"Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain." It is one of the Ten Commandments, so it must be important. But, what does it really mean? Is it just about the words we use or is there more to it than that? Can our thoughts and actions also be a manifestation of taking God’s name in vain? What is the end result of carelessly handling God’s name? How do we become more aware of ourselves so we hold the name of God with reverence, honor and respect?
Followers of Jesus today are bombarded on every side with agnostic and atheistic philosophies that erode faith. In science, the theory of Evolution is embraced by many as the best explanation of man’s existence on earth, of course without the necessity of a supposed mythical creator. However, in recent decades the scientific debate over the explanation of origins has taken a turn with the appearance of the theory of Intelligent Design. The result has produced a dramatic and often faith-strengthening debate. For a Christian, this comes at a perfect time, supplying us with additional reasons to accept the Bible narrative of God as Creator. So what’s it about? Stayed tuned for a lively discussion of: Is God Really the Creator?
Love God. It is a simple enough commandment - easy to say, repeat and remember. But what does it really mean? Are there different ways of expressing love for God and does God look for different results depending on what age of humanity we live in? Most of all, is loving God - no matter when and where we live - enough?
For the Christian, the Holy Spirit is a sacred part of our faith. It was promised to us in the absence of Jesus as a comforter, a guide, a teacher and even an intercessor. It is a true evidence of one who has been called, chosen and working towards being faithful. So, how does the Holy Spirit work in our lives? Who has it and who doesn’t? Is now the time for the Holy Spirit to be poured out on the world?
Over the past several weeks we have been focusing on a lot of heavy stuff – the Middle East meltdown, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and Islam. Through it all we have tried to maintain a focus on the goodness and plan of our Almighty God, continually reminding ourselves that He not only knows the turmoil of our world, He also has a concrete plan to bring us through it. This realization brings us to a very unique place, considering the world’s condition – it is a place where praise and gratitude can and should flourish. So stay with us as we are focus on just those things – praise and gratitude.
For people like us, there are a myriad of proofs that we can see all around us that unequivocally prove the existence of God. We see the earth, the heavens, humanity, science and engineering and we nod our heads in the satisfaction that God is indeed behind it all. Yet, there is a world full of those who, based upon their intellect, their expertise and their own study who have concluded that God is merely a figment of some men’s imaginations and a waste of time. So, what do we do with all of this? Can God’s existence be proven? Does God’s existence need to be proven? Are we deluding ourselves with wishful thinking? Is it really a form of mental disease to believe in God? Are there good reasons to be a believer? Stay with us as we face these questions head on as we ask that penetrating question: Does God exist?
In general conversation, we often hear people use the name of Jesus and the name of God in very inappropriate ways. The sad thing is that it is so common we may sometimes not even notice it, or we may dismiss it without a second thought. Are these phrases disrespectful? Yes. Are they unfortunate? Yes. The question is - is this what is meant by taking the Lord’s name in vain or is there more to it? Is taking the Lord’s name in vain an obvious thing, or is it something that can happen in much more subtle ways? Is it possible for those of us who claim to take the name of God seriously to actually take His name in vain? Stay with us as we seek clarity in understanding just what is meant by this commandment to not take His name in vain.