/ / The Problem With OMG {Exodus 20}

The Problem With OMG {Exodus 20}

In recent years, we've seen the abuse of God's name replaced with the letters OMG. Many Christians use this, but here's the problem with OMG.   #Biblestudy #Exodus #WomensBibleStudy #GoodMorningGirls

It’s everywhere – the term “OMG”.

It’s in magazines, movies, on television, Facebook,  Twitter, blogs…yes, Christian ones, at Christian conferences…on the platform {gasp!} and it even sneaked into our house on a shirt my daughter received as a Christmas gift.

Lexi's shirt

Alexis wore this shirt (pictured above) to a church activity and when she returned home her brother looked right at her shirt and said, “Whoa!  Why are you letting her wear that?”

I did not even notice the words “OMG Cake!” were on that flag.  So my husband took a black sharpie marker and turned the O into a “heart” and the “MG” into “MY”.  Lol!

So what’s the problem with the term “OMG”?

In Exodus 20, God gave us the ten commandments. The first 4 commandments refer to our relationship with God:

1.)  You shall have no other gods before Me.
2.)  You shall not make idols.
3.)  You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
4.)  Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

The next 6 commandments refer to our relationship with each other:

5.)  Honor your father and your mother.
6.)  You shall not murder.
7.)  You shall not commit adultery.
8.)  You shall not steal.
9.)  You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10.)  You shall not covet.

If we turn back to Exodus 19, we see these 10 commandments came to Moses in the midst of thunder, lightening, fire, a thick cloud of smoke and trumpet blasts!  All the people in the camp trembled at the glory of God!

This God, who is flippantly referred to in the “OMG” phrase, who came down in thunder, lightening, fire, a thick cloud of smoke and trumpet blasts…the One that the Israelietes trembled at, the One who sent the 10 plagues and the One who parted the red sea – the Great I AM…

….has commanded, we do not take HIS name –in vain.

And I’m thinking we should obey it!

The third commandment says:

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.” Exodus 20:7

Vain means…having no real substance, value, importance, empty, void, and worthless.

To use God or Jesus Christ’s name in vain, is to empty the significance of His name and take away from His glory.

If we use God’s name, in a way that is not in reverence or holiness, we are breaking this command.  Yet, today we see and hear it everywhere.  Often times, it goes hand in hand with other profanity.

I do not believe we should be the “OMG” police or  go around correcting other’s speech.  But rather Jesus says, “You are the light of the world.”  As lights, our speech should look different.

Because we are children of God, we understand the power of God’s name!

Jesus told us when we pray, pray like this:

“Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be your name.”

Hallowed…or holy is His name!

And Jesus says in John 14:14,

“If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”

There is power in the name of Jesus!  His name is higher than any other!

We see at the end of the command a consequence:

the Lord will not hold guiltless who takes his name in vain.”

Only 2 of the 10 commandments come with a consequence attached. This shows the seriousness of this command…but we are no longer under the law.

In Romans 3:20, we see that it is through the law, that we come to the knowledge of our sin. When we review the 10 commandments, we see that we are guilty of breaking at least one and therefore in need of a Savior.

Jesus fulfilled the law and paid the penalty for all of our sin. When we place our faith in Him we are declared righteous by the blood of the lamb.  (Hallelujah!) We are under grace but not so sin may abound.  We do not live by lists and rules and legalism.  We live by love.  Jesus said the greatest commandment is that we love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and if we love Him, we will keep His commandments (John 14:15).

David said it best in Psalm 145:

“I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless you
and praise your name forever and ever.”

Let’s put an end to the vanity and profanity of God’s name and lift His name in reverence and awe…forever.

Obey the 3rd commandment…and teach your children to obey it as well.

Walk with the King,

Courtney

****Chime In****

1.)  Have you seen and heard this phrase being used a lot lately?  Do you struggle with using this phrase?  

2.) There are other ways people use the Lord’s name in vain including blaspheming, singing worship songs when they don’t mean it, or naming idols or other Gods with His name.  What other ways have you seen God’s name used in vain? 

2.) We covered a lot of material this week in our Good Morning Girls reading including the manna from heaven, water from a rock, the battle of Amalekites and Moses’ staff, and Jethro’s wonderful fatherly advice. What did you learn this week during your quiet time in Exodus 16-20?

 

163 Comments

  1. It’s amazing to me how many Christian people use this word. My husband personally hates it when preachers or others use the word “Gosh” also since it it so close to God’s name. My children were never allowed to use anything that closely resembled the Lord’s name when using it for anything other than speaking about or to the Lord. He always wanted my children to reverence His Holy name.

    1. I agree that we should honor the Name of our lord Another pet pea is putting bands and ribbons around your baby’s head I normaly do not correct people I know they do it in ignorence but a child is in the image of God and we do no own them but are given the oppoptunity to rasise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord they are not property that we can own. And should we try to package them as one that owns them. You can noty improve them with a ribbon I don’t like it. correct me if I am wrong But I think it falls in the same catagory.

      1. Amen Richard, Amen. Such blatant disregard for our children displayed by mothers everywhere. Stop robbing these little ones of their rightful standing as creatures of God.

      2. I’m very confused on why headbands would be wrong on a babies head? Would you please explain your reasoning why that is wrong.

      3. What? No. Just, no. Putting a bow or ribbon or headband on a baby’s head is not in any way blasphemous. Not any more than putting socks on its feet or diapers on its butt. That’s just plain ridiculous.

        1. I agree with you , we are not under the old law , just use spiritual common sense the spirit of God in you He’ll let you know we just need to go by our heart Gods spirit inside us .my goodness some people haven’t read enough of Gods word to know His word, so that’s what prayer is for ,let’s pray for others their sin is not our sin , just pray and advise others when God directs us to do so. I myself do not use that omg I do not feel comfortable with it my saying Is oh my goodness .

    2. I think the god you refer to is the most evil, tyrannical, jealous, sadistic, murderous, genocidal character ever created in fictional literature.

  2. This has been such a pet peeve of mine. I really get upset when I have seen it with the F put in there–I don’t get it, why? Are there no other words a person can use to convey how they are feeling?

  3. I could not agree more. This has always been a pet peeve of mine and has gotten my children in trouble more than once. WTG hubby on changing the wording on the shirt.

    1. Hi Shannon! 🙂 I am curious about what you’re saying about peace signs? I have a niece who loves to wear them! I guess I have only ever known them to mean, well…peace 🙂 maybe you could shine some light for me to understand if they’re not something we want?? Thanks!

      1. Not to start anything here–it was originally the “cross of Nero”. He cruelly persecuted and killed Christians. Peter, the disciple was crucified on this upside down cross. I just feel as a Christian, that it isn’t

        1. Not to start anything here–it was originally the “cross of Nero”. He cruelly persecuted and killed Christians. Peter, the disciple was crucified on this upside down cross. I just feel as a Christian, that it isn’t a symbol we should wear.

      2. Peace signs were also used during the 60’s by the hippies as a sign of rebellion it represented a broken upside down cross.

        1. Oh wow I don’t know where you were in the sixtys and seventies but I was wearing peace signs then. They are not upside down crosses. Whatever gave you that idea? A peace sign was meant to express “Peace not War”. An upside down cross is an upside down cross, with the arms of it exactly in the place they would be if it was right side.up. Have you ever seen a peace sign?☮️ Now turn your screen upside down, does that look like a cross? I promise you it’s not!

        1. Same here! We do not allow peace signs either for the same reason and you see them everywhere. My mother in law bought a jacket for one of our girls covered (and I mean covered) in peace signs once and I believe it ended up in the goodwill box.

  4. I’m so glad you wrote this! It really is unfortunate how many people use this term with such a casual lax attitude.

  5. Could not agree more!!

    The problem is my 6 yo does the word police thing! Lol Poor random people in public who flippantly use God’s name with him around! Working on it! Lol

    Good thinking the way he “fixed” the shirt! 🙂

    1. I’ve been teaching my kiddos to instead of correct or react in a judgemental way to rather lift up a little prayer by silently saying “sorry Lord” every time they hear it.

