Disregard for the Lord's name in the workplace

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VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
I love the thought, and I agree this is how it should be, but the concept goes way against our typical systematic theology.
Does your systematic theology not include discussion on being salt and not covering lamps? If not, something profound is missing.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Graduate
Perhaps I don't want to be a harping busybody with strangers. The fact that you equate bad words with rape and murder shows me you have no sense of proportionality.
I'm talking about blasphemy, not "bad words." This thread is specifically about breaking the third commandment, which is a most heinous sin. Blaspheming the holy God of heaven is worse than anything we could ever do to another man. This fact only shocks us insofar as we are fundamentally humanistic in the worst sense.

Go ahead and try to correct everyone in any given day you morally disagree with and see where that gets you.
This is a straw man. I never said we should try to correct everyone on every given point of error. Again, this thread is about blasphemy against God, not just any old sin. Furthermore, my personal disagreement with anyone is irrelevant. What matters is what the Lord thinks and commands.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
I'm talking about blasphemy, not "bad words." This thread is specifically about breaking the third commandment, which is a most heinous sin. Blaspheming the holy God of heaven is worse than anything we could ever do to another man. This fact only shocks us insofar as we are fundamentally humanistic in the worst sense.


Straw man.
Please....I heard a rigid reformed fellow get onto a little kid for saying, "Oh my" and calling it blasphemy. "Oh my" was all the kid said. It made the rebuker look like an insufferable jerk and left the kid confused and the parents ticked off. He rebuked another lady for saying Yikes Louise, because he said Yikes was short for Jesus.

There is a virtue in shutting your mouth and minding your own business, especially when you are working for somebody else.

The other employees are not yours to command, so know your place.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
Go ahead and try to correct everyone in any given day you morally disagree with and see where that gets you.
I agree that "moral policeman" can spoil their witness, but I've found that a little salt and humor at the right moment defuses annoyance. I've even had others come up to me thanking for speaking a word in season to remove the discomfort from chronic blasphemy.

On the other hand, I have no problem hanging out with sailors or cowboys--done it all my life. But one friend fell into using the "F-Bomb" in every sentence. I told him that it had become the "F-dud" because it lost its impact through overuse.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Graduate
Please....I heard a rigid reformed fellow get onto a little kid for saying, "Oh my" and calling it blasphemy. Oh my was all the kid said. It made the rebuker look like an insufferable jerk and left the kid confused and the parents ticked off.
I have no idea what this weird anecdote has to do with me, or anyone here, or this thread.

The other employees are not yours to command, so know your place.
You are right. They are God's to command. And he has commanded them not to take his name in vain. It is their duty as his creation to obey him. Even so, if you noticed, the advice I gave in my first post was not even as strong as "command them to repent and obey." I merely said he should ask them kindly to stop for his own conscience' sake.
 
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Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
I agree that "moral policeman" can spoil their witness, but I've found that a little salt and humor at the right moment defuses annoyance. I've even had others come up to me thanking for speaking a word in season to remove the discomfort from chronic blasphemy.

On the other hand, I have no problem hanging out with sailors or cowboys--done it all my life. But one friend fell into using the "F-Bomb" in every sentence. I told him that it had become the "F-dud" because it lost its impact through overuse.
Yes, agree.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
My thought was in reference to the non Christian being able to obey God's law. Is this what you mean?
Non Christians can be shown what God's law requires. And, through simple observation, we know that people have some degree of self control.

As a judge once said to a chronic girl-friend abuser who said he just lost it:

"But you do have self control. There is only one person you 'just lost it' with. For some reason you don't 'just lose it' with me."
 

Ryan&Amber2013

Puritan Board Junior
Non Christians can be shown what God's law requires. And, through simple observation, we know that people have some degree of self control.

As a judge once said to a chronic girl-friend abuser who said he just lost it:

"But you do have self control. There is only one person you 'just lost it' with. For some reason you don't 'just lose it' with me."
Thanks! My experience is that non Christians are just as capable of outwardly obeying God's commands as Christians are. This is seen in people practicing other religions primarily.

But this seems to contradict a lot of preaching I've heard on the matter. A pastor will say something like "apart from the Gospel we have no power over sin." I get it in theory, but not practically. For example, there are a lot of AA success stories of people overcoming alcohol addiction.
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
@Irenaeus

Be tactful, wise, and discerning in your work environment. Your role in the work provided is not that of a Superior (your not the boss) and it seems like it is a secular job. So reflect Christ in your own work and words and do the specific task assigned to you as unto the Lord. BUT also be very watchful for opportunities to have private conversations with others and as Victor has noted, with some thought you can find very clever and loving ways to stand up for misusing the Lord’s name (and other sinful comments/ideologies) while also avoiding screaming/spitting fire and brimstone every time someone says the name of our Lord in vein at work. You will miss incredible opportunities to love God and neighbor by always being silent, but you can also lose those same opportunities by failing to exercise restraint and holding the tongue in certain scenarios. When you find yourself getting angry at loose words, make sure to balance this by looking past the words and into the non-Christian’s heart. They need the gospel, they need reconciliation, and they do need to hear the truth in love. I think their you will be given the tools to be humble and wise in how you decide to speak or not speak in a given circumstance.

