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Trekker
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Joined: 2011/7/29
Posts: 683
northern USA

 Your Thoughts: on expressions of shock

I have been pondering much the various expressions that we utter when we want to express our surprise or shock at something and i wonder, is it a sin to say, "Oh my word!"
or "Oh My Word"! ?? Where DID this expression come from in the first place? Is it referring to The Word (our Lord Jesus Christ)?? Where and when did it originate?

Other expressions, as you know, are "Oh my gosh", "Oh my goodness", and of course, "Oh my G**". There is also "Holy Cow!" and any number of others. Perhaps an argument could even be made that saying "Holy Cow!" is a sin, as it references the Hindu belief that cows are holy and sacred.
What are your thoughts on this matter?

 2012/6/16 7:52Profile
twayneb
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Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2002
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Your Thoughts: on expressions of shock

Trekker: As I was growing up, I was taught that to use an expression like golly or gee was paramount to cursing and swearing using the big four letter words. So as a result, I never got in the habit of using these types of expressions. But the same people who taught against the use of these expressions then used the expression, "My word", or, "My goodness", and seemed to not think twice about it.

But there is what I think is a much more important issue in considering this and similar questions. What happens when we begin to analyze behavior and try to make determinations on whether this behavior crosses the line and is sin or that behavior does not quite cross the line and therefore is not sin. The Pharisees and Jewish teachers did just this in the Talmud. They examined behaviors in light of the law and wrote volumes on how the law was to be interpreted, what was sin, and what was not sin. The results, if not so sad, might be comical.

For example, work on the Sabbath is defined as "carrying in or carrying out", but nothing is said about carrying up or carrying down. So if you have a four story house, you can carry your couch up and down the stairs all day long and have not violated the Sabbath. But if you carry the couch out the front door you have committed sin by doing work on the Sabbath.

Jesus dealt with just this issue in Matthew 7 when his disciples were called down by the Pharisees for eating with unwashed hands. The tradition they refer to was based on their interpretation of the law, and to them the disciples had just committed sin. But Jesus told them that they were teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

I have seen men who were mightily used of God who had as part of their language some of the expressions you list. I have seen people who were lost in sin who never used these expressions, nor any that were worse.

I guess what I am saying is that I do not believe it very fruitful to spend a lot of time trying to determine which of these expressions might cross a line. How much more fruitful to seek with your whole heart to draw near to God and be obedient as He deals with you about these things.


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Travis

 2012/6/23 22:25Profile
Trekker
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Joined: 2011/7/29
Posts: 683
northern USA

 Re:

Thank you twayneb. So you're saying that i can disregard the whole OT Law, including the Ten Commandements and in particular the one which says, Do not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain, for God will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain?

You make a very good point there about the carrying in and carrying out, etc.Yet the question is, what parts of the Law then are we still to follow? Are we to just pick and choose, as at a buffet? Like, if i want to murder someone, that would be ok now because that was under OLD testament law, same as adultery,covetousness,breaking the sabbath, etc? I agree with you about legalism, but it becomes rather confusing on these tougher issues (language,etc)as to what qualifies as legalism and what does not.

 2012/6/23 22:40Profile
twayneb
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Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2002
Joplin, Missouri

 Re:

Trekker: There is another thread going dealing with legalism that might be good to check out. What qualifies as legalism is looking to your own ability to keep laws as the means by which you are accepted and made righteous, or the means by which you obtain anything from God. It takes you out of the realm of grace and into the realm of law. Legalism puts you back under the old covenant with its bondage.

Quote:
Thank you twayneb. So you're saying that i can disregard the whole OT Law, including the Ten Commandements and in particular the one which says, Do not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain, for God will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain?

You make a very good point there about the carrying in and carrying out, etc.Yet the question is, what parts of the Law then are we still to follow? Are we to just pick and choose, as at a buffet? Like, if i want to murder someone, that would be ok now because that was under OLD testament law, same as adultery,covetousness,breaking the sabbath, etc? I agree with you about legalism, but it becomes rather confusing on these tougher issues (language,etc)as to what qualifies as legalism and what does not.



I know this topic has been discussed at great length in numerous threads, but let me see if I can answer the question. Most people in churches today who do believe we are bound to follow the law do pick and choose. They make all sorts of distinctions. Some choose only the ten commandments. (2 Cor. 3: 6-11) Some come up with distinctions between what they deem to be moral law and ceremonial law. (No such Biblical distinction exists) Some have other criteria. But none of them, including the extreme Hebrew roots people, keep the whole law. You see, if we are bound to keep the law we cannot pick and choose which commandments we are to obey. (James 2:10)

When we lean toward legalism, we are focused on law and our own ability to understand and keep it. We might say that we are saved by grace, yet we return to law in order to live our lives pleasing to God. (Galatians - entire letter).

The law is a holy standard set forth by a holy God, but it relied on our own carnal ability to keep it. In that the law was weak and ineffectual. (Romans 7) The law revealed to us our sinfulness and our own inability to please God in our own flesh. (Ephesians 2:14-17, Romans 7:1 - 8:7) Jesus is the end of the law for righteousness to them that believe. (Romans 10:4)

When we are born again, our spirit is regenerated. We are now pleasing to God and the enmity that was between us is now removed by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The carnal ordinances (the law) that was against us was nailed to the cross with Christ. (Col. 2:13-14) The old covenant was ended. We now rest in a new and better covenant. (Hebrews 8-12).

You see the law of God contained in the cardinal ordinances of the ten commandments and the rest of the law was incomplete. It was only a shadow of things to come. It was the schoolmaster that brought us to Christ. (Hebrews 10) (Gal. 3:24-25). But once Christ is come there is no longer need for the schoolmaster.

Christ now lives in us. We who are born again are regenerated in our spirits. Tit 2:11-12
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. It is God's grace that now constrains us. It is not fear of punishment for breaking laws that produces holiness. It is the righteousness of God in Christ living and working its way from the inside out that produces holiness. The Holy Spirit in me lusteth to envy to have all of me. Smith Wigglesworth once said it this way. "God wants all He's got in you." The law of God has been written in my heart.

The law was an inferior covenant. The new covenant of grace is superior and has replaced the old. We are not bound by the law any more.

You asked the next logical question when you said, "if I want to murder someone, that would be ok..." Does a born again man commit murder? Does the grace of God teach us to do that? I would join you and Paul in saying "God Forbid!!!" But then Paul explains what happened to us at salvation. The old man was crucified with Christ and now Christ lives in and through us. The life we now live is not our own but is His.

Now we do have to battle the flesh. We still live in an unregenerate body, mind, and emotions and we still have to crucify the flesh. But that is not accomplished through detailed study of the law. Rather it is accomplished through the Holy Spirit working from the inside out.

Hope that helps clarify where my comments were coming from.


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Travis

 2012/6/23 23:13Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
Oh my word!



I have only been a Christian for 15 years but I have seen such a decline in the morality and holiness of Christians in my lifetime. I believe many Christians are blaspheming God with their words, maybe not their hearts.

A lighter form of blasphemy is to just make something common that is holy. And that is what modern evangelicals are doing with the thrice holy name of God.

I believe "Oh my..." is just a christianized version of the blasphemy people in the world say 100's of times a day.

May God give us a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit of God with our speech.


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 2012/6/24 0:13Profile





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