    2. My son is 19 now but when he was 4 he would point to someone near us in the grocery store and ask, “is she a Christian, mom? If she isn’t she will go to hell.” Lol

    3. Don’t discourage your son! Our precious children can be a witness to those around us in this way. He is only speaking the truths which you have taught him from God’s word!

    4. Just let him correct….People hear things differently from children. He may just help someone realize they are in the wrong. 🙂

  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you! So many forget that this is still taking the Lords name in vain. It grieves me when I hear people use His name so flippantly.

  7. I totally agree Courtney! My wonderful Grandma Matthews (I miss her so much!) taught me as a child how to respect the name of God. We were NEVER to say it in anger, surprise, or any other way the world misuses His Holy name. I’ve taught the same to my children and will teach my grandson who will make his arrival in March – so exciting!

    This week’s reading in Exodus was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!! I’m getting ready to write my blog post for Friday…I’ve already linked up my post for Monday and Wednesday. I’ll come back in the morning after my quiet time and SOAK are finished to link up Friday’s blog post.

    Have a blessed weekend!

    Walking in His Grace,
    Laurie

  8. Yes! Totally agree with you! Love me some HGTV, but when they do the reveals it is these words over and over again. We put it on mute. What are your thoughts on “oh my goodness” and simply “oh my!” Are these just deviations of OMG? I admit to saying these and it never means to be a deviation of OMG, but I’m wondering how it may sound to others.

  9. Thanks for this. We have always believed this and taught out children not to say this or anything similar. I’ve heard the argument that “God” is not his name, but I just don’t buy it. Yes, I know his name(s). But don’t we say “Dear God” when we pray? Don’t we sing “Then sings my soul, my savior, God, to Thee”? If we call him “God” in prayer and praise, why turn around and use the same word as a substitute for cuss word, to express surprise or disgust? Christians typically call him God, not Jehovah or YHWH, or anything else.

  10. I see it used all the time, but I try to be gracious and believe that most of them are thinking “Oh my goodness” or even “oh my gosh” (which I don’t prefer, but I appreciate that they make an effort not to use God’s name). I do, however, like to type out “OMGoodness” because I believe it may make someone else consider what they’re actually writing when they say “OMG”. I think being a good example goes a long way!

    There’s one other thing that has driven me crazy, though, ever since a girl in college pointed it out to me (probably 10 years ago or so). It’s one I was guilty of and had never even considered, but once she mentioned it I couldn’t NOT see it that way. Here it is: We use God’s name as a filler-word during prayer. Especially when we’re praying out loud, we try so hard not to say “umm” or “like” that we sometimes substitute “And God…” to fill the blank space while we’re thinking. Granted, it’s not every time someone says His name during the prayer, but quite often it really is just a filler word. And that thought just doesn’t sit well with me. I think a pause or even stumbling over our words is much more acceptable than to throw His name around lightly.

    1. I also type out OMGoodness! And have taught my littles if they feel then need to say it than to say Goodness as well. They are pretty good about it and have been working on their dad.

    2. I couldn’t disagree more about the notion of God being used as a filler word. Some people feel more compelled to call out to God during prayer several times. It’s their way of connecting with the Lord. What right does anyone have to instruct others on how or how not to pray? And just because someone else hears it as a filler word does not mean that the person praying is using it in that regard. They are having a personal conversation with God; worshiping in the best way they know how.

  11. Using the name of the Lord in vain does not always involve words. It can involve actions too.
    If I say I am a Christian, but act otherwise, I am making God’s name vain/empty/meaningless. Others are able to say “what difference does it make in her life?”

    1. Yes Sandy, the word in Exodus is “take” not “use” if it were “use” then one could argue saying OMG is a violation of the commandment, not that I’m saying it is right to do so – just that this commandment as you have pointed out is about “taking” or identifying as His when having no intention of committing and doing it vainly

      1. Good words. I think that it is good of you to point that out to people that are judging others for what they deem is sinful but others don’t see it as sinful.

  12. I’m just wondering, but does no one use “omg” for “oh my goodness”? I’ve used it for that for years and you won’t hear “oh my God” come out of my mouth. I do not say it and also can’t stand to hear it. Although not true for everyone, I do believe many ppl use “omg” to mean “oh my goodness.” Just wanted to encourage some who are bothered when they see/hear other Christians or even pastors use the phrase. I think it just all comes down to the meaning of the individual. Even the slang dictionary says it can mean “God,” “goodness,” or “gosh.” Just my thoughts. 🙂

    1. I say o my goodness, too but have always refrained from the abbreviation because what first pops in my head when I see it is the phrase Oh My G** and I def would not want to be misunderstood… But that’s me… I don’t know about other folks.

    2. Absolutely!! I always say “goodness” but do type OMG on occasion. In my head it is always goodness regardless of how others read it.

    3. Exactly. God knows what we’re saying and what we mean because He knows our heart. If we’re not right He will convict us and we will know.

      1. Yes, but, the Bible instructs Christians to avoid all appearance of evil. So, my personal opinion is that we shouldn’t type those letters, even if in our own heads and hearts we know we’re saying Oh My Goodness, because to most other people, it would APPEAR that we’re saying the other.

        1. I completely agree with you Marisa. If the world uses the acronym to mean what we know it means, then we should have no part in that acronym.

      2. I’m very cautious, because if it causes my brother to stumble then I would write the word “goodness”. God does know our hearts, but sadly others don’t. I don’t want to be a stumbling block for others. The easy way out is saying God knows our hearts.

  13. My friend sent me me a text about your website. Yes,I agree that isn’t honoring to the Lord at all. And I loved how you mentioned singing songs. If we’re focused on other things, then we aren’t worshipping or praising Him the way He should be praised. That was very convicting.
    A reminder to make sure our focus is on Him and to exalt Him in all that we do. It makes me think of Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

  14. I was at a training session last summer where one of the topics were the 10 commandments and the teacher mentioned that he thought using the name of God in vain was not swearing but praying to God when not warrented… Like… If I left the house late and asked God to help me get to where I’m going on time… (Because it’s our responsibility to leave on time).
    I thought that was sort of waaay out there. I think if we pray even for little things like that God hears us… He may want to teach us a lesson, yeah… Or he may pave the way before us… As a mom when my kids need help sometimes I make them get out of their problems. On their own, sometimes I help them out… But I’m never angry nor consider it a violation of our rules for them to ask me for help…

    1. I haven’t ever heard the idea that praying about things that aren’t warranted because it was our responsibility in the first place (like you mentioned, getting somewhere on time). Personally, I pray about anything I’m concerned with, no matter how small or if I may have some fault in the matter. Whether it be about getting somewhere on time (though usually I just pray that the timing works out, as often other people are late, too). I’m learning to not get all bent out of shape if I end up being late getting somewhere, as things usually work out in the end. An example, I was going to my nephews concert a couple of months ago and wound up stuck in traffic and had a hard time finding the entrance to the building it was being held at. We were late, but, thankfully, the concert had not started due to technical difficulties. See, it all worked out, no reason to worry, but I DID pray that it would work out. And, it did.

  15. I generally do not ever use that phrase because I do not want to use the Lord’s name in vain, or it be construed that way. If/when I ever do use it, I usually type out or say “oh my gosh”. Because it is an expression of surprise, and I also want to encourage others to use that instead of the other 🙂 Also, people that say Jesus for all the wrong reasons, instead I encourage geez, or gosh, or yikes, or wow.

    1. I am LDS and love your post. 🙂 I also say “oh my heck” and I’m working on eliminating “holy cow” from my vocabulary. I’m assuming that phrase came from the Israelites and the golden calf they worshiped.

