of the discussion he was having with a couple in line ahead of him. Their elevated voices carried from their lips to our ears. The guys used some pretty salty language and John tossed out Christ's name several times as a curse. He's well aware that my husband's a Christian but at that point he didn't know we were a few feet behind him. After filling his plate, he headed for a table, spotted us, and paused to say hello. He insisted that we join him at his table and we agreed. Throughout our conversation I couldn't help but notice that he didn't abuse the Lord's name one time! Instead he chose to say, "Gosh darn," "For cryin' out loud," "Holy smokes," or some such. I can only assume that because John knew that he was in the company of Christians, he chose his words carefully. It was a totally different story while he was in the buffet line. And yet, during the short exchange with the couple he was chatting with, he chose to besmirch Christ's name like there was no tomorrow, without taking into consideration the people around him that might be offended.

Speaking of offensive, one of the things that really gets my goat is all the sexual situations, which includes nudity, violence, and profanity on TV; likewise in movies, music and novels. As a result, most Christians say they're watching less and less TV and they've pretty much given up on going to the movies. Plus, they're more selective about the books they read. Because believers strive to live a righteous life a fair question to ask is: Does it please God when His people continually fill their minds with filth?

No! He's displeased. So those who claim to love Christ must find entertainment in other ways.

Which brings me to Hellywood (not a spelling error). Those who run the show such as writers, producers, directors, actors and the like, choose (there's that word again) to blaspheme God in every way imaginable, which is why, unless the film is PG, my husband and I choose not to see movies. I mean, why would we spend money on a theater ticket to hear our Lord's name misused? And why, pray tell, should we put money into the pockets of God-hating far left Hollywood moguls who use the millions they earn from theater goers to produce more filth? Sure, there are movies we'll go and see once in a blue moon, but as I said, we choose the ones that are PG rated. Hellywood occasionally comes up with a winner, but regrettably the losers outnumber the winners by a substantial margin.

What is a good rule of thumb for serious Christians to follow when choosing what to view, read, or listen to? Ask yourself...

Would I invite Jesus to watch this movie with me? If the answer is no, leave the theater or grab the remote...click!

Would I want Jesus reading this magazine or novel over my shoulder? No? Then toss it in the trash!

Would my choice of music be pleasing to my Lord? It's not? Then choose music with lyrics that are glorifying to God!

Jesus teaches against not only the act of sinning but also arousing our desires. If a person you know arouses a desire within you, here's what to do about it: "And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire." (Mat 18:9) You're not alone in this, brethren. The Holy Spirit works within regenerate Christians a desire to stop sinning – and He always gives you a way out.

I'll close with this reminder:

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Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things...and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9).

© Marsha West

 

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Marsha West

Marsha West is founder and co-blogger at Berean Research, along with Amy Spreeman. For two decades Marsha was the owner and managing editor of Email Brigade website and EMB News Report, a bi-weekly report for conservative people of faith. Marsha is also the owner and managing editor of Christian Research Network, Apprising Ministries and On Solid Rock Resources.

Marsha is a regular contributor for several blogs including CRN, RenewAmerica, News With Views, and Web Commentary. Her articles have been translated into many languages and distributed worldwide.

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