Published on February 21st, 2018 | by Faye Lentine
OMG–Should Christians Use It?
We see it all over the internet.
“OMG! So cute!”
“OMG! I cannot wait!”
We picture 13-year-old girls texting friends, pink polished nails, skinny jeans, messy top knots. We think “total millennial!” We roll our eyes and laugh and talk in that annoying voice where everything ends in a question, “OMG?! Like totally?!” We make fun of it, yet promote it all at the same time. It’s the paradox of culture.
Some say it’s cute, others say it’s ridiculous. However, what if we unearthed the horror of this Instagram-favorite acronym? As a Christian, this may sting. But here we go. OMG is unearthed: Oh. My. God.
Some may argue that they really mean “Oh my gosh.” Others say it really means “Oh my goodness.” In reality, however, OMG originated from “Oh my God!” And though cute in our social media world, the reality is OMG is only another way to desensitize and degrade us towards the power, beauty, and indescribable holiness of God’s precious name. When we throw out his name like any other profanity, ignoring his sovereignty, we are blaspheming God.
The 10 Commandments of Exodus 20 are well known throughout the church. It’s the reason why OMG is blasphemy: “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”
Leviticus 19:12 says, “And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I [am] the LORD.”
And Psalm 139:20 goes so far as to say it is the enemies of God who blaspheme his name: “They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain.”
It is a horrible thing to take the name of God so lightly. “Oh my God” is not another cute phrase to sling around. It is not an exclamation to be used frivolously. It is not even an onset to the 4-letter profanities. To say, “Oh my God” is to blaspheme the very name of Christ.
I looked up the definition of the word “blaspheme.” The result shocked me: “The act of claiming the attributes of a deity.” When we mindlessly use God’s name to our own advantage, we are claiming his deity. In other words, we are saying “God and I are on the same level–I can say and do whatever I want to!” Perhaps this parallels with Judges 17:6 where it is written, “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
So how do we respond to the horror of OMG? I believe, as Christians, that we simply do not take part in it. We are, after all in this world, but we mustn’t become of it. We hear people blaspheme God’s name, we see it plastered on Facebook statuses. We watch movies that misuse his name, we sing songs that blaspheme him. But we are set apart. We are unique. We are holy. And sin cannot be in the presence of holiness (isn’t that why Jesus died to save us, after all?).
We are the light in the darkness, the city on the hill–will we live out our faith? Will we be bold enough to live for Christ? Losing the famed OMG acronym from our vocabulary may seem trite. However, God doesn’t always call us to the stage of Christianity. Rather, he calls us to the little, mundane things in life. Losing OMG may not affect the world, but it affects the Christ-follower’s personal, individualized relationship with God. And in dying to self, we live for Christ.
The best part is that God is not leaving his name to be blasphemed. Ezekiel 39:7 informs us, “So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not [let them] pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I [am] the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.”
One day, God will bestow a new name upon himself–a name none of us yet know. It will be a name so precious, untouched by the world and pure from blasphemy. And it is in that day that the enemies will know God. What a glorious day that indeed will be!