  16. I agree completely! When people say it, it hurts me…
    When people say the other one (J**** C****) This gets me so bad. I hate it so much. My brother says them both all the time. Being quite new to faith i never said anything. Then one day we were sat in a little cafe and he kept saying J****C**** and my youngest child was with us (3yo) and i knew then i need to take a stand and show my lo its not acceptable. So i took it up with my brother and asked him not to say it because it offends me. So then that turned into a very long discussion on faith. He is a very opinionated atheist. He was really aggressive! (he’s 18…I’m 30) i found it hard but i knew if i didn’t say something then, why am i even professing to have a faith? Also a bit of scripture came into my head Matthew 19;29 “and everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life”
    I knew in that second that i would happily walk out of that cafe without my brother and be ok with that for the sake of my lord and saviour! I had been questioning my faith for a while and praying that God would give me an opportunity to show my faith to someone. And he certainly delivered!
    So i guess if we want to show our love for God we need to correct people when we feel able too. Put on the armour of God!!
    Those poor people in the cafe…My mum just left us to it!! lol…
    We live in England in a tiny town. So you can imagine what people think of me now….oh well 😉

    1. The irony! It always amazes me that for some one atheists don’t believe in they sure do call out to Him enough. How can someone be so offended being asked not to use a name he feels has no meaning? Notice people don’t say OMM or OMB for Mohamed or Buddha. Ask you brother to try replacing JC with one of these every time he has the urge to use it. It might help show him the power those two words carry with them.

  17. In answer to your question have I seen that phrase being used alot, I have to say that I haven’t but that could be more to do with the season I am in right now. As a stay at home mum I decide what comes into our home be that tv shows, music etc and I think it makes it alot easier as my son is only 14 months so his speech isn’t influnced by school friends, peer pressure.
    I think this post is a great reminder of a truth we accept but perhaps can overlook. We are fortunate in the UK to have a watershed on TV where language/violence on shows cannot be shown till after a certain time but ultimatley we must stay vigelent as to what we allow ourselves to consume – be that music, tv, films, language from friends.
    Heres my blog post from this past weeks reading http://wonderfullyrandomblog.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/blogging-through-bibleexodus-19.html

    1. I do the same except I do OMGoodness. Because that’s what I mean. And I guess I don’t see saying “oh my” or “oh my goodness” as anywhere close to saying “oh my God”. Never even a thought in my mind that they would be considered as being the same. I suppose to some it is, but to me. I’m the type of person who says what I mean. It’s rarely implied. I’m a very literal person that way.

    2. Sorry, my reply comment was for someone else. But I will say that saying ‘gosh’ is not unbiblical. It’s what people perceive it to be, which is a different way of saying ‘God’. I think people can get legalistic about these things. What means something to one person will mean something entirely different to someone else. What’s important to remember is GOD knows our heart and what we’re saying. Let Him be the judge. Like Courtney said, we don’t need to be busting people. Pray for them.

  18. Thanks for addressing this so beautifully! Excellent post. We need to measure our words and think before we speak.
    It’s interesting that others also notice what you don’t say. I frequently have people apologize and notice that my speech is different and they feel some guilt for words/phrases that they are speaking.
    I absolutely love the quick wit your husband used to salvage that shirt. I don’t think I would have thought of that and probably would have just proposed not wearing – donating. What a great solution!

  19. My friend told me this great story I hope to use someday: Someone she was with kept using JC in conversation so she asked the person, “Do you know why you’re using that name? It’s because there is power in the name of Jesus Christ!” I think she went on to say that if a person doesn’t understand the power in His name then they really shouldn’t be shouting it out. I love it! I really don’t think people realize that they’re saying it, nor how often. It makes my stomach twist when I hear it. (Taylor Swift

  20. Thr first time I heard OMG I knew it wasn’t right. Our God is an awesome God (we use awesome so flippantly that it’s lost it’s proper meaning) and can not be confined to an abbreviation over trivial things! So what I’ve always done to let others in on my disapproval with the ‘OMG’ is to write ‘OMGosh’, might not seem like much but I think it helps show my point.

  21. I struggle with this issue, because my husband’s mother is a very kind, generous woman who adores her grandkids, but she says “oh my God” as an expression of surprise at least 5 times a day. And after a few days around her, my 3 and 5 year old repeat it. I’ve talked (at other times when she is not present) with the 5 year old that, in our house, we believe it is disrespectful of God to use that phrase, and he is not to use it. I said that other people believe differently (trying to not point fingers at my MIL), but that’s how we believe, but I struggle with how far to go correcting them in front of MIL while still honoring her as my husband’s mother. I haven’t had an in depth conversation with my husband about this issue, as we have other, more immediate issues with his father’s behavior and that is definitely the priority for him to deal with during their visits. Something to work on, anyway. Thanks for the post!

  22. I was taught and I am now teaching my children this truth about honoring God’s name. It is difficult in the culture we live in to teach them a different pattern of speech. We’ve encountered the use of “omg” and “gosh” in the church nursery, with their friends, and definitely on TV shows geared toward young kids. My kids are 5 and under and we’ve already discussed several times why we don’t use these terms. I appreciate your post and bringing this subject to our attention again!

    1. My kids would laugh at me if I said that! LOL. But it’s probably not as silly as what I DO say…. Oh Mylanta!

  23. Thank you for addressing this. I thought I was the only one bothered by this. Personally, I don’t see the problem with OMGosh. I don’t see it as a deviation for “God.” To me it’s more of an intentional word choice. In fact, like some others mentioned, I think it actually calls attention to the fact that you can convey the same message and deliberately choose NOT to use the Lord’s name in vain. Maybe it makes someone else think twice.

  24. the English translation of this verse really waters down it’s true meaning and I doubt that ancient Israelites were saying ‘OMG!’ Or ‘JC’. The true meaning of this verse from the original Hebrew has nothing to do with using the word ‘god’ as a cuss word. It’s original meaning is that we are not to misrepresent God’s character (name) in any way, shape or form. The Sin is in falsely representing who He is and what He says in our own words and deeds. It’s much more serious than what we have always believed.

    1. You’re right Laura. Of course we should always be concerned with what comes out of our mouths but our actions speak just as loud. All day long we can use good and proper speech however if our actions aren’t Godly then our words are void and useless. Not only does this speak of what we should and shouldn’t say but on a deeper level it’s about speaking truth in love as well as representing God and His character to a dying world. We are to know His character and walk in it daily. Our words and actions go hand in hand.

  25. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!!!!!!
    And while you’re reminding everyone of this – you might consider letting them know that Gosh, Golly and Gee are euphemisms of God’s name and are disrespectful, also. I would much rather hear profanity! Of course, I’d rather a perfect world and kind words only – but I guess I’ll have to wait to get to heaven for that.

  26. I was brought up to NEVER take the Lords name in vain. So when I say Oh my gosh – that is what I mean gosh. However, after reading your post I can see how a non believer would take it as the same as God. I will try and stop using gosh. I don’t like it when people/kids use freaking.

  27. I really liked what you had to say bc I used to swear a lot and have been convicted for years now but still have work to do as my convictions grow. Trying to steer away from “Oh my gosh” to “Oh wow” especially with my kids! They tend to drop the “sh” sound and it comes out too close to what we try to avoid in the first place. And sadly, old ways flow when tempers rise for me. This post had tons of good reasons to mind our tongue and respect our heavenly Father much more.

  28. In my family OMG stands for Oh My Goodness. We don’t take the Lord’s name in vain or use it lightly. There are a lot of Christians out there that think it’s no big deal. I guess only God knows what’s in a person’s heart, but it does seem disrespectful. Thanks again for bringing up another interesting topic. You’re the best!

