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There are at least two different areas in which the name of God can be used “in vain”.
1. You can misuse God’s name through your speech.
We’re going to play a little association game. I’m going to say a name, and you think about the first thing that comes into your mind. [Kevorkian, IBM, ACLU, Clinton, Earnhardt, Braves] Names are more than just a way of finding someone in the phone book. Eventually, a person or an organization’s name comes to symbolize the kind of character that that person or organization possesses. How many of you when you were picking names for your children would not give a certain name to your child because every time that you heard that name, it reminded you of someone from your past who was not exactly what you wanted your child to be? I’ve never met a girl named “Jezebel” or a boy named “Judas”. I have a suspicion that the reason for that is because the actions of those persons so marred the name that they carried that no one today wants to use those names. James Williams of Beaumont, TX, promised his wife Cosandra that she could choose the name for their baby girl. "Just before we got married, Cosandra told me that she wanted our child’s first name to contain parts of every family name ever used," said Williams. "I didn’t think it was too great an idea, but I agreed to compromise. We decided I would name the boys and she would name the girls." Early in September Cosandra had a baby girl. The baby is called Jameshauwnell, short for an unpronounceable, 1,019-letter conglomeration of names (as in The Calgary Herald, Sept. 19). Some of us should be very glad about the family that we were born into and the family name that we inherited. One very unfortunate young man was born into the “Stink” family. When he grew into an adult, Charlie Stink was constantly being advised by his friends and co- workers that he should have his name changed. Finally he agreed, and went to court to have the process completed. The next day back at work, his associates inquired, "What did you have your name changed to?" He answered, "for the life of me I can’t see what difference it’s going to make! I changed it to George Stink."
Near the end of the summer 4 years ago, nearly everyone in the southeast was routing for the Braves as they played in the world series. Everyone except the fans of the team they were playing against and also a group of protesters located outside Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, GA. Do you remember who the group was and why they were protesting? It was a group of Native Americans who were protesting the use of the name “Braves” by the Atlanta Baseball team and the tomahawk chop action that the fans used. Did they have a legitimate complaint? Yes and no. It is kind of degrading to see what you consider sacred used as entertainment. But on the other hand, the Braves were the best team in the world. I wouldn’t mind being identified with them. Nonetheless, these Native Americans were upset because from their perspective, their name was being used in an improper way.
Now, I’m going to do something very cruel this morning. I’m getting kind of thirsty up here with all this talking that I’m doing, so I snuck
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