Marriage Vows Trump Political Endorsements

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Last night Ted Cruz congratulated Donald Trump on his victory, denounced Hillary Clinton, and did not launch a 3rd party campaign. For all intents and purposes he “supported” the Republican nominee without an all out endorsement. Still, many conservatives last night and today are blasting the Texas Senator for his words last night, and not endorsing the Donald Trump. Did he break his promise he made? Did he lose is integrity? Is Ted Cruz in sin? I have a different take.

In 2001 Ted Cruz stood before God and Heidi Nelson to make a covenant (a promise). To love her, support her, protect her, and provide for her; for better for for worse. A marriage covenant is a serious problem between a couple that they make to one another, and to God. Scripture is very clear here, here, here, and host of other places. Ted Cruz also has an obligation to honor his earthly father as seen in Ephesians, and the Ten Commandments.

During the campaign Donald Trump suggested that his father was a part of the assassination of Preside John F Kennedy. Trump most likely planted stories his friends at the National Enquirer that Cruz had multiple marital affairs. Trump also set out to humiliate and attack Heidi during the primary season, he did this on more than one occasion.

Ted Cruz took the stand last night that honoring his father, and keeping his marriage covenant promise was more important than a political endorsement. Paul teaches that husbands are to love their wife as Christ loved the Church (which he died for). Cruz did the honorable thing in keeping his promise to God last night by standing with his wife, and by honoring his father. Could Ted Cruz in good conscience support a man who attacked his family? I know I could not.

Still, I am seeing him blasted by conservatives and Christians last night and today. I would hope anyone who takes the Bible as the inerrant and infallible Word of God would take the same stand. That they would fight for One’s approval and keeping a promise to Him, rather than earning man’s approval (Galatians 1:10).

I don’t see them talking about Trump backing off his promise. Or calling for Trump to repent and apologize (he professes to be a Christian) for his remarks. We have thrown aside religious conviction for an election. I can tell you this, I don’t care what promise I make when you attack my family I will stand with them ten out of ten times. Instead of insulting Ted Cruz many men can learn a lesson. What it means to stand with your wife and how to keep a promise you made to God, even if it means getting booed off the stage.

 

Christian Worldview: Gender Identity and Bathrooms

For a few weeks now the topic of bathrooms have been an ongoing and heated conversation. The state North Carolina, led by Governor Pat McCrory, passed HB 2 (otherwise known as the “Bathroom Bill”) in response to a 7-4 approving vote by the Charlotte City Council’s for persons to use the restroom of the gender they identify with. HB 2 protects private businesses from government overreach, and maintains that persons must use their assigned gender in public restrooms.

Supporters of HB 2 have been put to public shame. Being called ignorant, bigots, discriminators, and I was even called racist (not sure how that applies). Filmmaker Michael Moore, artists like Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr, and Cirque du Soleil have all cancelled events in North Carolina. It is a bit ironic that they are refusing to do business with people they disagree with, but chastise Christians for doing the same thing.

So how should we look at this, and respond from a Christian worldview?

Accommodation Only Hurts

First, we must understand that accommodating to those who identify as a different gender than the actual biological make-up they possess are need of help. Currently about .3% of the population identifies as transgender. What is being fed to the American people is that if we are not willing to accommodate for transgender people then we are against them. However, I believe the exact opposite is true. Transgender people do need help because they are dealing with a skewed identity of who they are. Accommodating only hurts because we are telling them they are right, when we should be striving to get them the real medical attention then need. Many doctors agree that those who identify as another gender opposite of the reality of who they are struggling with mental illness. When it comes to any other mental illness we seek to get people help except for on this issue. Instead we want people to be forced to accommodate and only enable.

The American  College of Pediatrics recently wrote about children and gender identity. In the write up you can see many of the issues, and they liken enabling gender confusion to child abuse. Much of this can be applied to adults struggling with gender identity as well.  This is an a mental health issue we are turning a blind eye to while  41% of transgender people attempting suicide.  That is not normal and it is tragic and I believe we need to stop enabling, and them the help they need. Sex change is not the answer, nor does it biologically change gender, and suicide certainly is not the answer.