  29. I always thought my parents were so lame because they made such a big deal out of Oh My G**. They just drilled it into our heads that we could not say it but never explained why on our level.
    As a parent myself now, I don’t allow it in my house but not until just yesterday when my 6yr old asked me why it was a bad word did I fully grasp the meaning behind “in vain”.
    I explained to him that “when we speak God’s name it should be when we are talking about Him, not when we are expressing ourselves over something crazy that just happened. There are so many words in the English language that we can use to describe our emotions!!”. We went on to coming up with those many other ways and got a good laugh at it. “Bananas” is our favorite 🙂

  30. I 100% agree that we should not be using OMG as a shortened way to take the Lord’s name in vain. I teach my children the same. However, I don’t see anything wrong with “Oh my gosh” or “Oh my goodness.” Even if I don’t hear the end “sh” sound, when I ask my kids what they said, they tell me they said gosh. If they are intentional about not using the Lord’s name in vain, then they are following his commandment. If I mishear them, that is not their sin. We are teaching our children that the socially flippant way of voicing surprise is unacceptable in the Lord’s eyes, and showing them that there is a better alternative that allows them to be expressive without sinning.

  31. I really like the article. I have never liked using that and never have. Regardless of which meaning people mean by it, it can be taken however someone else might perceive it. I used to be “on the other side” and now that Jesus is Lord over my life, the Holy Spirit convicts me, even in things I may write in a text message. Thanks for bringing this to light! Praise be to our Heavenly King!!

  32. I completely agree that His Name should not be tossed about. However, we need to keep in mind that this also pertains to claiming to be His child when we truly are not. And when people say ‘God says’ or ‘God told me’ when He really didn’t. I would also like to address the “We are not under the law.” In Matt. 5:17 Jesus tells us that He did not come to do away with the law, but to fulfill it. So why are we being taught that He did do away with the law? This is no different then me saying that because I drove the speed limit, nobody else ever has to do it. The Greek “pleroo” (fulfill) means ‘to render perfect’. Jesus had to fulfill the law in order that He could be the perfect sacrifice. If He had not fulfilled the law, then He would not have been a pure & spotless sacrifice for our sins, once and for all, and there would have had to be a backup plan, like maybe the continuation of animal sacrifices. What would Jesus do? He kept the commandments. Why would He follow the commandments and teach His disciples to do the same, if He was going to get rid of them? Doesn’t make sense does it? People say it is impossible to keep all 613 commandments. Really? Would a loving Father set His children up for failure? Do you purposely make so many rules in your home that your children can’t follow them just so you can punish them? Besides, how many laws must you keep to file your taxes? See Romans 3:31 & 7:12; I Cor. 7:19. Why would Paul warn us about lawlessness in II Thess.2:7 if the law no longer meant anything? See Heb. 8:10 & Deut.6:4-8. The ‘law’ (the word Torah actually means ‘instruction’ not law) is to be written on our hearts. We are to keep it out of a love for our Father and His instruction. He only wants the best for us, He wants to protect us. In Matt. 5:18 Jesus said, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” This plainly says that the law still stands. And it’s not just for the Jews. Remember that Romans, Corinthians, Thessalonians, etc. are written to BELIEVERS. We do have His grace. We are no longer sentenced to death if we break a commandment. We have His forgiveness and His mercies new every morning!

    1. Actually he did give so many rules that they would be unable to be fulfilled except by Jesus Christ to prove a point. We can’t get to Heaven on our own. There are things that are fulfilled, like we can wear clothes of two different fabrics and we don’t have to make our daughters marry their rapists or stone them if they weren’t a virgin on their wedding night, we don’t have to keep kosher (it’s not what goes into a man that defiles him verse etc) yet we are told not to sin. We are to do our best to be like Christ but we have all fallen short. Do you really know and follow all 613 commandments? I believe that’s what people mean when they say we are not under the law, that some things have been fulfilled by Christ, not that we have a license to sin.

    2. Lisa,

      You are cheapening the law when you believe that you can do it, or when you teach others that they’re obligated to, not to mention giving them an impossible task that will only increase their own propensity to sin (1 Cor 15:56, Romans 5:20). There is a reason why so many pastors raise children who eventually rebel, and it’s often due to an inability to “rightly divide the Word of God” (that is, distinguish between the Covenants). The law is a perfect reflection of God’s perfect character. God’s law doesn’t ask for your best effort. No, it demands excellence. It demands perfection from all who are under it (Matthew 5:48). You and I don’t even come close. If you think you can achieve that, then you need to read the Sermon on the Mount over and over again until it sinks in that *you’re not capable of achieving that.*

      Also, it’s important to know that Jesus didn’t actually call his disciples to follow the law. The purpose of The Sermon on the Mount was to destroy every hope and fantasy they had of fulfilling it (“Moses said not to murder. I know you think you’ve kept this law. But I tell you, if you’ve hated, you’ve murdered.” [paraphrased]). He did the exact same thing to the Rich Young Ruler. He thought he was keeping the law, and when he sought after Jesus’ approval, Jesus elevated it for him to “Impossible Status.” (Sure, some people could sell all of their possessions and follow Jesus, but Jesus knew what was in the guy’s heart, and he knew that it wasn’t in him to do that).

      The disciples (and all the Jews) interpreted the 10 Commandments to be about outward behavior. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus corrected their understanding by revealing to them that the 10 Commandments are deeper than outward behavior. It’s about one’s motives/heart. So first of all, even if you *could* fulfill all 613 laws (which you aren’t doing, anyway), your motives need to be perfect. And if you think they are, then again, you should read the Sermon on the Mt over and over again until you give up, because that’s what the law is designed to do: force you to resign of your own efforts and rely completely on Jesus.

      Personally, I can’t pretend that I understand the depth of what Jesus meant when he said that he came to fulfill the law and not to abolish it. What I do understand is that he fulfilled the law on our behalf because we simply could never do it. The part that I struggle with, admittedly, is understanding the “abolish” part. I suspect that what he means is that the law is still a perfect and holy representation of God’s character, and that it is still doing it’s job, which is to point humanity to the New Covenant of Grace (aka Jesus), but even as I write this, I am full of questions, and I know that I always will be.

      Lastly, I would just like to warn you to be careful about what you preach. Jesus warned not to mix new wine (New Covenant) with old wine skins (Old Covenant), otherwise the wine will spoil and the skins will burst. I used to confuse these Covenants and because of it I lived on both sides of the cross, and the result was that I lived under constant guilt and shame, and while I was effective at shaming others into rededicating their lives to Christ by convincing them they weren’t actually “following” him, I never brought a single person to Christ. The reason is because lost people can pick up on the inconsistencies of living on both sides of the cross like a hound dog. The truth is that you can’t live under both covenants. To attempt to do so is to teach one thing and live another.

      I pray that you get to know the real Jesus (I’m *not* saying that you’ve not saved. The Galatians were referred to as “brothers and sisters in Christ” in the opening of the letter, and then later Paul says they had fallen from Grace. This does not mean that they lost their salvation or were never saved to begin with, rather it means they fell from the lifestyle of grace.). And I hope that I have said this gently and with humility, as Paul says not to flaunt our “superior knowledge” of Grace in 1 Cor 8 (I understand that sounds arrogant, but it’s Paul’s words, not mine). Just remember that when you heap law on someone, you heap guilt and shame, because they can’t actually do it. You’re setting them up for failure. When you heap Grace on someone and show them unconditional love, they are empowered, encouraged, and propelled into holiness.

