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Question about Blaspheme 
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One thing you hear today all the time is people using God's name for purposes other than worship and talking to/about Him. Things like "Oh My God!" and "Thank God!" are so prevalent in today's movies, songs, speech, online, tv shows, books, comics, everything, even on these very forums, that they could be correctly described as ubiquitous.

My question to you guys is this: what do you think of this form of usage of God's name?

In my opinion and in that of several of my off-line Christian friends this is blaspheme. I may be on the more conservative end of the scale when it comes to Christianity so it's possible I overreact to things like that but I'd be interested to hear you guys' thoughts on it since I'm aware that there are those who don't consider it blaspheme.

Here's my logic for saying it is. Firstly the dictionary definition of blaspheme is "to speak impiously or irreverently of (God or sacred things).". Secondly, and more importantly, Exodus 20:7 and Deuteronomy 5:11 say the following as the second of the Ten Commandments: "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name."

So I think it follows that using God's name as profanity or as an expression of surprise or even as an intensifier to indicate gratitude if you're not actually thanking God Himself is a form of blaspheme since I believe that God's name should only be used when talking to or about Him or when worshipping Him.

So, do you guys agree with me? If not, what do you think would constitute blaspheme?

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Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:42 am
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I'm a bit more lenient on "thank God", as there's a chance it might be literal.

Otherwise I agree; it's still using His name irreverently and best avoided.


Fri Jun 26, 2015 1:24 pm
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I still cringe a little bit whenever anyone says "Oh my God"
"Thank God" seems okay to me though.

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Fri Jun 26, 2015 1:30 pm
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"Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain"
- Exodus 20:7

I think if you're addressing God directly or using His name in the context of speaking about Him, then it's ok. Anything other than that, I believe, would constitute breaking a commandment of the Lord.


Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:04 pm
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I see this in everyday socienty, and yes, this is going too far. Even 'Thank God' is a common phrase, but how many people that say it actually mean it? It seems all right, but personally I'm not really sure what to think... It seems debatable to me.


Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:21 pm
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@Furr: which translation does that commandment come from? I actually mostly know the version Douglas used.

A nitpick: I think 'God' is more of a title, we lost His actual name because of people being so afraid to break this commandment that they didn't speak it at all and written Hebrew is incomplete because it doesn't have any vowels so now we only have the consonants left.

Judging from the translation of the source word for 'vain', I am actually more inclined to really see this as vanity: claiming your words and actions are Godly by attaching His name to them when they are really only meant to serve yourself.

For 'Thank God', I'd say: would you rather risk glorifying God when you don't fully mean it or not glorifying Him when you know you ought to?
'Oh my God' is similar: it is a cry for help to Him. Not using it when you need help would seem arrogant, worse than using it when you maybe only need a tiny bit of help.

For God-related swear words it's a bit different. I think if you *really* mean it, He will understand. It will hurt Him, but He can handle that. This is probably too hard to explain if you've never had to comfort a child that is kicking and screaming in a wild rage or panic. That's one important function of parents: handling the anger and hurt of a kid that's not developed enough to do that by him or herself yet, taking it all out and absorbing it into themselves so there is room again to think without those enormous emotions overpowering everything. I don't know where I found it, but I remember a quote that 'swearing to God is the most honest prayer your can say' (not the most pleasant, the most honest). Nevertheless, I try to avoid swearing myself, which is fairly hard in Flemish, where 'GD' is almost an integral part of the language.

@Quelami: In English I'd agree with you, but my experience with Dutch is that 'God zij dank' (the equivalent for 'Thank God') is really not in common use outside Christian areas.

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Fri Jun 26, 2015 5:15 pm
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I think use of "Oh my God" and "Thank God" or okay, as long as you are honest. As long as you are actually praying(Oh my God) or actually thanking him(Thank God). Otherwise; if you don't mean it, you are being blasphemous.


Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:20 pm
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As a wanna be artist. i think about what it really meant to say Gods name in vain. It seems that most people say that it's sin if you use it as a cuss word: which in their minds, meaning you can't use it aggresively. I like to argue that cuss words aren't only cuss words when they're angry, but truly, all cuss words are for pure expression, so in my opinion, when i write poetry, i try not to use His name even in metaphorical speakingsinisms. It seems that it's when you say Gods name without reason, is when most likely guilt will be. ALso to mention that God considers His name used in vain as blasphemy, perhaps blespheming His name is also vain in His eyes? So maybe it's also a guidance of how to not blaspheme Him, even in the most indirect ways. Just random thoughts. Sometimes i feel guilty when I'm even talking using His name for casual talk, like right now...heh


Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:23 pm
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I'm with you, Josiah. In fact, when I was young, I would fast-forward through "God Help The Outcasts" whenever I watched Hunchback because I thought Esmerelda said "God" too much and it made me uncomfortable. But I think it's a beautiful song now that I realize she's basically saying a prayer. ^^


Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:14 pm
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Tayi wrote:
@Furr: which translation does that commandment come from? I actually mostly know the version Douglas used.

I used the NIV.

