|OU 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, or the hardware store, you hear God's name being misused. It's become so common that most people hardly notice it anymore. But some of us do.|
It's rare to watch a TV program without hearing God this, God that...."Oh my God!" Some people punctuate each word, "Oh - my - God." Others say it as if it's one word, "OhmyGod!" And there are those that shorten it to "Oh God." If he or she's a person of few words, just saying "God!" gets their point across. For a little extra punch, certain people will add a damn. For example, "I hate this G-D rain!"
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 claim to love Him. The way we use God's name is an indication of how we feel about Him. And by the way, those who misuse His name are 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" (Exodus 20:7).
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. Often I'm viewed as insensitive because I say what's on my mind. But it's never my intention to hurt someone's feelings. If I were talking with a Buddhist, or a Muslim, or someone who's into Native American spirituality, I certainly wouldn't be so crass as to say, "Swear to Buddha," or "Oh Allah!" or "Great Spirit damn you!"
So, why aren't Christians shown the same respect? The politically correct crowd would rather throw themselves in front of moving train than offend anyone, yet they abuse the Lord's name without the slightest hesitation. And they expect Christians to stand there take the abuse!
The words you use, you choose. A good example of this is John, my neighbor. John's a nice guy but he's a notorious potty mouth. The other day he was standing at the local hardware store's checkout counter. His back was turned when I joined the line so he didn't know I was there. During his conversation with the clerk I overheard him use Christ's name as a curse. When he turned to leave our eyes met. He gave me a hi-ho neighbor wave and left the store. My husband was waiting out front in the car so John stopped to chat. He was in the middle of an amusing golf story when I hopped in the car. The conversation went on for a while so I couldn't help but notice that he didn't abuse the Lord's name once! A few times he chose to say, "For cryin' out loud" and "Holy cow!" He knows my husband and I are Christians so he chose his words carefully. Inside the hardware store was an altogether different story. At the counter he chose to besmirch Christ's name.
Another thing that gets my goat is all the profanity in movies, TV, music and books. Most Christians I know are watching less and less TV and have pretty much given up on going to see a movie. They're also become selective about what they read. Believers are striving to live a righteous life. How does having our minds filled with filth contribute to that goal? It doesn't, so we find entertainment in other ways.
Which brings me to Hollywood. The powers that be (writers, directors, producers, actors) choose to blaspheme God in every way possible. Which is why I choose not to go the movies. First of all, I don't want to pay to hear my Lord's name misused. Secondly, why should I put money into the pockets of God-hating Hollywood mogul's who use the millions they earn to produce more trash? Sure, there are movies I'll go to, but they're usually rated PG. One PG movie that's worth seeing is "Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." The film is entertaining, has impressive special effects and an exemplary message -- and there's no vulgarity or abuses of God's name. Youngsters and oldsters flocked to see it so it was a huge success at the box office. Moviegoers also hastened to theaters to see "Dreamer," an uplifting story that celebrates the importance of family. Hollywood occasionally comes up with a winner, but regrettably the losers outnumber the winners by a substantial margin. For every fifty vile movies, there's one good one.
Here's a good rule of thumb for serious Christians when choosing what to view, read, or listen to. Ask yourself:
Would I invite Jesus to sit down next to me and watch this movie? If the answer is no, grab the remote...click!
Would I want Jesus reading this book over my shoulder? If not, close the book!
Would my choice of music be pleasing to the Lord? No? Off it goes!
"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, April 2006. All rights reserved.
Marsha West is the Founder and Editor of the E-Mail Brigade News Report, an online news report for conservative people of faith. Marsha is a freelance writer specializing in Christian worldview. She is a regular contributor to NewsWithViews.com, Alainsnewsletter.com, CapitolHillCoffeeHouse.com, plus her commentaries appear in MichNews.com and bibleteacher.org. Marsha is also designer and webmaster of a Christian apologetics website, On Solid Rock Resources. She is currently writing a series of children's books for homeschoolers. Marsha and her husband reside in historic Jacksonville Oregon.
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