Sunday, November 27, 2005

I "Swear"?

A news story caught my eye this afternoon. A Christian charity... The Breakout Trust, is on the verge of releasing a film to schools, regarding the Nativity. The author - Steve Legg, was motivated to create it when he heard a boy in a school ask why Mary and Joseph named their child after a swear word.

I share his concerns.

When people utter the name of Jesus in the street, nine times out of ten it is used as a curse. When you link that with the watering down of Christian teaching in schools... it's hardly surprising. I don't necessarily blame the teachers, quite often they get given directives from education authorities to minimise coverage of Christianity so as not to offend minority religions. This is NOT what the minority religions want though. Time after time I have heard their leaders say that they recognise the importance of the State faith being taught in class. They know the importance belief plays in society. From their perspective, it provides a sense of identity and cuts the amount of angry young white boys on the streets. From my perspective it provides much more.

Jesus said:

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

Furthermore, Paul prayed:

"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

These things I believe... that Jesus is not just a mere cuss word, He is the gateway... the bridge through whom I can experience the fullness of God in my mere humanity.

I could go on and say at length, how inappropriate it is to use Jesus as a swear word. How I would not use the name of another persons so called gods as profanity... out of respect, or for those of you who have no religion... how I would not use your mother or your father's name as a swear word. Jesus is not some far and distant thing. To the Christian, He is alive... dwelling in our hearts. When I hear people curse with Jesus' name, I have adopted the practice of my friends - adding "Saved us!!!!" to the end of it... turning their darkness into God's light. Using their negative words as an opportunity to bring God's positive Gospel into a conversation.

If you want to know how close Christ is to the Christian, why we treasure his name so much... look at these words by the band Delirious?:

What A Friend I've Found
What a friend I've found
Closer than a brother
I have felt your touch
More intimate than lovers
Jesus, Jesus
Jesus, friend forever
What a hope I've found
More faithful than a mother
It would break my heart
To ever lose each other
Written by Martin Smith ©1996 Curious? Music UK

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