P.S. I have found people are more likely to listen if you don’t always address immediately, but invite them to lunch or a cup of coffee to discuss the matter humbly. Victor’s job might be the exception as ones likely has to be more lethal when dealing with Judges & slime.....oops ummm uhhh...I mean respectable attorneys:rofl:
 
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Taylor

Puritan Board Graduate
Thanks! My experience is that non Christians are just as capable of outwardly obeying God's commands as Christians are. This is seen in people practicing other religions primarily.

But this seems to contradict a lot of preaching I've heard on the matter. A pastor will say something like "apart from the Gospel we have no power over sin." I get it in theory, but not practically. For example, there are a lot of AA success stories of people overcoming alcohol addiction.
This is confusing categories and language. The WCF speaks more clearly:

Works done by unregenerate men, although for the matter of them they may be things which God commands, and of good use both to themselves and others; yet because they proceed not from a heart purified by faith, nor are done in a right manner, according to the Word, nor to a right end, the glory of God; they are therefore sinful, and cannot please God, or make a man meet to receive grace from God. And yet their neglect of them is more sinful and displeasing unto God (WCF 16.7).​
 

Ryan&Amber2013

Puritan Board Junior
This is confusing categories and language. The WCF speaks more clearly:

Works done by unregenerate men, although for the matter of them they may be things which God commands, and of good use both to themselves and others; yet because they proceed not from a heart purified by faith, nor are done in a right manner, according to the Word, nor to a right end, the glory of God; they are therefore sinful, and cannot please God, or make a man meet to receive grace from God. And yet their neglect of them is more sinful and displeasing unto God (WCF 16.7).​
Yeah for sure. That's what I've observed: non Christians can overcome sin and be very obedient and good people outwardly, but if it is not done with love for God then it is not acceptable to Him. So I think people can very much be held accountable to moral rules, because they have the ability to obey them regardless of what belief system they have.
 
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Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
@Taylor

I think we also need to have some balance regarding the historical context of the 3rd commandment. I was recently reminded of this by Douma’s work on the 10 Commandments. Misuse of the Lord’s name is certainly very present today and extremely vile. However, I think in OT times this was more pointy directed at those who would literally curse the name, works, and or words of God in a direct manner. Today’s flippant use, in various reactive comments, of the Lord’s name tend to be less a direct intentional cursing of God and more of a sinfully lazy and disrespectful use (both still 3CVs).

I hope that makes some sense. I say none of this to disagree with you, but rather to express that sin has degrees so I think the office worker that text “OM...” is still guilty of sin, but NOT to the degree the Pharisees were when they cursed Christ. So it’s could be argued that a thoughtless irreverent misuse of God’s name (compared to a more direct intentional blasphemy) is in fact NOT as egregious as a literal Rape or Abortion. Why? Well any command broken in the 2nd table can be traced back to a direct violation of the 1st table (And really vice versa). When we sin against our neighbor, especially those bearing the name of Christ......the 3rd Commandment of blasphemy is still a valid charge.
 
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Taylor

Puritan Board Graduate
@Taylor

I think we also need to have some balance regarding the historical context of the 3rd commandment. I was recently reminded of this by Douma’s work on the 10 Commandments. Misuse of the Lord’s name is certainly very present today and extremely vile. However, I think in OT times this was more pointy directed at those who would literally curse the name, works, and or words of God in a direct manner. Today’s flippant use, in various reactive comments, of the Lord’s name tend to be less a direct intentional cursing of God and more of a sinfully lazy and disrespectful use (both still 3CVs). I hope that makes some since. I say none of this to disagree with you, but rather to express that sin has degrees so I think the office worker that text “OM...” is still guilty of sin, but NOT to the degree the Pharisees were when they cursed Christ. So it’s could be argued that a thoughtless irreverent misuse of God’s name (compared to a more direct intentional blasphemy) is in fact NOT as egregious as a literal Rape or Abortion. Why? Well any command broken in the 2nd table can be traced back to a direct violation of the 1st table (And really vice versa). When we sin against our neighbor, especially those bearing the name of Christ......the 3rd Commandment of blasphemy is still valid charge.
Thanks. I was explicitly talking about blasphemy, not just careless speech patterns. Obviously there is an aspect of our culture's parlance that has flippant and thoughtless profanity laced through it. At the same time, your balance, while appreciated, doesn't hold entirely. If it did, then when thoughtful blasphemy becomes a habit and thus crosses over into thoughtless blasphemy, then it has by this standard become less heinous. But this cannot at all be the case. So, while I again appreciate your thoughts here, and they are certainly well-taken, blasphemy is still blasphemy, regardless of whether or not it is intentional or even realized. But I would like to stress again the context of my own words in this thread. We are talking about blasphemy which in the OP is described not as thoughtless, but as "exceedingly vulgar" and "quite strong language involving the divine name."
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Senior
Thanks. I was explicitly talking about blasphemy, not just careless speech patterns. Obviously there is an aspect of our culture's parlance that has flippant and thoughtless profanity laced through it. At the same time, your balance, while appreciated, doesn't hold entirely. If it did, then when thoughtful blasphemy becomes a habit and thus crosses over into thoughtless blasphemy, then it has by this standard become less heinous. But this cannot at all be the case. So, while I again appreciate your thoughts here, and they are certainly well-taken, blasphemy is still blasphemy, regardless of whether or not it is intentional or even realized. But I would like to stress again the context of my own words in this thread. We are talking about blasphemy which in the OPC is described not as thoughtless, but as "exceedingly vulgar" and "quite strong language involving the divine name."
So I will need some more assistance here to make sure I understand you rightly. So do you accept or reject the idea that intentional sin is more heinous than unintentional?

