This afternoon my Calvin class discussed Calvin’s application of the third command. In the Institutes II.8.22, Calvin says that not taking the Lord’s name in vain means, among other things, “we should not rashly or perversely abuse his Holy Word and worshipful mysteries either for the sake of our own ambition, or greed, or amusement….”
Our class immediately thought of how easy it is to take the Lord’s name in vain while preparing for or delivering a sermon. Do we study so that we will look good or to serve our Lord and benefit others? Then we thought of blogs and Bible tweets. We may pray that our inspirational tweets and blog posts will encourage others, but often they seem calculated to keep our platform alive and our name in front of others. To the extent that we share a Bible verse so that we will be noticed, to that extent we are taking the Lord’s name in vain. Calvin said so, I swear.