Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
has nothing to do with swearing, dammit. (I just threw that last in for
effect.) Bad language is hardly ever mentioned in the rest of the
Bible, so why would people think that God would make it #2 on the Big
Chart and then forget about it? Even making promises with oaths -- the
other swearing -- gets very little play, Old Testament or New.
prophecy, now, that subject comes up a lot, with many variations played
on the Carillon of Scripture (that metaphor didn't work out as well as
I'd hoped). And that,
my friends, is what is referred to as taking the Lord's name in vain is
here. It means no forging God's signature under your own ideas. It
means being very cautious and considered about making any claims that
what you teach is The Gospel, or The Authentic Gospel.
is of course not only allowed, but encouraged. Check up on the
penalties for false teaching before you start blathering, however.
Liberal Christians rightly criticize conservatives for stepping way over
the line in making claims about what God does and doesn't want in law
and politics. Then they do the same thing themselves -- and worse,
because they will often get together and put a denominational stamp on
it. They just claim to speak for God in more elegant terms -- which is
what God really wants, right?
Anyway, everyone just cut it out, y' hear me?