Most important, this is an attack on the imago Dei as well. The imago Dei translates into the image of God. The Bible teaches than man and woman are both made in His image. He created each of us as man and as a woman. In the womb God began a work in creating each person, and God makes no mistakes. To accept that one’s gender is not the reality of their identity is an attack on the imago  Dei and an attack on God.

It is Not LGBT Discrimination nor Equal to Racisim

Supporters of gender neutral bathrooms often claim this is LGBT discrimination. Many will compare the issue to slavery which is not only asinine, but incredibly offensive as well. The comparison of slavery against African-Americans in America, and LGBT rights are so far apart that any comparison should never be taken seriously. Those who make that comparison are playing of emotions. The two are no way comparable. African-Americans had basic rights taken away and were enslaved. The only perceived discrimination, in this regard, is that transgender people are having to use the restroom of their biological sex.

Still, this is not an LGBT issue but a “T” issue. These bills in no way discriminate against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, nor heterosexuals for that matter.The only people facing perceived discrimination are those who identify as transgender. The question is then is it discrimination for someone to have to use the bathroom of their gender? Do individuals have the right to use whatever restroom or locker room they feel like?

Open Door for Predators 

Many proponents for gender neutral bathrooms will try to belittle the arguments of their opponents. Saying transgender people just want to go do their business and don’t care about you. They will make it appear that all who are against gender neutral bathrooms believe all transgender people are pedophiles and are out to hurt everyone. That is not what supporters of bills like HB 2 are saying.

The stance that I, and most people against gender neutral bathrooms, take is that this is an open door for predators. Opponents will say that we are operating out of unfounded fear. To make that claim is either naivety or ignorance. We are already seeing multiple cases of this popping up here, here, here, and here. We already have four cases were predators have either taken care of gender neutral bathroom/locker room laws, or easily could if these laws were passed.

Any man could go expose himself in a locker room in front of children, and watch them change, if gender neutral bathroom laws are passed. There is no way to stop that. Cameras will be installed and the privacy of our spouses, children, and families may very well be attacked. You have to answer if you are okay with children and women being potentially harmed, like in the four cases above, so .3% of the population can use any bathroom they want? I will choose to side with Lt. Governor of North Carolina Dan Forest who said, “If our action in keeping men out of women’s bathrooms and showers protected the life of just one child or one woman from being molested or assaulted, then it was worth it.”

What About Women?

The claim is made that a transgender male or female will feel uncomfortable using the bathroom of their identity. Therefore, we must make accommodations so that they can be comfortable in public restrooms. What we have neglected to ask is, will females be comfortable knowing that men may be in the bathroom or locker room with them? Potentially showering and exposing themselves to these people. What about the comfort of children? Are we potentially going to sacrifice the comfort and security of 99.7% of the population for .3% and pave the way for predators to have easier access to harm individuals? I pray not.

In Ephesians 5 Paul tells the early Christian husbands to love their wife as Christ loved the Church. How did Christ exactly love the Church? He died for Her and protected Her. Christian men, we must be the leading voices in fighting for our spouse and our children. I

God’s Answer 

God’s answer is to run to Him. Transgenders, predators, and everyone in between can go to Him. In their going it will require the step of repentance and crucifying self. Finding their identity in the one who gave use our biological sex to begin with. Our identity will always be skewed when we find it on other things. What we own, what we do, what want others to thing, or what we perceive our gender to be. We need to find out identity in who Christ is. The perfect image of the invisible God. The spotless lamb, the sacrificed son, the giant slayer, the acceptable sacrifice, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, and God in the flesh.

 

Christian Worldview: Should I Let My Child See Deadpool?

