“Oh my god! Not Blasphemy?

I used to have a HUGE problem with unbelievers saying, “Oh my god!”. But after thinking about it, I’ve changed my mind about it and the key lies in the word “my” and the lower case “g”. Here’s why.

Unbelievers have, whether they know it or not, in their mind a concept of a god that they have created that suits them. An idol if you will. That god is no more real than Peter Pan. That god is the one they will “go to” when they die, the one they pray to when they need something, and the one that gives them warm fuzzies when they see fireworks on the fourth of July. And like any made up god, he isn’t real. So for them to say “Oh my god“, they are blaspheming their idol god instead of the one Triune God. It’s actually kind of funny if you think of it that way…you just need to retrain your ear to it. All bets are off though when an unbeliever uses the Lord Jesus’ name in a blasphemous fashion. THAT’S a whole different paint job!

That being said, nothing burns my butt more than when a believer says it. It’s blasphemy. It’s using His name in a vain, irreverent, loose, disrespectful manner. It speaks volumes on how holy and precious God is to them. If you have a pearl of great price, you don’t tie it to your bumper and drag it through the mud.

My $.02

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About Matthew Blair

Sinner saved by grace.
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16 Responses to “Oh my god! Not Blasphemy?

  1. Mitchel says:

    Dood, I have been struggeling with this for MONTHS. I think that sorta makes sense to me… I watch tv, and I realized I cant watch ANYTHING, without someone saying OMG. Whether its emeril cooking, the guy from dirty jobs, or even just normal discovery channel. I totally agree that Christians saying it is blasphemy for sure, but can a non believer really say OMG, and have it be Jesus? What if they are muslim, then they would be in essence saying O MY ALLAH.

    Are you familiar with Way of The master radio with Todd Friel? Feel free to email me. Mitchelsliwa@gmail dot com

  2. dogbarber says:

    Part of the new birth is the realization of how Holy and Worthy our Lord is and an acute awareness to how His name is used….count it a true blessing you have such a gift.

    But I would correct you on one point though, they are not saying “OMG”…they are saying “OMg” because that god is not real. They blaspheme a figment.

    Yes, I podcast WotMR, but lately I’ve been OD’ing on Piper.

  3. beckysbaby says:

    Hi Dogbarber,
    I just wanted to say that I thank God for all your help on my blog and with my life, you are a wonderful husband and friend. Love your Dinkleboo.

  4. Bob says:

    I am a Christian, and unfortunaley, I used to say these three words, but I did not know what they meant, I didn’t know that it was wrong. People everywhere said it and if no one hasn’t informed me of this, I am I supposed to think this wrong, no I think it’s normal. Parents and Priests/ Ministers/ Vicars should inform young kids about the affect of these words and what they actually mean.

  5. Idetrorce says:

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you
    Idetrorce

  6. Shari says:

    Muslims DO say, OMG.. they say Y Allah! which is the same thing, and in certain Muslim countries/cultures, they do struggle with whether it’s okay to say it.

    I personally have been struggling with it myself. I have a HORRIBLE potty mouth and OMG is, unfortunately one of the biggest offenders coming out of my mouth. My struggle is that linguistically, I can’t seem to come up with a phrase that my tired brain can insert at the appropriate junction in a conversation where I’m supposed to be saying something to show I’m listening and sympathizing but not sound like I’m 90 years old. Like “Oh, goodness!”. Just doesn’t work in the college crowd.

    Same goes with “Holy ______!” There is nothing to put in there that is holy and appropriate to use as an exclamation – but what do you SAY at those moments?! “Goodness me!” is not something I will say, and neither is “Jumping jehosaphat!”. So am I screwed?

    Definitely no answers here, but continuing to seek guidance. 🙂

  7. Bubba says:

    Good article!

    What you’re saying makes complete sense. However, It still irritates me to hear it. Just a habbit now I guess…

  8. jules says:

    My husband used to have a big “OMG”-dispensing problem, and both of us still have foul mouths in other circumstances, but as we recovered from our previous lives and found new life together in Christ, I told him that I wished he wouldn’t take the Lord’s name in vain. He kinda knew that that was one of the 10 commandments, but he honestly didn’t understand what taking the Lord’s name in vain meant. (He grew up Catholic and wasn’t instructed in the meaning so much as in the ritual and repetition of things.) Now he hears the “OMG” and “GD” as grating as I do, and he actually asks his coworkers to please substitute something, ANYTHING, for it. So, “F— a duck” is his usual substitute, and frankly, I’m grateful.

    I think most people, even secular non-believers, generally try to avoid breaking the 10 commandments, but seriously, nobody bothers to define taking the lord’s name in vain to them, so they don’t even know they’re doing it. I recently addressed this with the Youth group at church, and it was total news to them. I am happy to report they’ve gone to “Good Grief” or “O my gosh” instead of actual blasphemy.

    We need to increase awareness. Be in the world, not OF the world.

  9. Rhys Andrews says:

    A very interesting point. It still offends me, regardless. I guess i just have to get used to it.

  10. Crash Overide says:

    God is a generic name meaning deity and can be used for many things including false ones. Jesus told us to be very careful that we do not worship the wrong Christ with false doctrine.

    “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24:24)

    “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” (Mark 13:22)

    Most of the names given to us in the Bible are not personal names but titles or functions. Even the great YHVH which is unpronounceable could be translated as the Eternal One who preserves what he creates. Other variations of this title are I AM or I AM who I will be. A personal name does not always show a person’s function and we will not likely be aware of his true personal name until we are resurrected and it becomes a part of our glorified body.

