Respecting God’s Name


USA Today Sports Internet site recently published the following headline:  Fan ejected for racial slur at Red Sox game:  ‘no longer welcome at Fenway Park.‘ The moral outrage exhibited against the offender makes me wonder why so many people today fail to respond with similar outrage at the common practice of violating the sanctity of God’s name.


It is truly a sad state of affairs when profaning God’s name is so commonplace that few people give it a second thought. The fact of the matter is that such misappropriation of God’s name is a direct violation of the third of the Ten Commandments:

Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God, because the Lord will not leave anyone unpunished who misuses his name (Exodus 20:7).


As many of you already understand, the Ten Commandments define and describe major aspects of what it means to love God as well as other human beings (your neighbor). Specifically, the first four commandments emphasize love toward God while the last six focus on loving our “neighbor.” This means that using racial slurs is also a serious spiritual offence.


Further, the commandments are interrelated in such a way that violating any one of them constitutes a breaking of the whole (James 2:10).  In my Life Essentials Study Bible, Principle #26, page 104 in Exodus, the principle reads:


As believers, we are to love one another as he has loved us in order to fulfill the requirements of the law.


Then, to further illustrate the inseparable relationship between love and the law, I quote from the apostle Paul who wrote, “Love, therefore, is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:10). Later, he admonishes Christians in Colossae to “put away all the following:  anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth” (Colossians 3:8b).  In so doing, we “demonstrate spiritually, morally, and ethically who we are in Christ” (Life Essentials Study Bible Principle #7 in Colossians).

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