Which definition of vain should we use for this discussion? Which one the Lord's shall we use? Since there are so many variables to this, let's discuss all angles.
We should look at Scripture in context to know what using the "Lord's" name in vain means.
Exo 20:7 Thou shalt not take the name of YaHuWaH thy Aluhym in vain; for YaHuWaH will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Vain here from Strong's Hebrew Dictionary is:
From the same as H7722 in the sense of desolating; evil (as destructive), literally (ruin) or morally (especially guile); figuratively idolatry (as false, subjectively), uselessness (as deceptive, objectively; also adverbially in vain): - false (-ly), lie, lying, vain, vanity.
It means ruining His name, desolating it, calling Him by a false name, making His name useless.
The scriptures are a good place to look, however the Bible was assembled by the same people who decided that the name was to holy to speak. That, in my idea is encouraging men to use his name in vain by having us use and pray in the name of the Lord instead of his real name. is YWHW his one true name?
You are correct in calling our Creator Lord instead of His real name is taking His name in vain. After the Babylonian captivity, Jews started a tradition of not saying His true name but it wasn't always so. The Scriptures are full of people calling on the name of YaHuWaH. Unfortunately current Bible translations continue this same tradition which is not Scriptural. If you look in the preface of many Bibles, they will tell you they replaced His name, YHWH, with "the LORD" - tradition is the reason given : / I was pretty shocked when I found out. Here is some great teaching on YaHuWaH's name.
"What's In A Name"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQf8H5sI … ature=plcp
This next one goes into more depth. They're both Great videos!
"Restoring The Creator's Name: Ha'shem Revealed"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMWE7yJA … 4aexBCM%3D
When I was taking a class on Jewish religious texts in college, a Jewish professor told me the exact opposite: that speakin the JHWH name aloud anywhere other than in a handful of ceremonies that call for it (and even then I think only the Rabbi could speak it), is taking His name in vain. He asked us not to say "Yahweh" during the class.
Your points are quite good, Eric, and are usually the basis upon which most people who believe in god identify what it means to take "the Lord's name in vain."
For those who do not believe, however, its' often different. For example, I've been among non believers (and believers, for that matter) who frequently "curse" in variety of ways who often "take the Lord's name in vain." I asked a couple of times what they meant when they said what they did.
"I'm pissed about it. [the incident, not god] It's what I say when I'm pissed."
That answer, or a version of it, was given several times.
I think if one uses god's name to truly curse something or someone, there has to be a lot of other religious belief associated with it.
It means if you use my name, Pedro, without meaning, i will have your daughters marry my daughters, that is the Truth, so I say, your Lord!
To do something in vain means that you are doing all for naught. When you say something in vain, it means the intended effect of those words has no effect.
To use god's name in vain means that you are saying something that did not reach its intended effect.
That's the true definition, however, the social connotations are not the same.
Socially, the connotation is that you are saying the name of god in a devaluing or offensive way. Therefore, the offense is taken by those who believe the way it is being used.
I was under the impression that truly taking the Lord's name in vain meant to invoke it with the intention of causing an effect. To attempt to command God, in other words, or to use His name like a magic word.
To me the clearest example in modern parlance is the "G-D" expression, particularly directed at a human being. In essence you are commanding God to send that person to Hell. Not very nice, to say the least, and way out of line as far as your authority goes.
Some people think that saying "God!" or "Oh my God!" etc. also counts. I'm not completely sold on that unless it's said purely flippantly or with deliberate disrespectful intent. It at least has a slightly prayerful connotation.
Taking the name of the Lord in vain is using the Lord's name as a curse, or irreverently, or to make it useless. Being flippant with his name. For instance, saying Oh my God, most of the time is not using God's name reverently or for any purpose. It's a holy name and should only be used to when speaking of Him reverently. Oh my God is not even spoken to, or about God, it's just an expression. I find it annoying and in excess quite offensive. Saying Jesus Christ only when you're mad and using as a curse is the most offensive to me, and well as God d**n. This was a good question for you to ask and thank you for letting us share our views.
I appreciate all the responses to this question. There are so many names that have been attributed to God. Isn't one of using his name in vain accomplished by calling on him by other than his one true name? Or by spreading his word under any other name but his own.
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