Before you say, “I don’t believe.” Chapter 18
Have you ever wondered why, unlike other leaders, Jesus’ name is used as a swear word?
In the days of black and white television the then leading anchorman and senior statesman of the BBC, Richard Dimbleby, shocked the nation when, thinking his microphones were switched off, he used the name of Jesus blasphemously. The next day it was front page headlines of the national newspapers. Today we would be shocked if such personalities did not blaspheme! But strangely this habit uniquely uses Jesus’ name: Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius, Moses are not swear words. So why does the Man who lived the purest, kindest, most generous of lives draw the antagonism of so many?
The third of the Ten Commandments says that we are not to take the name of the Lord our God in vain. Listening to some, the word ‘god’ is very much a part of their everyday vocabulary. I’ve even heard Richard Dawkins in one of his many BBC interviews say, ‘Oh god!” But blasphemy is not ‘strong language’, as the media would have us believe. Rather it is an act of dishonouring and disobeying God, who has revealed in the Bible that all of us will have to give account for every word spoken here on earth.
As human beings, all of us find that there is an in-built antagonism to God and godliness. Like a seed within us from the beginning, it sends out its roots and shoots so that every part of us is permeated with a bias to defy God our Maker, Judge and Lord. Blasphemy seems a tawdry symptom of a sinful nature, but it does reveal what is our heart’s attitude to God.
The fact that the name of ‘Jesus’ or ‘Christ’ is such a commonplace swear word, not only demonstrates our true self, but is a pointer to the fact that Jesus is Himself God. Would there be the same contentiousness towards someone who was merely a preacher, teacher or prophet?
Significantly, many people will testify that the moment they actually put their trust in Jesus as Lord and Saviour, their previous bad language immediately stopped. That is the inevitable consequence of God, by His Holy Spirit, coming into the life of the new believer. He gives a new love for Jesus and all that is righteous.