Friday, November 12, 2010
WHAT GOOD IS GOD?
by Philip Yancey
Category: Christian Inspiration
Many sinful trends are glorified in our movies, TV shows, and commercials these days. Cursing. Fornication. Adultery. Materialism. Pride. Idolatry. Slander. But one of the vices that is most overlooked, and one that constantly bugs me, is the use of the Lord's name in vain. Examples include "Oh G*d!", "Oh my G*d!", "Jesus Chr*st!", and "Oh L*rd!", whether it is used to express disgust, as a joke, as a figure of speech.
Many people, and even Christians, may not see this as particularly problematic because it has become so overdone. It is as normal now as lying and having sex before marriage. Though blasphemy may seem like merely a slang or a "harmless expression," the Bible deems it as a very serious sin. It is a violation of the Third Commandment, and Scripture has quite a few things to say about such trangressions.
Exodus 20:7 from the Old Testament declares: "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain." Matthew 12:36 from the New Testament also states, "I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the Day of Judgment."
Yes, blaspheming, or using God's name in vain, is deadly. It's even worse than using the F-word or the S-word, even though people ironically use it as a last option, rather than the F-word, to express disgust. Such people fall into a deadly trap. The Bible warns that blasphemers - as well as murderers, haters, idolaters, fornicators, and thieves - will stand in judgment before God and end up in the lake of fire for defiling the Lord's good and holy name.
Yet hope still exists for those willing to make a change of heart. When Jesus was sacrificed on Calvary, He took the punishment of all humanity's crimes - even blasphemy - onto Himself so believer's wouldn't have to be held guilty anymore for such sins. If we have repented and have been saved by the Holy Spirit, then we have moved out of the realm of condemnation and into vindication. Because of this, we must llive in respect and fear of our great Lord. We should honor His commandments not out of obligation or grudgery, but out of gratitude for the terrible fate He saved us from. John 15:14 and 1 John 5:3 illustrates that true love is demonstrated in keeping God's commandments. That is how we truly worship God. It may take much self-sacrifice on our part, but it is what we should be aiming for as maturing Christians.
Though blasphemy may plague the entirety of media, we do not need to lose of hope or give into what seems unchangeable. We can still stand up to Hollywood's antics and express our disgust at their improper use of God's name. If you are bothered by blasphemy in movies and TV shows as much as I am, I encourage you to write to the production studios with your concerns: http://www.hollywoodandgod.com/. This website lists producers and movie studios of all kinds in Los Angeles. It is dedicated entirely to the purpose of writing to the Hollywood higher-uppers with our requests.
Be aware that blasphemy is not limited to PG-13 or R-rated projects. It is even used in G-rated shows on Disney and Nickelodeon! It just shows how hard Satan is working to infiltrate the minds of naive children and lead them away from the salvation of the Lord to eternal damnation. We can write to these TV studios as well to express our concerns for the products and for our children. You may not think that your actions would make a difference, but let me tell you that it would. With much prayer and a handful of common people working towards the same goal, Hollywood can definitely listen to its audience. It will be a wise thing to do if they do not desire their TV shows and movies to be boycotted.
Let us fight the good fight together, and clean up the language of Hollywood for God's glory. Let us also be mindful with our words as well in our everyday lives, so we may be an impeccable witness to lost sinners around us.
Posted by STEVE CHA at 3:22 PM