      1. Jeff,

        Thank you for the warning of being careful of what you preach. I would like to lovingly extend that warning to you as well. We are all on a spiritual journey. I don’t believe Lisa is telling anyone what to do or how to live. She’s simply sharing what she has learned and studied and you have done the same. Do you have anything other than the Sermon on the Mount? That can’t possibly be all that you hang your hat on. You act as if God’s instructions are poison, that there is mo grace, mercy or love. You’d be wrong to think that. Please be careful in what you say concerning Jews. You cannot assume and make blanket statements. Not all Jews see the 10 commandments as instructions to modify their outward behavior. As a matter of fact I heard a Jew say that the 613 gives more depth and clarity to the 10 commandments. As well, there’s no such thing as living on both sides of the cross. The bible is ONE book. It was NEVER divided into chapters, verses, titled sections, covenants or testaments. This is the work of men…fallible, imperfect men. They added to and took away from the cannon we have now. Read up on the church fathers and church history. Don’t just read the parts you agree with, read everything. You would be surprised at what you find. I challenge you (as I did) to rip out the piece of paper that divides (not unifies) the “old” and “new” testaments. Take a permanent marker and cover the chapter and verse numbers. Cross out all the titled sections. Then read through the bible again with fresh new eyes as ONE book and see what you find.

        1. Jamileh,

          Everything in the Bible points to Jesus, including the law. Despite your presumptions (which seem to be based on the reality that I did not provide more biblical evidence for what I was saying — and honestly, I thought that what I said was way too much, especially when considering this is a blog comment and not a dissertation), I am well acquainted with the scriptures. Could I know more than I do? Of course I could, and I wish I did. I wish I had the time and energy to give you the biblical evidence that you’re requesting, but honestly it’s a heart issue. You took my words that elevated Christ above the law as an attack on the law, even though I never came close to attacking it. Why would I attack that which represents God’s character? In fact, no one took greater offense at Jesus than the Pharisees. Why? Because he is greater than the law, and that irked them.

          Honestly, Jamileh, I admit that I am very curious about Covenant theology. Like. . . I’m extremely curious. But even if you want to take the potential flaw in my words about the “old covenant” and “new covenant” and throw the baby out with the bathwater so that you can satisfy your need to disregard everything I said, my point remains: Christ > Law. If you take offense to that, then you take offense to the Son of God, Abba, and Holy Spirit. To think that a mirror (the law) is greater than the one who’s radiance it reflects is to insult Him and His entire kingdom.

          Lastly, you remind me of some very good friends that my wife and I have. They are the most selfless people that we know (I mean we seriously enjoy them, and honestly it makes replying to you easier because they’re amazing. Frustrating sometimes, but amazing.), and yet when I talk with them about theology, all they do is answer my questions with questions. It’s so circular and it drives me nuts because sometimes I think they can educate me but they have never even attempted to give me any answers. It’s like what they believe or why they believe it isn’t even up for discussion. So trust me when I say that I’m dying to understand covenant theology better than I do, and I truly am seeking it. But honestly, those whom I know that can communicate with grace what they believe about the law in relationship to the believer (like Bible College friends), I tend to find discrepancies in what they’re saying, and so I can’t jump on board with it (yes, even my own understandings). Yet those around me who have taken offense at similar comments I’ve made about the law (my friends whom I’ve referenced above) have never offered me an iota of insight or direction to further my understanding it. So it’s somewhat difficult for me to reply to you because of that.

          Respectfully, Jamileh, you have done the same. You attempted to undermine my entire statement by taking offense and accusing me of not studying enough scripture, and yet you have provided me *nothing*. If all I gave you was the Sermon on the Mount, I got nothing in return from you to counter it, other than “you’re understanding is weak,” and, “the Sermon on the Mount isn’t enough.”

          Finally, I sound super, super harsh and irritated in the above text, and I am so so so sorry. I want to speak sternly, but I do not want to disrespect you, either. You are my brother/sister in Christ, and you deserve the same love from me that I would give anyone else. If any of this comes across as rude, I truly do apologize, and I honestly don’t mean to, plus I don’t doubt for a split-second that we wouldn’t appreciate each others company. It’s just that so much can be gleaned from written word that isn’t actually there, and so I pray that while we speak sternly to one another, it remains to be in love.

          1. Jeff,

            It is all in love and passion for truth and God’s ways. We are brother and sister in Messiah and so I would hope that all we say to one another (as well as others) is in love and truth.
            I don’t know your friends so I can’t speak for them however I will say this. Those of us who walk in this Way are and can be a bit hesitant in answering questions from others for several reasons. First, they may not answer because they don’t want to fight and possibly cause damage to the relationship. Secondly, some of us believe that asking questions back to the person who is seeking or questioning will prod said person to read, study and dig for themselves. After exhaustive search, if you arrive at a conclusion, that conclusion is yours and yours alone. No one can take that from you. You’ve searched it out yourself so it will mean more to you and really soak into your heart. We believe that man’s doctrine (church fathers, pastors, rabbi’s, etc) is imperfect and fallible at best and shouldn’t be leaned on (Proverbs 3:5-7). Third, if the motive of the questions or discussion isn’t known then a real in depth conversation isn’t going to happen. There are those who walk in this Way who have gone into these conversations lovingly with an open heart only to be slammed and told their wrong. The whole point of the conversation for the other party was to tear apart and destroy the other party out of arrogance and pride. We are even outcasts to our extended families. For instance my mother in law knows what we believe and is fine with it. We have a great loving relationship with her. My relationship with my parents and siblings (save my brother) has been broken for years. It was broken before my family and I started walking in this Way for many reasons. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Without listening to anything we had to say my mother (Christian woman almost her whole life) started foaming at the mouth, ranting and raving, calling names, etc. I’m sure if we had been in her presence she would’ve struck me and my husband physically (she’s done it before over simple things). I have a friend who was pregnant and physically attacked by her christian mother in law. A few days later she lost her baby. Situations like this have caused us to be very careful and guarded. We have a good friend who is setting up a potluck dinner with us and some of his friends from church. They want to know more about what we believe and why. Before we agreed to this we prayed about it and then asked what the true motivation behind it is. Yeshua (Jesus) did the same thing at times. He would answer a question with a question or He would speak in parables. Even when He was asked directly if He was the Messiah what did He do? He asked them a question. He never came right out and said yes. God is cyclical not linear so when you say, “It’s so circular” you’re right. Everything scriptural is circular or cyclical. I agree that everything from Genesis to Revelation points to Yeshua (Jesus). I also believe that He walked out everything while He was here on earth. I believe we are to look, sound, act, and walk just like Him. He is not this blue eyed white guy that He’s been made out to be. He was of the tribe of Judah…He was a Hebrew and looked like a Hebrew. If you look at Middle Eastern people (I am one of them) you will see a close resemblance to what Yeshua looked like. He had dark skin, hair and eyes and was a hairy man. Us Middle Eastern people can grow the hair let me tell you! My nephew has what we refer to lovingly as a hairy man coat. The hair literally covers his entire body. Just last night to make my husband laugh my boys sat on our bed and combed the hair on their legs. Anyway, I did take some offense to your statement but didn’t throw out everything. I once believed as you did so I get it. In order to counter anything you said that I may not agree with I would have to print up your comments and read through them again. My brain isn’t good at retaining a lot. I hate that! We will all be learning till the day we die. We’ll never get all the studying done we’d like before God takes us from this earth. None of us will ever arrive however we must continue to sharpen iron with iron in love. You said, “I don’t doubt for a split-second that we wouldn’t appreciate each others company.” I totally agree with you here. :))

  33. We do, “OMW;” i.e., “Oh My Word.” Some may not get what we mean, but maybe it will at least cause them to pause a moment and notice the substitute for the, “G.” I think this can be helpful for kiddos/teens and many adults as well. It’s a way to be in the world, but not of the world. We can still have acronyms, catch phrases, etc., but we can still be God honoring.

  34. Since taking the Lord’s name in vain was given, God’s actual name was taken out of the scriptures. ‘God’ is for me anyway a placeholder. It refers to God. I do use OMG. It isnt a lot.
    I am more strict about the usage of ‘Jesus’. I have caught volleys with “Yeah, you praise his name!” to which a co-worker didn’t approve of. I’ve also caught myself and ended with a “Praise him!” It happens.

  35. I struggle with this! I catch myself saying it all the time. And every time I say it, I feel terrible after. This article has opened my eyes to how serious this really is. Thanks for this, I will definitely be doing my best to drop this phrase out of my vocabulary!!