P.S. What do you mean by “in the OPC”? I think you and I hold to the same confession regardless of our denomination. Or this is this just a BCO reference? Just to be cautious, I hope you read my tone as nothing more than friendly curiosity and seeking better understanding.
 
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Taylor

Puritan Board Graduate
So I will need some more assistance here to make sure I understand you rightly. So do you accept or reject the idea that intentional sin is more heinous than unintentional?
It depends. I agree that unintentional blasphemy is most of the time less heinous than a high-handed cursing of God. At the same time, I am trying to protect against the unbiblical but logically necessary result of taking a hard stance on this position. Our speech often becomes full of patterns due to the constant use of some words or phrases, and with that comes a kind of thoughtlessness. What was once quite intentional and thoughtful becomes mere habit. If that is the case, it would stand to reason that blasphemy, once it becomes a habitual and thoughtless pattern, would become less heinous of a sin. But this would be nonsense, biblically speaking. Just because we get used to our sin, and therefore more thoughtless in the committing of it, does not make it less heinous.

P.S. What do you mean by “in the OPC”? I think you and I hold to the same confession regardless of our denomination. Or this is this just a BCO reference?
Typo. It has been corrected.
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Senior
I love the thought, and I agree this is how it should be, but the concept goes way against our typical systematic theology.

Systematics would teach that we are depraved, that we cannot change until God changes us. That we cannot reform ourselves apart from the Spirit giving us life. We could not expect a bad tree to bear good fruit.

I personally observe that non Christians are capable of doing plenty of good and loving things so long as they will to, but I know that goes against what I generally hear preached. So I guess it's confusing to me.

I am not at all thinking or even hoping that the unbeliever will become a better person. I am talking about corrosion. Whatever station in life you find yourself in, you are responsible for seeing that the people under your influence act in a more godly way. Not that they become more godly. That's what law is all about--corrosion. In some situations, all you can do is ask (and hope) that people behave better. But a father, an elder, or a civil ruler has varying degrees of influence that should be used to promote proper outward behavior. Only God can change the heart.

From Fisher's Catechism. quoting the Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter 23 Section 3

Q. 23. What is the duty of the magistrate with reference to the church of Christ?
A. Although he “may not assume to himself the administration of word and
sacraments, or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven, yet he hath authority,
and it is his duty to take order, that unity and peace be preserved in the church, —
that the truth of God be kept pure and entire, — that all blasphemies and heresies be
suppressed
, — all corruptions and abuses in worship and discipline prevented and
reformed, — and all the ordinances of God duly settled, administered, and
observed.”

To allow your neighbor to continue in sin and say nothing is to hate him.

Leviticus 19:17-18​
Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart:
thou shalt surely rebuke thy neighbor, and not bear sin because of him.
Thou shalt not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people;
but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am Jehovah.
 
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B.L.

Puritan Board Sophomore
From Fisher's Catechism. quoting the Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter 23 Section 3

Way off topic, but I noticed last week while perusing Amazon's "buy 2 get 3" deal that the Fisher's Catechism volume you edited was included among a bunch of other gems.

(While some may wish to not support Amazon, which is understandable, the "buy 2 get 3" deals are pretty amazing. I blew through the rest of the year's book allowance this past week. Lol.)
 

Miss Marple

Puritan Board Junior
Non Christians can be shown what God's law requires. And, through simple observation, we know that people have some degree of self control.

As a judge once said to a chronic girl-friend abuser who said he just lost it:

"But you do have self control. There is only one person you 'just lost it' with. For some reason you don't 'just lose it' with me."
I love this insight and Dr. Laura of all people first laid it out for me. She mentioned the guy who is screaming at his wife in the car and gets pulled over. Immediately it's, "Yes, Officer?" Perfect self control and politeness. Virtually all of us can control ourselves. We just choose not to.
 

Irenaeus

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you to all who have shared out of your wisdom and insights. I appreciate the responses and will prayerfully ponder them. It's now somewhat clear to me that, regardless of if or when I speak up, I need to be exercising prayer, humility, and discernment. I also need to attend to relationships with my co-workers and keep vigilant guard over my own mouth and actions so that my testimony, whether silent or verbal, is a credible one. It is very helpful to be reminded of these things. Please pray that I will keep all this in mind so that anything that comes out of my mouth will be a word spoken in due season. :pray2:
 
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