Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt not take the name the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord
will not hold him guiltless that shall take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
I grew up believing this meant not to say God or Jesus when cussing or cursing. After
reading Ecclesiastes, asking the question and taking on the perpetual inquiry of "Why
am I doing this? For me, or for some other purpose?, I've come to realize this is truly
one of the commandments that, if you're breaking this commandment, you must surely be
Mind you, it's okay to do things just to benefit you sometimes. But it's not okay to do
things to make it appear to be doing things for other people when you're really just
tricking them into giving you what you want.
Back in the late 70's, I noticed a trend of businesses advertising that they were run or
owned by Christians. So, I'd give them my business first, thinking they'd provide a
greater level of integrity in standing behind their work, as well as a higher degree of
craftsmanship. Unfortunately, the ones I chose actually disappointed me a great deal
becaus ethey did poor work and cost me hundreds of dollars. Thank goodness I don't
consider those business people as representatives of all Christian business people.
On the other hand, I would we can all see the kind of damage it does when Christians
display a symbol of God or Christianity as if it represents something in the operation of
their businesses, or anything they apply it to. If someone displays these symbols to
provide an example of Christianity in the world, then one would hope they'd provide the
best quality service and products you could hope to find, otherwise, as far as I'm
concerned, they wil lbe presenting a graven image of God and Christianity.
Even more than that, though, is that taking God's name in vain like that, using God's name
to attract business like saying you have God's endorsement for your product or business is
a form of apostasy. You don't have the right to sell God's name for your own benefit.
That doesn't mean that ministers and churches don't need to earn money to operate. It
doesn't mean people can't sell religious or Christian oriented materials. But if you're
using Christianity as a theme or a reason to attract attention to your product, it had
better serve the purposes of God, and not be something that glorifies you or your business
as more important than the message of God.
When you take the Lord's name in vain, you're also stealing, lying, and coveting something
so much you would actually use God fraudulently to get what you want.
If you're someone claiming to be a Christian and hanging out with other people claiming to
be Christians, and you really are using your Christianity as a way to socialize, or a
coach of some sort with Christian roots going to church to seek new customers, you're
using God's name in vain. And if you seek to sell products or services to churches without
concern for serving God's purposes, you're using God's name in vain.
And if you're a politician claiming to be a Chrisitan, implementing or voting for
unChristian or or immoral legislation, you are a hypocrite, apostate and using God's name
No wonder God complains that Christians and churches, politicians and people of all kinds
are stealing from Him.