Using God's name in vain - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 12-02-2002, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dh and I were discussing God, etc., this weekend and he brought up something that I'd like to share and get feedback on. We were discussing using God's name in vain and that type of thing, and he said it's not possible to use God's name in vain if you call him "God". He said that calling God "God" is redundant b/c all you're doing is using what he is (a god) as his name (God). It's like naming your child "Child", you know what I mean?

So, I wanted to know what you all thought abt this since I see posts where the "o" is replaced by a hyphen a lot. I think it's obvious that many of you feel that it's not proper, at the very least, to spell "God" out, so what do you think of my dh's opinion? I think he has a great point. He said that God's "real" name is Jehovah (for Christians), and since many don't call him that, they're not blaspheming or whatever. He said that calling God by his title (god) doesn't make sense, either.

My thought on that is that there has been so much drama over what "god" to believe in and worship and get others to believe in and worship, that calling God "God" just made it simpler for everyone. Although, in reality, it hasn't.
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#2 of 13 Old 12-02-2002, 02:00 PM
 
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i use the word God, for a lot of purposes. I don't believe that using the word is wrong- as i don't believe in a God who wouldn't know the difference between someone referring to God, and someone blaspheming or swearing! The God i worship, i think, wants me to respect God's power in my life, and not deny or refuse it. No amount of saying words, whatever they may be and however "foul", constitutes blasphemy to me. I think it depends on what your heart is feeling, what your soul is trying to express when you use the words. And i think God can see this difference.

btw, we are Lutheran. But not every Lutheran believes this. I feel good about the way i worship and i think that whatever makes you comfortable is right for you. if you are uncomfortable using God as a name for God, don't. I don't think it is wrong to use it, though. In the end, God knows what we mean!


slightly off topic:
Dh and i were talking about swearing the other day- using words like "p-ssed off", damn, and such. I have decided that we will raise ds to know that other people think these words are "bad", but there is nothing inherently bad about them. he should know that other people may be offended by them, and that there are situations in which it would be unwise to use these words, but if he feels "p-ssed off", he should be able to say so, or think so. i believe that swearing makes people sound stupid, but sometimes you are too frustrated to adequately express yourself and swearing results.

i feel the same way about using the word God as both a name for God & a word like any other. it's just a word.

tabitha

Hi, I'm Tabitha. I'm a homeschooling mother of four: ds (11) dd (9) ds (7) ds (5) And I'm expecting a fifth in 2014! Find me at http://www.omelay.blogspot.com
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#3 of 13 Old 12-02-2002, 07:39 PM
 
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I have always seen it more as putting words in God's mouth. Like for instance saying "God hates X"

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#4 of 13 Old 12-02-2002, 08:01 PM
 
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Here is a link about the traditional jewish belief about the names of G-d

Interestingly, in everyday conversation we call G-d "Hashem" which means "the name".

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Mom of 5 boys- 13, 10, 8, 2 : and newbie Aug. 24th, '09 . babywearing advocate . Cook, baker, homemaker, wife to a man with another woman's kidney (live altruistic, unknown donor).
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#5 of 13 Old 12-03-2002, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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BB, I haven't gotten on a Judaism-kick yet (it's coming, tho!), so I found that link quite interesting. Like Muslims, you name God by his attributes. I still like that.

If I ever had a problem with that aspect of naming, tho, it would be that God never got attributed to the "bad" stuff that happens on Earth. Is Judaism like that, too? I would assume yes, b/c you all have a special name for things that aid in the profanation of The Name. Or, does what I'm talking abt even count as profanation of The Name?

So, is it safe to assume that Jews don't call God "Yahweh"? I thought you all did, but I saw varriants of that on the site.

As for putting words in God's mouth: I hate those billboards with "quotes" from God.
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#6 of 13 Old 12-03-2002, 11:15 AM
 
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In the link there is a section about "YAWEH". I have also posted about it here. (Hugs to you, Daryl) We refer to that name as yud k vuv k. The "k" is there because we do not even spell it out with the right letters. So we replace the hebrew letter "heh" with "k" when we are talking. The name is read "adoni". I think that is in the link.

As far as G-d's name and "bad stuff", there are names that represent G-d's "judging" aspect. I believe, about "bad stuff" that we cannot truly know what is bad and what is good. We do not really have access to that information. I can't really explain it well, ecspecially right now, I am really supposed to be paying attention to my kids.