    “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. ” (Revelation 3:12)

    So Technically speaking, saying “Oh my god” should not be considered Blasphemy because you are not using Gods “name” in vein because man does not know Gods true personal name, just the names that man gave him.. For instance.. if your name was Frank.. and somebody said F_ _ _ You Bob.. would you be offended, the answer for most would probably be no.. because your name isn’t Bob. Sometimes i think people are so scared about what will happen when they die, and where they will go.. they think way to deeply about the little insignificant things, besides, doesn’t it say in the Bible that when you die, if you are truly sorry for the sins you have committed on earth that you will be forgiven and accepted into the kingdom of heaven? For some reason i think the people who say “oh my god” are on the bottom of the list of offenders.. theirs much worse things going on in the world than somebody using a tittle man gave him in vein..

  11. Chris says:

    It’s either blasphemy or idolatry. Learn to read. Your Bible.

  12. Michael says:

    Hi,

    I read this post, then went for a drive, and couldn’t stop thinking about it for an hour, so I tried to apply your interpretation to different situations.

    With your interpretation, would it be right or wrong for an atheist to say that phrase? If they don’t believe in god, then who are they referring to if not Jehovah? If they’re just saying for the sake of expression, that sounds like idle words, and won’t they have to account for that one day (Mark 12:36).

    If someone came up to me (a Christian) and said, “oh your God”, are you saying that would be wrong, but if they said “oh my god”, then that’s OK?

    If a computer program made that expression, or if a parrot was taught to say it, would that mean it’s OK (since they might not understand theism or atheism?) If it was on a sign, then whose god would it refer to? The writer, the person who constructed the sign, or the installer of the sign?

    If someone called you godly, does this mean you couldn’t know what it means, because they might worship a different god with different attributes?

    If you get woken up at some ungodly hour, does this mean it could be any time day or night, depending on which god one worships?

    In Timothy 4:10, it says that God is the saviour of all men, especially those who believe. Does this mean it’s OK for a Hindu to say OMG (since there are many gods) but not “oh my saviour” (since the only Saviour is Jesus)?

    In Proverbs 1:7, the fear of God is the beginning of knowledge, doesn’t it follow that man’s truth depends on God, rather than God’s truth depending on man?

    I was thinking of how the earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof (Psalm 24:1). I suppose you could focus on the “my” in the OMG expression, but is it opening the door to existentialism and subjectivity?

    If in Mark 15:39, the centurion said that Jesus was truly the Son of God, and if the New Testament was written in uppercase Koine Greek, does this mean that we can’t be sure which god the centurion was referring to, and that Jesus might have been the son of a pagan god?

    Are you certain that the OMG expression was first recorded and meant with a lowercase g? If not, is it safer to take a precaution (i.e. it might have been G) instead of a risk (it wasn’t a G)?

    I guess I disagree with your interpretation…but if you can elaborate, you might turn me around.

  13. Matthew says:

    Late response to Shari.

    You DO NOT need to say Holy anything. If you feel like you have to then you are trying to please the world. Please stop. Do you wish to please the Devil? If you feel the need to have to use OMG or Holy ____ then you are trying to please the devil. It is ok to say something like , “I don’t believe it!” or “Oh no!”. Anger is not a sin, but cussing is. Don’t worry about what other people think, it is one of the worse things a Christian can do, because it can lead a Christian to compromise God’s commandments in order to please the world/devil. If people think you are wierd because you don’t cuss then good because Jesus said, “The world will hate you.” and God will remain the giver of all truth. If the world loves us then we better examine ourselves to see if we are on God’s side.

  14. Dave says:

    I think the reason why it is not blasphemous if non christians say it, is because god is NOT a name, but a title, God’s name is Yahweh, not lord (also a title).

    and there are roman and greek gods, also money or celebs could be your god.

    so dropping Jesus Christ, (or Yahweh which never happens) is wrong to me, if it’s in vain of course, you are allowed to say these in reverence. but oh my god would only offend me if it is written down and has a capital G, indicating Yahweh.

    but the thing is the more you hear ‘oh my god’ the more you don’t have an issue with it, and soon enough you are saying it, because well it’s fine to hear it, but saying it is wrong, because you are a christian, and your God is Yahweh, so you can’t say it

    Anyone who is a christian saying ‘oh my god’ is saying ‘oh my God’ because that is their God, so that is who they are addressing. I’m sorry, but it is definitely wrong for a christian to say it.

  15. meg says:

    I don’t say it because I agree, but what should I do everytime I hear it on tv or songs or people speaking next to me? When I hear it on tv or in songs I cover my ears or pull my earphones out but alot of days on tv or commercials every next line is people saying it and i twitch and cover my ears so much, but when outside and people say it to me or near me i say lalala in my head loudly..is it bad if i hear it alot?

  16. Zoey says:

    I am just confused as is right now because when i googled on this page i had thought that i was just going to get a straight forward answer. but then again, other people’s comments and opinions get me thinking as well. i am very aware of the 10 commandments…one of them being, do not take God’s name in vain. well, seeing that now im not quite sure what that could be meaning, i just will never say that phrase. i had never been comfortable with it in the first place. wether they use a small g or uppercase, the fact that i am a God fearing Christian, i will conclude that it is blasphemy.

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