If your student is like me they love it when Marvel releases a new film. I am not really into the comics, but I have seen all of the movies they have been releasing as of late. They are funny, clean, and usually have a good message. However, I will not be going to see Deadpool when it comes out this year. Just because it is Marvel does not mean it is okay to go and see as a believer. In this short write up I hope you will see why you should not let your kid see it, and why you should not see it.

1) Language

There are a lot of opinions when it comes to language today, especially profanity. Most Christians I have encountered usually have a reason why using profanity is okay. Typically, because the Bible doesn’t explicitly forbid it and because the profanity today is not the same as then.

I think the Bible speaks towards profanity here, here, and here. The Bible also teaches in 1 Thessalonians 5:22, “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” Your kids are already hearing this at school, sports teams, and by playing video games online. Why would we want to enable that any further? This kind of speech is not pleasing to God for us to say or to hear, and by going to see this film you’re allowing your ears and mind to be filled with speech that God finds repulsive.

Everything we say, watch, and do is to glorify God.

2) Graphic Nudity

Let me give you some 2014 stats from an organization called Proven Men:

Christian (18-30):

  • 77% look at pornography at least monthly;
  • 36% view pornography at least daily;
  • 32% admit being addicted to pornography (and another 12% think they may be).

Christian men (ages 31-49):

  • 77% looked at pornography while at work in the past 3 months;
  • 64% view pornography at least monthly; and
  • 18% admit being addicted to pornography (and another 8% think they may be).

Married Christian Men:

  • 55% look at pornography at least monthly; and
  • 35% had an extra-marital sexual affair while married.

What about teenagers. This research from Covenant Eyes is pretty alarming:

“In a 2010 national survey, over a quarter of 16- to 17-year olds said they were exposed to nudity online when they did not want to see it. In addition 20% of 16-year-olds and 30% of 17-year-olds have received a “sext” (a sexually explicit text message).

More than 7 out of 10 teens hide their online behavior from their parents in some way.

35% of boys say they have viewed pornographic videos “too many times to count.”

 

More than half of boys and nearly a third of girls see their first pornographic images before they turn 13. In a survey of hundreds of college students, 93% of boys and 62% of girls said they were exposed to pornography before they turned 18. In the same survey, 83% of boys and 57% of girls said they had seen images of group sex online.”

Part of Deadpool’s “R” rating is because of graphic nudity. You are kidding yourself if you think viewing a movie with graphic nudity will not have an affect on you or your child. With the porn industry targeting 8-11 year old boys why would we want to subject them to that? Read this quote from the linked Patheos article:

“Because males are so visual (especially sexually), pornography is almost irresistibly attractive to them. Pornography is so addictive in the male’s mind because it causes a hormone to be released that actually creates a high. It works in the male brain similar to the way cocaine does. This hormone needs greater stimulation and causes the user to need and want more each time it is released. Porn users need bigger prizes, more degrading, more graphic, and more explicit images. The erotic images viewed are cataloged in a males’ mind for further use at a later time. They also cause him to be desensitized toward women and to make unfair and unrealistic comparisons.”

If we know all of this to be true about porn, and make no mistake about it the graphic nudity in this film constitutes as porn, then why would we open the door for that to our children? Why would we pay money for what might enable a struggle in their life, and in our life, for many years to come. Christians, we aren’t called to tolerate evil or close our eyes when it’s on the screen. No, we are called to flee from it. We are called to rebuke it. We are called to be above reproach. We are called to flee sexual immorality. What signal does this send if we allow our kids to see this film, or worse, see it with them?

Bottom line: Does watching this film draw you closer to and glorify God?

Parents, it will not make you cool or liked to not allow your child to see this movie. Maybe you are considering taking your child to see this movie. Instead of doing that invest in your child’s spiritual formation. They may not thank you now but they may just do it later. Make your kid’s spiritual formation a priority even if it cost you some cool points.