  36. What a wonderful post! As a believer it reminds us to be aware of what is coming out of our mouths. Our language is a reflection of what is in our hearts. I have often told my children and my Sunday School class that the only time it is proper to use the phrase “Oh my God” is when we are on our knees.

  37. I agree with all of the things said, but I also believe we should be careful in how we let others know about using God’s name in vain. My 9 year old niece had no idea that saying JC was a bad thing, in her house it was totally acceptable. My niece and I went on trip with my good friend and my niece said JC about something, my friend flew off the handle at her, it totally devastated my niece and she really did not understand what she had done wrong. My friend was not acting very Christian by the way she handled the situation but she did not think that she did anything wrong. We shouldn’t condemn all people for saying it, they just may not know what they are saying, but we can try to get them to look at it differently.
    Also, I have not ever heard that gosh had anything to do with His name, I frequently use this word instead. I guess I need to look into this more. I do like the thoughts about using OMGoodness written out, there are a lot of abbreviations that have several meanings.

    1. I think that the most important thing to do before correcting/speaking about a subject like this to someone is to pray, but before that, pray & study, stay in the Word, church, etc. If the Holy Spirit wants you to speak, He will give you the words. They won’t be the same for everyone, either. Speaking to a child, especially when that child had no idea that this was something that we should change, requires a different tone just like anything we teach children. Their brains are still developing, & they understand things in different ways. Regarding unbelievers, I was in graduate school & had a professor who used God’s name with swearing as well as Jesus’ name. It would distract me from class since for at least a minute, I was just thinking about how awful it sounded & I would physically recoil. This was a place I moved to that was very different than where I’d lived growing up. People were into everything, anything. I decided to talk to him. I told him that I obviously knew that this was his class, and he could speak however he chose to, but I just wanted him to know that when he used phrases with swearing & the name of God/JC, it was offensive, but it also distracted me in class. There were other Christians, but they would have to speak for themselves (it frustrated me that no one ever said anything about other issues and we were outnumbered!). He was SO nice. He said, “I’ve been swearing???'” Basically, it was a habit & he didn’t even know he was doing it in class. He said he was totally unprofessional, and of course I would be offended by what he had said! He apologized profusely , which I appreciated. He accidentally said a swear word (no reference to God) in class later on in the semester & then looked right at me & said, “I’m sorry!” LOL! The class looked confused, but I just whispered,
      “thanks” & smiled. I prayed about what to say to him, & I do believe God blessed that exchange.

      Just wanted to say, I have heard the broken cross thing about the peace sign. However, I totally have to research things to find out their origins, and in doing so, found that the meaning of the sign never took off as it was meant to, but the man who wanted it to did not seek to patent it, so it was later used in the 60s and 70s, and still to mean “peace”. I was not able to find any connection to broken crosses; and though some may wear it for that, I’ve never seen that myself. I left out some info so you can research it, too. 🙂

      Lastly, I’ve never liked “OMG” and noticed it on the FB pages of church friends. Their little kids and teens said it. I asked one person (you can just ask her stuff) and she said oh! I never thought of it like that! It was literally just three letters. I do recall when that show, I’m forgetting the title! It was a bunch of 20-somethings (according to the show) & I don’t know what they did, lol, but it was considered the closest thing to porn on network television. I do remember that the actress from “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” movie was in it (tall blonde, Blake Lively?), because I saw that movie. 🙂 They were getting tons of fans, & before a new season, billboards went up everywhere (HUGE) in Hollywood & NYC especially. There was a photo, but people were mostly talking about the caption: “OMFG”. Even in these cities! A news reporter talked to the guy responsible, as he’d been asked by many to remove it. He said it could mean anything…started saying different silly stuff. So she then went around asking people what they thought it meant. Even if they hadn’t seen it, they knew what that acronym meant. The one person who didn’t was an elderly woman who probably didn’t know what most of them meant, God bless her, she’s better off! (Yes I mean it!). So we know, others know. So sad. Be blessed, everyone!

  38. Thank you so much for writing this post. I couldn’t agree with you more. We have always taught our children to be careful of what they say, and that they aren’t referring to God in a way that diminishes His holiness. I have been so saddened to hear Christians using this phrase.

  39. yes it’s all over. I think of it as “Oh My Goodness”. 🙂
    Re: t-shirt-take wax paper, place it over the part where you used a Sharpie & iron it. that way it will NOT fade nor wash off. :))

  40. I read it as “Oh My Gosh”, makes it much less offensive. I’ve found that to be helpful when I see it used. I don’t use this expression though for the same reasons you point out.

  41. Thank you for writing this. I hear so many people said “omG” over and over. I am trying to break the habit of saying “Oh my gosh” and “Oh my goodness”. I feel I am using God’s name when I say either of these. Thanks again for bringing this to our attention.

  42. Courtney I love this! God spoke to me on this exact thing today and than I went to link up. Much to my surprise you wrote about the exact same thing! I think God’s msg is getting through. Have a great weekend!

  43. I couldn’t agree more! I don’t like hearing it/seeing it because it gets stuck in your head. My 10 year old daughter really really gets upset when she hears it, even to the point of crying. At first I thought she was overreacting and told her to try ignore when she hears it but as time goes by I think “right on!” She will flat out tell people that it’s a commandment and they shouldn’t be saying it. Out of the mouths of babes!

    Also, please be aware that “Oh My Gosh” is just a euphemism (an inoffensive word or phrase substituted for one considered offensive or hurtful, esp one concerned with religion, sex, death, or excreta) and basically means the same thing as taking God’s name in vain. I don’t want us to fool ourselves into thinking it’s ok to substitute the phrase. It’s a little too close for comfort.

  44. I will say, when it comes to OMG I don’t use it. Honestly I don’t use any of those texting acronyms. I don’t know what they mean, I don’t know what they are and I don’t want to know. i don’t have time for it. I’m perfectly fine using real words. Texting has made us forget how to spell and I don’t like that.

  45. I don’t use the term, however, my God’s nane is Yaweah or something similar to that. His sons name is Yeshua. Your name is not mom, wife or daughter. Also, you shall not take the Lords name in vain was most likely to mean you shall not call yourself a follower of Yaweah lightly, Taking his name was like taking your husbands name. You were identified by his name and reputation. Most people today who say omg don’t consider Yaweah to be their God or to be identified by Him so I don’t let it bother me. They don’t know what they’re doing, nor are they swearing using the name of Yaweah flippantly. Sorry for spelling and grammar, I’m on my phone.

  46. Thank you so much Courtney. You are so faithful. When my oldest son was two, he started saying the OMG phrase. I was shocked. We don’t talk like that. I soon realized where he got it from. It was from a song that uplifted and praised God. When you take that phrase out of the context of worshiping God, it quickly becomes vain and breaks God’s commandments. Even though he was only 2, I did my best to explain this to him. Now he is 31 and a godly young man with a godly wife training up their young baby. I am so blessed!!

  47. Thank you for posting this! I teach this in my Sunday school class and it boggles my 4-6th graders’ minds! There is another one I hear a lot, even from kindergarten kids, that also bugs me …. “Dang it.” I remind them that everything we say (or do or think) is to bring honor to Him. Does saying that glorify ?God?

  48. I completely agree and I too am astounded by how often God’s name is used in this way – “OMG’ was printed on a local grocery store’s bags recently. I have realized just how many words that are often used by Christians – are used without them realizing what they’re saying. For example, gosh and golly are euphemisms for God and gee is a euphemism for Jesus. Then you realize that other things people tend to say (especially when they’re frustrated) such as fudge is to much like a bad word and even the silly expression jeepers creepers (notice the j and c) and other ridiculous things like that are probably replacements for using God’s name or a bad word. Everyone needs to stop and pay attention to the things they have said for years. Another thing I saw recently is Taco Bueno’s Big Fr__kin Taco. I think we all realize that the f word they are using is a euphemism for a much worse word – and it’s on their menu! Can you imagine your child asking for that when they order??

