Monday, January 08, 2007

Taking the Lord's Name in Vague

No, that's not a typo in the title. It's something I once said as a child.

I didn't know the gospel-but I did know of the Ten Commandments, and once I chastised someone for breaking the third commandment by telling them not to take the Lord's name in vague. I had either misheard or mis remembered what the commandment was.

Still, while it isn't a direct violation of the third commandment--we may be guilty of "taking the Lord's name in vague."

We may lack boldness or clarity. While God can still use this, it shouldn't be the way we normally use His name. How many songs, books, sermons, etc are guilty of this? We speak or sing of God with such vagueness that who are we really referring to? So much of it seems like fluff.

I also have a concern that there are people who think they are Christians because they heard a vague message about God--but they didn't hear the gospel and don't know Christ.

I'm not saying everybody has to be a great theologian and know all there is to know about God. What I am saying is we should be careful about how we refer to God. We should avoid shallow, vague messages and teaching. We should be clear.

Now Jesus did use parables, sometimes to hide the meaning from some listeners--but His parables were never vague. Those who were meant to understand did, even if they needed some help. Those with ears to hear did hear.

This is also not speaking against speaking simply so those who are seeking or learning can understand. To take them into consideration is speaking clearly. SOmetimes it is our Christian jargon that makes things vague. But it may be uncertainty, fear, timidity or something else. We need to be prayerful about how we speak of God, Christ, and the Gospel, let us do it according to those we are speaking to and the context, but let us not be vague.



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