Sit down with your child and explain why you are not allowing them to see this movie. Tell Jesus died because of our sins. He died so we can have relationship with him. Why would we causally indulge in the things that crucified our Savior? Instead, plan a fun evening out doing something else. Just be with them. Before the night is over spend time in Scripture together. It’s an infinitely better story, and one that will also change your kids life in a much better way.

 

Syrian Refugees from a Christian Worldview

By now you have probably seen the news that the governors of Alabama, Michigan, and Texas will bot be allowing Syrian refugees. Those fleeing for their lives will find no safety in these states. As this news broke I watched on Facebook for responses. I watched local politicians pander, I watched people refer to mosques as training grounds for terrorist,  I watched people celebrate refusal to help those in need. And I understand these celebrations. After what happened in Paris it is obvious that there are people who want to kill over an ideology. That while most Syrian refugees are running from what we are afraid of some are slipping into that guise to to perhaps bring home. While I understand this fear from a Christian worldview I cannot accept it. So how then does the Christian respond to this?

We need to recognize we are not far removed from being an enemy ourself. Before we were regenerate we were enemies of God, and we hated God. Colossians says this about our pre-regenerate life, “And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds.” Ephesians 2:3 says that were born as “natures of wrath.” While were yet sinners in this way Christ died for His elect still. While we hated God, He loved us in the way of death on a cross. When we opposed Him, He welcomed us.

Read Matthew 25:35-40 and James 1:27. The biblical mandate is quite clear. We care for the orphans, the widows, and we offer what we have to those in need. There is no prerequisite to this, we simply act as God dated towards us. We as image bearers of God are to reflect the characteristics He puts on display. Loving our enemies, caring for them, and even when they hate us we offer a helping hand. We do not look through the lens of an American worldview, but of a Christian worldview. This does not mean we do not seek justice against the terrorist who bring harm. We can and should do that. It just means when someone is in need of help, we help.

On the flip side of all of this is an eternal perspective to keep in mind. Many of the Syrians fleeing have never heard the gospel clearly or at all. They do not know who Jesus Christ is, or have not clearly understood who He is. In that state when physical death comes, so does an eternal spiritual death. Women and children who have never heard of Jesus will spend eternity in Hell. How can we as recipients of this good news be okay with that? How does that cause celebration?  Friends we are living for a different Kingdom and must always live with those actions in mind.

You cannot beg for America to be a more Christian nation and to seek God only when it is convenient to what you believe. I hope you are as grieved as I am. Grieved at the celebrations of refusal for help that may bring physical and spiritual death to many. Grieved by instead of letting the great commission coming to us we have chosen to refuse the opportunity to evangelize to thousands, and to provide safety for christians who are in danger.

I understand the fear of letting military aged men here. I think at a minimum we should offer safety of women and children. I understand the fear of what that may bring to us. I understand it is a tricky situation and we should never intentionally put ourselves and others in harms way. I am not advocating that. I simply ask you to pray. What would Christ have us do?

As one of my Facebook friends put it, “If we stop loving others when we’re inconvenienced, threatened, or afraid… did we really ever love at all?” Our job here on earth is simple: to know God and to make Him known. A great way to do that is helping refugees as God has done to us, and using that as an opportunity to point people to the Gospel.

Church Covenant Model

Church Covenant Model I had to work on for one of my classes

*This is NOT the covenant for Enon Baptist Church*

As members of Enon Baptist church, we affirm this covenant with one another by God’s grace, for our good, and for God’s glory.

Having been led as we believe by the Spirit of God to receive divine grace and repentance through the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38; 16:21; 20:21; Romans 10:9-10), surrendering our lives to Him (Luke 14:25-33), and being baptized in the name of the One and true Triune God (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:41; Romans 6:1-4), we come under this covenant together to glorify God (Isaiah 43:7; 1 Corinthians 10:31).

Together, we acknowledge that God established the local church for the transformation of its members, and the sending of its members to carry out the Great Commission to become disciples who make disciples to the ends of the earth (Matthew 29:19-20; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 2 Timothy 2:2). We will not forsake meeting together and make it a priority to attend corporate gatherings (Hebrews 10:25). To strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; To give it sacred preeminence over all institutions of human origin.