    1. Amazing Kim! Your message was posted to the “minute” as mine, saying the same sort of thing about euphemisms.

      I’m sure God must be trying to tell us all something here…

    2. My Mom was reading a book to my daughter (that had been given to us) and there was a word in it, like Gesh, or Jeez and she said the same thing about it being a euphemism. I don’t think I’d ever realized that. Though I hadn’t been saying those words myself, it was interesting to know that. Oh my about the taco name. Seems way inappropriate.

  49. In my opinion, I think as well as the direct blasphemous words people use and say, I also think the euphemisms are just as deadly.

    Just food for thought on religious ‘Christian’ euphemisms:

    Gor Blimey – God Blind Me
    Oh my Gosh, or just Gosh – God’s Flesh
    Oh my Word – remembering Jesus is the Word (John chapter 1 verse 1)
    Jeepers Creepers – Jesus Christ
    Gee or Jeez – Jesus
    Crikey – Christ

    Contrasting this though, a true believer in Christ could on their knees say “Oh My God” and mean it reverently how much they love Him!

    Enjoying this study in Exodus. With us as sinful humans, how can we honestly think we can keep all 613 laws simultaneously? Some of the laws were/are only for the Jews (not for the Gentiles) e.g. the feasts. Furthermore, of these Jewish laws, the levitical ones could only be kept or carried out by the Levite priests e.g.the sacrifices. Someone only has to break one of those laws, then they’ve broken all of them.

    I personally see it that God gave us the Law to show us that we can’t keep it, and that only Jesus could keep it perfectly. “The law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ” (Galatians 3 verse 24). If you have to keep one law, then the idea behind it is you have to keep every single one perfectly, all of the time, at every moment, in our own strength.

    Thank God that He sent Jesus to die for us, and left us with with His Holy Spirit, so that we are “empowered” to live the Christian life. Amen!

    1. Is “Jeepers Creepers” REALLY a euphenism for Jesus Christ? I’ve always thought of Scooby Doo on that one…I thought Jeepers just rhymed with creepers, and was a good thing to say when there was something “creepy” or scary???

  50. Thank you for the exhortation. Honoring God’s Name is a command that believers should do, in word and in deed.

    Our family has a policy with movies that contain this irreverent use of God’s Name. We don’t watch them. The more you watch and listen to that, the more calloused you become to its usage. For a long time it was just “Oh my g**”, but in recent years, we have noticed even films that we had once considered family friendly to contain exclamations that were not said in a reverent manner, such as “Good L**d!” and similar usages. Just because a Christian character in a film is saying it doesn’t mean it’s okay. We pay much closer attention to the context of why and how a character is using God’s Name. If it’s decided by the family to not be used reverently, we stop the film. It doesn’t leave a lot of options open for movie viewing, but it’s better for our ears, minds, and hearts. =)

  51. Personally I do not call Yahuah ..”God” for that is not his name…I’m Christian …for me calling him God is taking his name in vain.

  52. “To use God or Jesus Christ’s name in vain, is to empty the significance of His name and take away from His glory.” Praise GOD! This was GOOD 🙂 Thanks Sis Courtney! 🙂

  53. You are presuming that everyone who uses OMG is in short saying, “Oh my God”. I am, in short, saying, “Oh my goodness”.

    1. But does the rest of the world, those who see your use of those letters, know what you mean by them? The Bible instructs Christians to avoid all appearance of evil. Even though WE may know in our hearts and heads that we’re really saying Oh My Goodness, it actually appears to most of the people who read our abbreviations that we’re saying the other.

  54. If people would would spend that energy and time used to complain about everything, for God’s kingdom, seeking and saving the Lost being all things to all people the world would be transformed.

  55. I learned something I didn’t know on this post. I’m Brazilian and English is my second language. As a Christian I not only don’t say the word “0h my G***” but also have thought my children that is not ok because it means you’re using the Lord’s name in vain. However, I always believed that OMG meant “0h my goodness” and that is why I use that abbreviation. Now I won’t be using it anymore. Thanks

  56. I think my best friend might have overdone the training. A few years ago her son was riding with us in the car. My daughter was singing along to a CD when the old hymn “And Can It Be” came on. She sang right through “’Tis mercy all, immense and free, For O my God, it found out me!” She could NOT convince him that using the phrase “O my God” was perfectly acceptable in that context! 🙂

  57. I’m so sorry, but I could not resist, I had to share on facebook, it is so well explained and to make sure I reach all the teens on my page, I shared!

    thank you so much for being who you are, and thank the Lord for having put you in my path!

  58. I couldn’t agree more with the use of “OMG”. I personally struggle with my dad saying that. He is a Christian and believes but I don’t know how much to push the issue. When the kids were really little and starting to talk, I did correct my dad not to say that around the kids, now they are a little older and know not to say that, now I haven’t been correcting them. Knowing that he is a believer and that “OMG” really is his go to phrase I should correct him, shouldn’t I? Not sure how much to push the issue with him.

  59. i would like to know, do I have to create my own blog site? Not understanding how to blog about the readings.

  60. Hmmm…
    You can make ‘OMG’ mean whatever you want it to, Oh my gosh, Oh my goodness, Oh my GOD. I also notice that you used the word Lord in your blog, do you know what the word Lord means, it is a title, like Lord so and so, it is a title, that’s all. Do you know what the word LORD means, it is a word used by the translators in the place of God’s real name. Do you know God’s real name, it is Yahweh, not God, not LORD, not Lord. Do some research, ll Timothy 2.15…just saying!

  61. when I was a teen, one of our youth directors overheard me say “Oh My -“. I didn’t even realize I had said it, until I head his response, “He’s my God too!”!!!! What a great way to bring light to that situation!!!!

  62. Let’s all remember that we live in a fallen world with many non-Christians who potentially are not aware they are using the Lord’s name in vain. For instance, at the age of 18 (I did not become a Christian until the age of 26) I was performing my ECE practicum at a daycare with children. I was being observed by an instructor who at the time of evaluation reminded me not to swear in front of the children. Having no idea what she meant, I inquired as to what I had said. Sure enough, I had said it but did not consider this to be blasphemy. I have since become a Christian. I am very understanding as to why the secular world does not see why this is a problem but I am also very sensitive and diligent in expressing my beliefs as my instructor did for me so many years ago.

  63. I feel the need to point this out, as someone who grew with the teachings of the Torah and the 613 commandments that were supposedly given to us by ‘Hashem’ I’m a little confused as to your issue with the term god. God is simply a job description, a title if you will not a name. For those out there who do study all of the scriptures you know that God, as you put it, has over 613 names and those are the names in which you should not take in vain. God is not a name.

  64. u r so right . The OMG is used a lot , and I don’t think a lot of people know what they r doing when they use it . Thank u for clearing it up . I don’t use it . What is wrong with O my word.

  65. There is a huge difference between blasphemy and taking the Lord’s name in vain. Taking the Lord’s name in vain is when we say we are His when we are not. Or when we do and say things using our ‘Christianity’ to justify it when we are not bein Christain at all.
    As far as ‘OMG’ is concerned….if you must swear, use your own name!

  66. Thank you, thank you, thank you. This is one phrase that drives me NUTS. We don’t use it in our family but it shocks me how many people do…and yes some of these people are Christians.

  67. I’ve heard this explained by several bible scholars in a different way. It is Yaweh we are not to use in vain. And OMG can be oh my gosh or oh my goodness. I think this is a good discussion and a good topic to dig deeper. We have to be careful how we judge others who say, “OMG.” And we can discuss it and then let the Lord do the convicting.

  68. I agree. Growing up in a minister’s home, we were not even allowed to say gosh or golly, because Dad said they were substitutes for God.