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#7 of 13 Old 12-03-2002, 02:25 PM
 
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Interesting thread. I personally feel that it is wrong use "God" in vain, as swearing. My very wise great-grandmother used to say, "it isn't what you say, it's what you mean." She didn't care if you said, "shoot" or what, swearing is swearing. She smoked a corncob pipe and divorced her husband in 1919 too so she wasn't a puritan
But I feel the same way. I swear more than I should and am always trying to get better, but I do not take the Lord's name in vain ever. I believe he gave me everything I have or ever will. I wouldn't want my child to curse me, no matter what he called me so I won't curse my father in Heaven.
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#8 of 13 Old 12-03-2002, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So is saying "Goddang (or damn) it" using God's name in vain b/c it's swearing? Or do we also have different definitions of swearing? I define swearing as cussing. So all the terms apply, but aren't necessarily using God's name in vain. Am I clear? I feel muddled...

And is yelling "Jesus Christ!" considered swearing AND using God's name in vain?

Maybe I should have paid more attention in Sunday school, but, honestly, I just wanted the snacks...
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#9 of 13 Old 12-03-2002, 09:21 PM
 
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I grew up outside any one faith tradition (and unbaptized, to boot) and have always wondered what was meant by "taking the Lord's (or God's) name in vain." When I exclaim, "Oh my god," or "god" or "oh Lord," is that taking the name in vain?

Like you, I wonder the difference between that and swearing or cussing.

Burrito (at home, awaiting enlightenment)
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#10 of 13 Old 12-04-2002, 03:14 PM
 
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Yes, I agree with RasJane. My understanding of "taking the name of God in vain" is any kind of usage like swearing. Which we don't either.

This includes "god," "Jesus Christ" (a name of God), etc. I have often thought what it sounds like when I say my daughters' names in frustration, and _that_ even sounds like "the name of God in vain", seeing as we are the children of God. Therefore, if I feel frustrated, I try (often I don't succeed) to just _say_ so (Oh, I'm frustrated) instead of using the name of deity or any "standard" four-letter word.

On swearing--In one of the Little House books, Caroline reprimands Charles Ingalls for "wooden swearing" i.e., words that are euphemistic for other words.
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#11 of 13 Old 12-04-2002, 09:22 PM
 
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OT-Burritomama-I love your sig line. So true!!
Back to the topic at hand.
It is hard to explain exactly what I mean cuz my brain checked out for the day:
What I want to say is that swearing in any form is not a good thing. Taking the Lord's name, or an allusion to Him, in vain is swearing on a different level.
I like what Bekka said about how it sounds to take her daughters' names in vain.
Basically I think that taking to Lord's name in vain is like blaming all of our frustrations or whatever on Him. It is not his fault. He came to give us the ultimate gift. And what's more, I believe we made the decision to come to Earth in the first place. Blaming him for all of our troubles, especially in such a hateful way as to curse him, is certainly not fair.
This is just my opinion. I don't pass judgement or even "curse those who curse Him" Heck we all have our own issues. That's the joy
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#12 of 13 Old 12-05-2002, 01:00 AM
 
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This is a habit that really bothers me, no matter which way it comes out. Even though I don't equate Jesus with the Almighty, I positively cringe when my mother uses his name as an exclamation. My dh curses--things he uses mindlessly, which he picked up just as meaningless usage (like Bekka mentioned--things we say when we really mean, "I'm frustrated," or "You're making me angry"). But they make my skin crawl. I guess partly because I see them as linguistic crutches we lean on when we should say what we really mean--or at least think about what we really mean.

BTW--as my sister BB mentioned re:Judaism and names of our Creator--the Muslim list also includes names referring to the One Who Destroys (just as He creates)...
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#13 of 13 Old 12-05-2002, 01:49 AM
 
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Okay, so swearing or cussing or cursing (choose your verb) occurs when we are angry or outraged --and sometimes, some of us, because of our word choices, whether habitual or deliberate, unconscious or conscious or a bit of it all, incorporate the name or a name of "god" -- thus this is what is known as "taking god's name in vain."

The interpetations of this as putting "blame" on "god" are interesting takes on the situation....the linguistic crutch stuff too.

Another related question then: what about exclamations of joy or surprise? I am just as likely to exclaim "oh god" when surprised or pleased as I am when angry or upset or frustrated.

Why someone like me raised outside the church even uses these phrases is another whole discission :
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