Together, we want to see God change lives to His glory according to His plan, and acknowledge each member needs the help of the body to see that happen. We will exhort one another to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24). We will pray for one another consistently (Philippians 1:3-6), and serve one another sacrificially (Romans 12:9-13). We will lovingly and genuinely confront one another and receive correction form one another as taught in the New Testament in regards to church discipline and restoration (Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; Galatians 6:1). We will gladly, consistently, and sacrificially support our church, the poor, and missions around the world for the spread of the Gospel (2 Corinthians 9:7; 2 Corinthians 2:16; Mark 12:41-44).

Together, we will submit to the leadership of our church as they serve and care for the members  as they are led by the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 13:17; Acts 6:1-7). Remembering they have been entrusted by God to teach His Word, and we will call on deacons who meet the qualifications to be servants of this church (2 Timothy 3:1-17). If we move from this local church, we will commit to another local body as soon as possible where we can carry out the truths of this covenant and the teachings of God’s Word.

Together, we acknowledge that we are all sinners (Romans 3:23) and will fail at times in keeping this covenant. We will strive to work towards keeping the truths of this covenant, and exhort one wan other to do the same. When we fail we will seek correction, ask and give forgiveness (Matthew 18:21-23; Colossians 3:13; 1 John 1:9), pursue reconciliation by way of repentance (Acts 3:19), and flee from our sin by reestablishing accountability (Luke 17:3; James 5:16).

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship with the Holy Spirit be with us all (2 Corinthians 13:14).

Amen.

Worthless Prayer Meetings

I like Paul Washer. He is a missionary, preacher, teacher, and author. I like his passion, I like his teaching, and I like that he proclaims the gospel. I was listening to an excerpt from a sermon online that was entitled, “Worthless Prayer Meetings.” If you have ever been to a prayer meeting they can be very routine. Update on who is in the hospital, who is sick, who is out of church, and so on. A lot of talking and little praying. This may not be the case at your church, but it is the case for many. Paul calls it worthless and said something that struck a chord with me. He said, “we spend all our time all our time praying to keep saints out of heaven than praying to get sinners into heaven.” Wow.

Last winter during my second semester of seminary I had a prof pose a very interesting question to me. He said, “Jared, if God answered all of your prayers for the last year how many people would become saved?” He was calling me out and rightfully so, it cut deep. I spent much more time praying for myself than for others. I still struggle with this because like you I am selfish. It’s not wrong to pray for yourself. However, it says something when you are crying out with shouts of dependency of God to save those who need Him most. I am I praying more for me, or for the glory of God to be shown by the salvation of many. Missions is the heartbeat of our God, and should be a focal point in our prayer life.

Back to Paul’s quote, “we spend all our time all our time praying to keep saints out of heaven than praying to get sinners into heaven..” We spend a lot of time in the church praying for Brother Jones or Sister Williams to be healed than we do for those in darkness to come into light. For sinners bound for Hell to miraculously be saved and join in community with other believers. We are praying to keep people from heaven more often than praying to keep many out of Hell. We spend more time talking about others like gossip around town. It’s not wrong to pray for the sick, not at all. In fact we should pray for the sick and hurting. But are we praying for the eternally sick and dying? Or are we just sharing information about others we have not even stopped to pray for.

In the grand reality of everything Mrs. Johnson’s hip surgery is not as important as millions of individuals dying and going to Hell, many never hearing the gospel. Paul said many of you would say if it were your hip you would want prayer, and he said yes, but if his children were lost he would rather have prayer for them. Does your prayer meeting sound more like a medical convention, or for the reality of the Gospel to capture the hearts of the lost? We can and should pray for the sick and hurting, but we should also be falling on our faces before God asking Him to do what only He can do; save wretched sinners like He did with you and with me. I hope you are. I hope you are in your private prayer life, and in prayer meetings.

