The Third Commandment – What it Really Means

Third Commandment Pic

“The Third Commandment also has not fared well in English. Lo tissa et shem Ha-Shem Eloheikha la-shav is usually translated as “You shall not TAKE the Lord your God’s name in vain.” Many people think that this means that you have to write God as G-D, or that it is blasphemous to say words such as “god-damn.” Even if these assumptions are correct, it’s still hard to figure out what makes this offense so heinous that it’s included in the document that forbids murdering, stealing, idolatry, and adultery. However, the Hebrew, Lo tessa, literally means “You shall not CARRY [God’s name in vain]”; in other words don’t use God as your justification in selfish causes. The Third commandment is the only one concerning which God says, “for the Lord God will not forgive him who carries His name in vain” (Exodus 20:6-7). The reason now seems to be clear. When a person commits an evil act, he discredits himself. But when a religious person commits an evil act in the name of God, he or she discredits God as well. And since God relies on religious people to bring knowledge of Him into the world, He pronounces this sin unpardonable.” — Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, Jewish Literacy

I published this post a few months back and just wanted to bring it back as a reminder to all and,  with a little more elaboration.  As a religious cult survivor it is comforting to know that all those that have carried God’s name in vain to suit their own selfish causes will not be pardoned for it. There is no distinction between male and female or, religious denomination.  Everyone will have to give account to God for the abusive ways they manipulated scripture, manipulated people, spiritually abused others, emotionally abused others, sexually abused others, physically abused others – all in the name of God or under the “guise” of religion. The abuses that are hidden under the guise of religion are rampant and have been hidden for centuries while the victims have been silenced, shunned and shamed.

If only religious leaders could rightly divide the scriptures, learning and teaching the truth as it should be taught. Grace and compassion are missing. “Unconditional” love is missing. You know. . .  that kind of love that loves people despite their shortcomings, despite their sins, despite the way they dress, despite what they believe? Well. . . maybe you don’t know about that kind of love since it is not taught in many religious institutions. As a result of the twisted theologies and teachings, many are blinded by “conditional” love instead of “unconditional” love. People that practice “conditional” love:

  • Only love those that live and believe as they do.
  • Only associate with those that live and believe as they do.
  • Shun others that live and believe differently.
  • Isolate themselves and their families from the rest of the world.
  • Silence opposition to their religious beliefs.
  • Fight against independent thought and  questioning of religious authority, dogma, rules and bad behaviors.
  • Usually practice a “fear-based” system of worship that keeps them in bondage to the church, the church leadership and the twisted dogmas.
  • Live their lives in religious bondage and do not even realize it.
  • Serve men and their religious institutions instead of the living God.

“Conditional” love is rooted in selfishness, control and power. “Conditional” love is all about the individual while “unconditional” love is rooted in God and others. Make the distinction in your life and learn to love others as God loves you. It will not only change your perspectives regarding others, it will change the way you treat them!

It’s time for people to wake up and realize that “conditional” love toward others is not of God – at least, not the God I know . It more suits the god of this world instead.

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