What does it mean "to take God's name in vain"?
I am not religious. Besides which God? Does God have a name? It's very confusing.
I think most people understand this to mean using 'god' 'jesus' etc as an exclamation or annoyance, emphasis or surprise rather than in the literal sense.
What it means in a historical sense is swearing a contract in God's name and then breaking it. When the Ten Commandments were written all contracts in agreements were sworn in God's name and if somebody broke it or was intending to break it they were taking God's name in vain.
The bible also says that the lord God's name is Jehovah and he does not want us to use this name. Why he would tell us his name and then tell us not to use it I do not know but at certain points in history a person could be put to death just by saying the word Jehovah.
In modern usage Christians see taking the lords name in vain as using it as an explicative. Just saying "God!" or "Jesus!" when upset could be considered taking the God's name in vain by them despite the fact that it has no historical relation to what the bible means by taking God's name in vain.
Saying "God dammit!" is considered the most offensive way to take God's name in vain by most Christians who adhere to this definition.
Take God's name in vain is using God name for swearing eg. God Dam. Interesting sign.
I was going to say what Robephiles said, but he said it soooo much better than I could have!
If you dont belive in God, than dont take His name in vain.
There is no punishment, of course, if you do.
Its just not right thing to do.
When i was a child,I use to imagine superior ,extraterrestrial intelligence,creator of universe and all living creatures.Always good in nature.
Years later,when i become a doctor,I realized that almost nothing have changed in my view of life.
The good nature of superior force,in the background of life is everywhere:if you scratch your hand-the hand will heal.
The life on earth is very strong.Everywhere you can see regeneration,healing,recovery.
There is an 2000 years olive tree close to my home.Last year a few ignorant kids set a tree on fire.But the next year new branches grew up!Like a Phoenix bird rising from the ashes.
Read 139 and 23 psalm from the Bible.It may help.
Im not a religious fanatic.I believe in good Creator of all living creatures.
So many good answers here already, with many good examples of taking God's name in vane. I will only add that God is divine, and his nature is perfect. In our human state, we are not. Some newer thinking refers to people, animals and things being divine or even being God themselves. Those who belive this, would then, not feel the need to take care when mentioning God in discourse.
I personally belive that due to God's perfect and divine nature, we should be very careful how and when we use his name(s). When we do refer to him, I think it should be with great reverence. It also means giving a little extra thought to our everyday discourse.
Theophoric names - names that contain the word God or names of gods. Is referring to God by using theophoric names considered taking God's name in vain? read more
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