I am committing to add individuals I know are not saved to my prayer calendar. Different ones each day, continually. Will you do the same? I hope so, and I hope I hear stories of those friends becoming children of God.

Here is a link to Washer’s excerpt:

Why Christians Should Stop using “OMG”

In the middle of the book of Exodus God gave the people of Israel ten laws that many of us know about. These of course are the “Ten Commandments” that you may have had taught to you in church, or seen displayed in various settings. One of the commandments says this, “Thou shall not take the Lord’s name in vain.” Let’s look at 4 questions we need to ask ourselves about taking the Lord’s name in vain. Then we will see why should stop using phrases like “OMG.”

What Does it Mean?

This is much more than cursing. Yes, that is an aspect of it but it is not the only aspect. So if you think, well I don’t say “GD” so I am good, I encourage you to keep reading. Swear words are really the least of our issues when it comes to taking His name in vain. Keeping yourself from swearing is like treating a symptom without addressing the problem. This perhaps may be the most broken commandment, or one of the most broken.

God’s name magnifies His power, nature, attributes. If not careful we can disassociate God’s name from who He is. We are not just misusing God’s name when we do this, we are abusing His name like the false prophets. That is not a category of people we want to be associated with. Our love and trust goes to God alone, that’s why we don’t take the Lord’s name in vain.

How Does This Apply to Us?

Bruce Ashford, Provost as Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, gives ten re-statements for the seventh commandment:

1) Thou shall not take you name more seriously than you take God’s name.

Think how someone misrepresents you to the world, is it offensive? When someones dishonors your name. When someone dishonors the name of God we should be all the more offended. Take His name much more serious than your own.

2) Thou shall not take the name Christian and contradict it with your life.

Show Christ great worth and value, and show Christ is better than anything the world can offer and greater than what death and suffering can takeaway. Look to Luke 14:25-33 to see the cost of taking the name of Christ. Live a life where our deeds match our words. Many people call themselves Christians without submitting to what it means to be a Christian. This is taking the Lord’s name in vain.

3) Thous shall not use God’s name lightly.

“People toss God’s name around like a drunken monkey at a biker rally, that carelessly and that often.” Look to movies and see how they refer to God. See people we know asking God to damn inanimate object and so on. Phrases like “OMG” cheapens the name of God. Do we need to say “oh my God” as often as we use it? Is celebrity gossip or a sporting event a reason to bring on the praise of God?

4) Thou shall not take my name vainly on Christian T-shirts, bumper stickers, or church signs.

Tacky Christian T-Shirts like: “Air Jesus: The only high I need it.” “FaithBook: God has sent you an invite, will you accept?”

Bumper Stickers: “God is my co-piolit” “Are you following Jesus this closely?”

Church Signs: “When God shuts a door He opens a window?” “Use Sonscreen to prevent sinburn”

This is taking His name very lightly. We again are cheapening the name of God. Jesus in not our homeboy, and statements like that show how litter we revere the King.

5) Thou shall not associate my name with anything it should not be associated with.

One example is the crusades, or war in general. It may not be wrong to ask God to assist you when protecting your family. However proclaiming He is on our side in war is dangerous. He has not given us the prophetic knowledge like Jeremiah and Isaiah to know that.

Also, even jokingly this is wrong. I recall the Auburn miracles last year and a lot of jokes about God being used in a manner that was not honoring. Friends, let’s be careful what we associate the name of God with. Football is not one of those things.

6) Thou shall not make a bunch of rules in my name.

Pharisees did this best. Didn’t want to break any of God’s law, but made many laws to prevent you from getting close to breaking God’s law. Good intentions subverted the whole process by confusing man’s law and God’s law. Because of this these men killed Jesus who was the only man worthy to carry God’s name.

7) Thou shall not use my name to bring honor to yourself.

We use His name to advance our own agendas, preachers can do this. I can run the risk in writing this blog. We can become guilty of glorifying our name, and that is sin. We don’t use His name so it draws attention to us, we use His name to point other to Him.

8) Thou shall not falsely describe me

Only God has the right to define who He is, through His self-revelation; His Word. That’s the problem with liberal revisionist theology. Falsely describing God into a god that they like and fits into their world view. Theology in this manner takes His name in vain. If we do not find it in the Word then we cannot use it to describe God. God has revealed what He has allowed us to know about Him, and it is all found in the Word.

9) Thou shall not mock me

This is referring to overt mockery. Someone like Richard Dawkins or others who publicly ridicule His name.

10) Thou shall not take the name Christian then cease to embrace who I am.

When we approach God’s name with sloppy and apathetic worship, lazy Bible Study, and so on it gives people a false picture of God. If a non-believer walks in to a service you want them to see that you are captured and beholding to all his truth, beauty, goodness, and power. Do they see that we really are clinging to the King? Have we really been made new as 2 Corinthians 5:21 says we will be. When people walk into church services do they see a gather of the saints submitting to the Holiest King, or apathetic and mundane people going through the motions?

Asking questions like, “how is the church benefiting me?” That question in and of itself shows we have missed the point of the church. The purpose of the Church is to glorify God by making Him known the ends of the earth. Do our churches display this, and the people of the churches display this, with their worship and lives?

What Are the Consequences?

When we take God’s name in vain it tarnishes His name, and diminishes His glory. Think over those ten restatements that Dr. Ashford presented. Are you guilty of them, any of them at all? If so, let us repent and flee from doing so. The thing is this is just one of the ten commandments. We need to evaluate ourselves. The Lord will not hold us guiltless. His name is above all else and He takes it very serious. Are we taking the name of the Lord seriously? Exodus 20:7 says He will not hold the man guiltless who takes His name in vain. Simple it is sin, and sin has consequences. Sin brings death.

How Does This Relate to Christ?

He is the only one who lives up to have God’s name attached to Him. He owned the name and lived up to it. This is why Christ was able to suffer the wrath of God for our blasphemy. He took on the our name, blasphemer, so we can take on His name, righteous one. He took our name so we could take His and sit at the right hand of God with His name. Because of His name at Baptism we take on the name of the Triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Immersed identifies us with the crucifixion, and and raised from the water it identifies us with the resurrection. This is why Believer’s Baptism by immersion is important. Not only is it a proclamation of the Gospel, it is a picture of the Gospel as well.

Christ is the name where people have committed ultimate blasphemy. Instead now, God does not hold those found in Christ guilty, but found Christ guilty on our behalf. Jesus overturned Exodus 20:7, God now holds us guiltless because Jesus is held guilty in our place. The name of Jesus rather than spelling our condemnation becomes the instrument of our healing and salvation. What a good and glorious Gospel! When we take the name of Christ then let us take with the blood that purchased. Let’s live a life worth of this calling.

Stop Using Trite Phrases Like “OMG”

Many will say that when they type “OMG” it means, “oh my gosh.” But it doesn’t the acronym stings for “oh my God.” Just ask any stranger what it means and they will tell you. It means one thing no matter if you want to make it mean something else.

God is holy, righteous, perfect, sovereign, loving, gracious, merciful, all powerful, special. If you believe this then why would you use His title as a dirty, throwaway expletive? Is His name to be associated with the things we attach “OMG” with? I think not.

Using “OMG” to share a ling on Facebook about how someone treats you, celebrity gossip, or a sporting event does not bring glory to the God. Do we really understand what we are doing when we use this? If not. I hope we do because God takes this very seriously.

How about this, only use God when you are actually taking about God. Let’s honor His name. Let’s take the name of God as serious as He takes it. If we really have been made new, let us show that in the way we speak and refer to God.

*Many of these thoughts come from a message I heard around this time last year from Dr. Bruce Ashford.*