Tayi wrote:
Judging from the translation of the source word for 'vain', I am actually more inclined to really see this as vanity

Do you mean the original Hebrew word? If so, I'm not aware of that word. I can tell you though that in English, in this sense, vain means "ineffectual or unsuccessful" or "without real significance, value, or importance; baseless or worthless". The phrase "in vain" therefore means that you're using God's name as just another word without giving it the reverence it deserves.

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Sat Jun 27, 2015 1:41 am
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honestlly I think marching to war in God's name, torturing people in God's name, persecuting people in God's name, hating people in God's name--these things are more significant examples of taking his name in vain than shouting "goddammnit" when you hit your thumb with a hammer

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Sat Jun 27, 2015 8:57 am
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That's true, but just because there's worse doesn't mean something isn't bad.

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Sat Jun 27, 2015 12:30 pm
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Reviving this again. Another thing I hear far too much is "I swear to God that I will/if you/etc...".
I think this is also a kind of blaspheme but worse than that it's taking an oath which according to the Bible should be binding. And I really don't think that people would want to go through with whatever they're swearing to do most of the time. I think that even more than standard blaspheme, this is something that people should take extra care to avoid.

What do you all think?

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Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:22 am
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Agree, you should never promise something without overthinking it.
Regardless wether it involves God or not.
Besides, if it goes wrong, some people make it even worse by shouting "God-damn-it".
Yay. Culture, boys! T_T

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Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:30 am
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I completely lost track of this thread...

@Furr: I was indeed referring to the non-contextual translations that I found for the original Hebrew. Most of these translations refer to actual evil intent and/or direct major consequences (lying, wickedness, ruin), so that seems to be a fairly important part of the meaning. Because of that, I don't think it's a problem to use His name outside circumstances where it does not carry exceptional weight.

(And again, the point is actually moot. God is not His name, it's His title. His name, or what's still known of it, is YHWH. The word translated as 'your God' (elohiym) in that verse is also used for gods of other nations.)

@Tica: Someone once said that blasphemy (EDIT: swearing) is the sincerest form of prayer. In that case I'd agree...

@Sleet: I agree with your general sentiment, but I'd also like to indicate that, given the limited amout of resources we have as humans, that we should focus on the things that have the biggest impact here and now. Given the atrocities that are still committed in the name of God, I'm going with Tica's point.

(EDITED IN) It's also a dangerous slippery slope. Is using Gods name in sinful environments inappropriate? Is using it when non-Christians can hear it inappropriate? Is using it outside a church service inappropriate? Is using it outside a prayer inappropriate? Is using it within a prayer inappropriate if you're not praying about sufficiently Important Subjects? Where is the line? I had a very Christian colleague for a while that, for every activity, for every charity, no matter how beneficial it would be to others, would find an objection on Biblical grounds. He was actually using his faith to avoid doing anything worthwhile for others, which I think is an exceedingly dangerous way of living.

Now for the new parts of the thread...

@Furr: I do think that making an oath with God as your witness (which it technically is), is actually using His name in vain. It is not just making the promise, but it also heavily implies that you have Gods endorsement to do what you proclaim. For me, that definitely counts as using Gods name to inappropriately attach validity to your words.

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Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:59 am
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Tayi wrote:
@Sleet: I agree with your general sentiment, but I'd also like to indicate that, given the limited amout of resources we have as humans, that we should focus on the things that have the biggest impact here and now. Given the atrocities that are still committed in the name of God, I'm going with Tica's point.
I would agree! I generally am not quick to call people out for taking His name in vain unless they're Christian and close enough to me that I can point it out with no friction. :3

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Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:13 pm
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Sleet wrote:
...call people out for taking His name in vein...

(OT)I'd actually do that for everyone. No matter how beneficial walking with God is, I don't think it is a good idea to take Him intravenously...(/OT)

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Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:30 pm
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Literature shows that God's name has higher bioavailability when administered intramuscularly.

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Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:34 pm
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I try to remember not to say certain things around friends who might find it offensive, but we all get into habits... I never used to use God or Jesus as swears, but then I lived in Ireland for a year and now it's a pretty ingrained habit to be all like, "JESUS" whenever something goes wrong or whatever...

I'm thinking about changing what I say to use some other gods' names as swears instead--names that won't offend anyone, like Jupiter xD

I wanted to add to the thread, though, that I think for something to truly qualify as blasphemy--at least, as the sin of blasphemy--it has to actually be intentional. If you say or do something without knowing better, I can't imagine that God would hold that against you in the same way that he would be angry at intentional actions of blasphemy or desecration.

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Sat Jun 17, 2017 12:07 pm
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Tica wrote:
I wanted to add to the thread, though, that I think for something to truly qualify as blasphemy--at least, as the sin of blasphemy--it has to actually be intentional. If you say or do something without knowing better, I can't imagine that God would hold that against you in the same way that he would be angry at intentional actions of blasphemy or desecration.

That makes sense, I think.

Another one that really irks me is using God as an intensifier. E.g. "God-awful". To me that makes no sense as God most definitely is not awful and I find it quite offensive. What about you?

I also can't stand when people twist it a bit too (e.g. "Jaysus") and think that's okay.

I dunno. Call me conservative but those are my thoughts.

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Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:04 am
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