“You can’t say the name “Jesus” in school!”
“You can’t pray to “Jesus” in school!”
“You can’t say “Merry Christmas”…anywhere!”
It is amazing that we have all of these verbal prohibitions in our society today. Yet for some reason, the flippant response when someone is surprised, astonished or angry, is to scream out the name of “Jesus Christ” or “God”. It is perfectly acceptable to use the name of God or Jesus Christ in vain but it is not OK to honor it. Like many things in our society today that relate to the Christian faith, there is a bias and hatred and of course a double standard. The name of the Lord is rejected and despised, while the names of those who live unholy lives is celebrated! We are more passionate about defending the name, integrity, and reputation of a sports figure or politician than we are about the Holy name of God Almighty!
But seriously, what is the big deal? After all, everybody does it…right? The big deal and the ultimate problem, is that the God of all creation has told us, the world He created, that it is absolutely wrong and will not go unchecked. One of the Ten Commandments (yes…those words should be capitalized) found in Exodus 20:7 says:
“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”
Sound old fashioned and no longer relevant? Yes, that is the original King James Version with the “thou”s and the “shalt”s. But to take it back even further, the original Hebrew word for “vain” means to empty of all value; it is to state that the object has absolute emptiness and is void of any and all worth. Basically, to take the name of the Lord Jesus Christ in vain is to declare it worthless. That will never be!
So what if we start a movement…a call to reaffirm the Holy name of God? A movement to emphasize the sanctity and honor that is in the name of Jesus Christ alone! A call to restore the reverence and honor and respect that is deserved by a Holy God! We can call it the “Majestic Moniker” movement. No, I am not serious about that name or even starting a “movement”. I could however, go on and on about how we could be offended by the intolerance of others, the insensitivity in their speech by using the Lord’s name in vain, but it says in Proverbs 19:11 that “…it is to a man’s glory to overlook an offense.” Truth be told, we don’t need to fight to defend the name of Christ, God has already exalted His name above all names and there is no chance, absolutely none, that it will ever suffer loss at the hands of an unthinking, fallen world!
So how do we as believers respond to this daily occurrence while also accomplishing the Gospel work that God has commanded us to? Consider this option…the next time someone uses the Lord’s name in vain in your presence why not strike up a conversation about the immeasurable worth of the name of Jesus Christ. Let’s lovingly communicate His immeasurable worth and His incredible love for them. Knowing how often folks use the Lord’s name in vain, I expect that each of us will have countless opportunities during the course of a single day or week to share the truth of Christ magnificence and worth with someone!
Acts 2:21 “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.“