omg, don’t take the lord’s name in vain

There are a lot of rules and regulations in the world of religion. All three Abrahamic faiths include taking the lord’s name in vain as one of their great, big, fat, no-nos. But there’s a lot of confusion as to what exactly it means to take the lord’s name in vain.

Is swearing the same thing as taking the lord’s name in vain? Pastors say God damn in their sermons all the time. God damn the person who commits abortion, for example. That’s not wrong, is it? If somebody wins the lottery, and they yell Jesus Christ! I won! Is that a sin? What about if you get a paper cut or stub your toe or hit your head while you’re under the kitchen sink trying to fix a leak?

I think you should get a pass on all those circumstances.

But if you swear on the Bible in a court of law and subsequently lie your ass off, that might be a bad thing. If you go on TV and tell people God will make you rich if you give them money, that’s a bad thing. If you set off bombs or fly planes into buildings in the name of God, that might be a bad thing.

As for all the gray areas, I think it’s best not to judge someone else’s actions, especially if you don’t know their circumstances or motivations. My solution is pretty simple. Don’t judge other people. If you think it’s a sin, don’t do it.

“Ever heard the story about a cat that accidentally caught a mouse in his sleep? Me neither.” – Dr. Mike Murdock

Respect is earned, not given

I will endeavor on this site to express my opinions without trashing anyone who doesn’t share my perspective. This is especially the case when it comes to Millennials, with whom I’m apparently at odds with nearly all the time.

Case in point. Millennials love to post cute pictures with clever sayings that express their innermost feelings. One of their favorite quotes is “Respect is earned, not given.”

Would you teach a child that she should withhold respect for her mom and dad until they’ve earned it? Would you tell her the same regarding her teachers at school? Her friends and classmates?

I submit it would be better to respect others unless or until they do something to lose your respect.

This is not the easy way out. Quite the contrary. It’s much harder to give respect to other people who don’t look like you, talk like you, worship like you, vote like you, or even order their coffee like you.

But it’s the right thing to do.

Man, proud man,
Drest in a little brief authority,
Most ignorant of what he’s most assured,
His glassy essence, like an angry ape,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
As make the angels weep.

William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure