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