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Is Saying “OMG” Actually Blasphemy?

It was Charles Spurgeon who said, “The ungodly are not half so restrained in their blasphemy as we are in our praise.” It’s true. We are often reticent to give God praise for the many blessings He lavishes upon us: eyesight, hearing, food and health, friends, family, and freedom, just to name a few. However, the ungodly are not at all restrained when it comes to cursing the One who gave them every blessing. Blasphemy is commonplace.

The word “blasphemy” is used 55 times in the New Testament, so it is something we should take seriously. And we won’t do that if we’re not sure what it means to blaspheme the name of the Lord. What does it mean?

“The word “blasphemy” is used 55 times in the New Testament, so it is something we should take seriously. And we won’t do that if we’re not sure what it means to blaspheme the name of the Lord.”

In 1 Timothy 1:20, the apostle Paul said that he had abandoned two false teachers to Satan so they “may learn not to blaspheme.” One definition, therefore, is to teach false doctrine and lead people away from the truth.

The religious leaders accused Jesus of blasphemy when He spoke of Himself sitting at the right hand of God:

Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy!” (Matthew 26:64-65)

The more common use of blasphemy is to use God’s name to cuss. But there are some who say that the Third Commandment is actually a reference to living in hypocrisy. This idea is perhaps based on Romans 2:21-24:

You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written.

The reason they don’t consider that using His name to cuss is blasphemy is because “God” is not His name. It’s just His title. Yet, if I insulted or showed contempt for the governor of California without using his name, I’m speaking ill of the governor because his name and his title are synonymous. Look at the dictionary definition of “blasphemy”: “the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God.”

“How grievous it is for us as Christians to hear the name of Jesus used in place of a filth word.”

Here is the Amplified Bible’s translation of the third of the Ten Commandments:

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain [that is, irreverently, in false affirmations or in ways that impugn the character of God]; for the Lord will not hold guiltless nor leave unpunished the one who takes His name in vain [disregarding its reverence and its power].” (Exodus 20:7)

How grievous it is for us as Christians to hear the name of Jesus used in place of a filth word. Look at how God has exalted that name:

Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth…. (Philippians 2:9-10)

While we may be grieved when the name of Jesus is used in such a horrible way, our real concern should be for those who do it and have to face Him on Judgment Day. Jesus warned that men must give an account for every idle word (Matthew 12:36), so how much more will they have to give an account for the wickedness of blasphemy!

Ray Comfort

Ray Comfort is the Founder and CEO of Living Waters, a bestselling author, and has written more than 100 books, including, The Evidence Study Bible. He cohosts the award-winning television program Way of the Master, which airs in 190 countries.

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