  69. Not everyone uses omg as you say. It can be Oh my gosh! or oh my goodness! It’s really harmless. Thankful Jesus knows our hearts and minds and knows we who say omg are not using His name in vain. Too much law and you have destruction. Praise God, we have Jesus and the new covenant with guidance from the Holy Spirit! Now for those who purposely use our Lord’s name in vain usually are lost and we should pray for them and lead them to the Lord with love and let Jesus correct them.

  70. Courtney, I love your post!
    Thank you so very much for concisely explaining and sharing a very relevant social misuse of or LORD’s holy name.
    I am passionate about the “OMG” and “Oh My G**!” topic, and have a FB page dedicated to it -https://www.facebook.com/debrapedrowlifthimup on which I shared your post.
    And I have a twitter account dedicated to it, on which I have and will continue to tweet your post -https://twitter.com/debrapedrow.
    I also wrote a study book about the third commandment, focusing entirely on these two irreverent exclamations. If you would like to check it out, here is the link http://ow.ly/RKxmL.
    My God continue to bless you and your ministry. Debra

  71. I turned it into OMGosh. My phone has it memorized and I’ve even converted some family/friends. But OMG annoys me very much.

  72. On behalf of all sane people, we say “oh my god” when something is unbelievable. Such as “oh my god” what are you lot going on about! Haven’t you got better issues to deal with?

  73. Excellent post. This has been a subject that’s been on my mind for quite some time. I hear this term used at work all the time as an expression of excitement with no thought about what they are actually saying. Just like you, I’ve also heard other Christians say it as well. Thanks for shining the bright light of scripture on this very important topic.

  74. my words are oh my gosh. Do I think anything is wrong with OMG, absoutely because people automatically think oh My God
    When I use it, texting/2writing whatever, I spell it out. OHMYGOSH, or OMGosh

    I do not see anything wrong with gosh, ribbons on babies heads and peace signs, As long as you are not using it as a religious idol type thing. A cute bow/ribbon on a babies head, is just that a cute bow ribbon on a babies head, I an too naive to think of a peace sign as anything other than peace, So there is my thoughts on that and I will not engage with this So don’t try. I probably am in the minority here, but will not be back here to post so it’s not a big deal to me.
    the OMG thing is.

  75. The problem in the articles reasoning is that you assume god or God is stating his name which it is not. The bible clearly mentions that people have many gods. They can be an imaginative entity they worship or any real person or thing. People can worship money, position or just about anything else. I am not arguing that omg is a good statement just that the reasoning using Exodus would be incorrect since it in particular states not using his name in vain not his title or position. God is who he is not his name.

  76. Hello,

    I have always found OMG a problem because it is using the Lord’s name in vain. I do however find myself saying Oh my gosh a lot. I have been questioning this a lot lately and am not sure if this is a problem.

    What does everyone else think?

    Blessings,
    Karen

  77. I agree, OMG, I wouldn’t use neither would I say oh my god, however, as has already been mentioned, ‘God’ is a title his divine name is Yaweh, YHWH, Jehovah!

  78. I agree! I don’t like it! I try to avoid “gosh” as well. I admit saying goodness, bit am trying to break that habit as well! I now throw in a good Oh! Mylanta! LOL!

  79. Do you have any advice for ways to stop saying Oh My God and similar phrases. I was not raised in a Christian home and these lifelong habits are hard to break. Thanks!

  80. Does anyone here realize that “God” is not a name but a title? His name that we are to never take in vain is the name we guess to be Yahweh (Jesus or Yeshua would count as well), but that we are never actually given in the Bible. In the OT, God’s name was only to be spoken at certain times by certain people. I understand feeling uneasy about the flippancy of someone saying “god”, “Oh, god”, or “Oh, my God”, but I don’t think you can actually call it taking His name in vain considering there is no name present. In fact, grammatically speaking, these phrases are technically calling out to God in some form of shock or distress, and though not many people mean it that way, that is what they are doing.
    Now, Paul says we shouldn’t do anything against your conscience (which is different from the peer pressure you feel from other Christians), but just because you don’t feel comfortable saying “god” or more specifically “OMG” in certain circumstances doesn’t mean you should forsake the true meaning of Scripture.
    I think it’s inconsiderate to think of God’s name as “God”. It depersonalizes Him. And He created us to have relationships with us. Its just not right.

  81. There hasn’t been a posting on here in a while, so it seems that the Abbreviations OMG and the discussion on that has been beaten to death like a dead horse, SO, changing the subject just a little, but along the same note is What Taco Bueno is Calling Their Big “Freakin” Menu.

    It’s been forever since I went to Taco Bueno, but I stopped in yesterday only to see Plastered on The Menu Board to buy something from their, “Big Freakin’ Menu.” Substituting Cuss Words with Substitute Words that are Spelled Similar, and Sound Similar Doesn’t Glorify God, and Absolutely Turned my Stomach at Taco Bueno. Too many Christians who claim to know Christ in a personal way use this Same word, as well as the word ” Frickin’ “, thinking they can pull the wool over God and man’s eyes. God’s Word clearly says we will “Be judged for our words”

    A man once told my Pastor, “That’s just the way I am”. The Pastor, retelling the story, said that he told the man, “Well Jesus came to change the way you am.” There is absolutely Zero Tolerance by God for Cussing and using Profane words, color coated or otherwise.

  82. I have never in my life on purpose said “OMG”, I’ve always thought it was blasphemous to our Lord’s name and it is not right to say such!
    People shouldn’t even say goodness in the same manner, and no I’m not going over board with this!
    I’m only 13 but that’s how its always gonna be with me!
    ~Claira Anne~

  83. This is a great example of “straining at a knat and swallowing a camel”. God’s name is Yahweh, not “God”.

  84. Alta, talk about straining at a knat, I guess you haven’t FULLY read your Bible. Jesus himself said when Mary was clinging to Him in John 20:17, “Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father”

    Also Paul taught in his writings in 1 Corinthians 15:24 “Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.”

    His is GOD and our FATHER. I’d hate to be in Bible study with you. Nothing would get accomplished and GOD wouldn’t get glorified with all your squabbling about this and that about His Name. You obviously haven’t been to an accredited Bible School and fully know the “original languages” the Bible was written in. In the Old Testament God is mentioned so many times as simply Ha-Shem, THE NAME.

    Your worse than the rabbi’s of old arguing about nothing, not getting to God’s meat of the Word, learning to be a “disciple” (meaning a “disciplined learner”), living for God, “bearing fruit that lasts”, and testifying about Him in order to lead other’s to salvation through the shed blood of Christ.

  85. I am by no means a good practicing Christian, but your article accidentally encouraged me to be more respectful of this phenomena. Nicely explained, without being condescending. Thanks for sharing your perspective so openly.

  86. I agree – I have typed OMGosh so often in texts that it automatically comes up when I type OM…. I often tell my students that if I hear them yell it out they better be on their knees because they just saw God!! I also don’t shorten Christmas either. Too many other people want Christ out of Christmas and I’m not going to add to it.

  87. Ok, I had a big long comment typed up and I lost it. I tried to take time and effort to make sure my words were said with grace and deference. At this point, I almost don’t feel like responding, so I will share only the bare bones of my initial comment and hope you understand I don’t mean to come across as preachy, condescending, or arrogant. Here are my current thoughts on this, after spending many years feeling pretty much exactly as you communicated in the article:

    First, “God” is not God’s Name. Not even close. It’s a title, but not His name. So I no longer feel comfortable accusing someone of breaking this commandment when they say “Oh my God” or “omg”.

    Second, and more importantly, I don’t think the command has anything to do with speaking God’s Name. The word translated “take” seems to be all about taking God’s Name as your own, as in your identity, like we do with Christ when we say we are Christians. Saying you are a Christian and not living and acting like Christ is akin to taking His name in vain, or in an empty or meaningless way.

    Not that this is the last word on the matter, but I think there is something to it. A good study or the words, context, and all that should really help.

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