I can’t remember a time when I didn’t believe in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Son of God. I find reinforcement of this belief in many places.
Here’s a little test you can do. Look at some of the modern sources of entertainment: books, music, and movies. Check out a large enough number of them, and you’re bound to find the ones that include the name of Jesus in them. In books you can find many in which the “action” and the “drama” is achieved by a character shouting, “Jesus Christ!” Books with this particular attempt at drama are not few. Now, if you can detach yourself from the emotional response you might be having, and look at the use of the name in a clinical way, you can ask yourself why. Why does the writer use that specific name? Would the name Siddhartha Gautama work as well? This is the name of the Buddha. Why not use the name of the Buddha when we curse? Why is Jesus’s name so effective?
It gives people a thrill when they read it. Why? If you don’t have any scientific answers to this, then you might start to see that Jesus is the Son of God. You’re not supposed to use His name in random contexts, especially angry ones. That’s another way of saying, “Don’t use His name in vain.” Deep down inside, your conscience will tell you this truth. If you listen.
Speaking of listening, what about music? I love alternative music, but there’s a common theme in alternative music where they use the name of the Savior to make the music seem more imperative, or edgy, or rebellious. (Jim Morrison once wailed, “Jesuuuus, save uuuus!” Two reasons that couldn’t change: 1. It rhymes. 2. “Buddha, save us!”?? Who’s going to scream that in a rock concert?) Whatever the reason, the question could be repeated: Why not Buddha? Some of the band names could change too. Buddha Lizard, and The Buddha and Mary Chain. Yeah, neither of those quite capture the same feeling as the originals, do they?
What about movies? Have you seen a movie and heard one of the characters use the Lord’s name? Why not Buddha? And for that matter, why do I keep picking on Buddha? Because I revere him. He left a legacy of goodness in this world.
Okay, so there’s another question: When we’re cursing, why don’t we use the names of bad people?
It makes more sense. Cursing with the name of someone who left death and destruction in their wake makes more sense than cursing with the name of someone who did good. But it doesn’t give you that thrill when you say, “Hitler!” Why? Because Hitler’s name has no power associated with it? But if the name of the Savior has power associated with it, shouldn’t we use it more sparingly, even more respectfully?
Something to ruminate.
What would the makers of movies think if they found a script with a character saying something like, “Vishnu! We’re gonna die!” My guess is that they would point at that Hindu god name and say, “Change that to Jesus Christ, and we got ourselves a movie.” I know, there are a lot of movies that don’t use the name of the Son of God, but that’s not my point. My point is not that there are no good movies, no good books, no good music. My point is not that ALL the writers and musicians and directors and actors are going to hell quick fast and in short order. What I am saying is, “Have you ever thought about why the name of the Christ is used so often?” I think that’s a subject worth pondering. To play the other side of the street: If Jesus isn’t the Son of God, then why do they use his name when they’re afraid, or to show that a character is in fear, or to state the terms of their rebellion?