Another COG Survivor Blog?

 7Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. (Exodus 20:7, King James Version)

I came across a blog called Splintersufer’s Blog.  The first article is, “Not another COG-survivor blog… Right?”  Well, I suppose you can read it and make up your own mind about it.

The sad part of it all is how much abuse has occurred in various COG groups in the name of God.  While I’m certain that some stories are examples of extreme sensitivity and/or are full of exaggerations (and, a few might be downright lies, for all I know), I have no doubt that some are at least mostly true.  I don’t know the person that writes that blog or even who it is, but there have been similar stories about some of the ministers he writes about.

A minister and a church is supposed to be in service to God.  When a minister stands and speaks, it is supposed to be the words of God.  All is supposed to give glory to God and be done in the name of God.

What does it mean to use God’s name in vain? Simply, this means to misuse God’s name in any fashion. It is not just directed against cursing, though that is one way in which His name is dishonored by people and is used in vain. What are some ways people take God’s name in vain? There are many, but let us look at just a few.

The first way is when we profess God’s name but do not live answerably to it. It means we live hypocritically. Thomas Watson said, "pretended holiness is merely double wickedness." Whenever we do not live up to the call of the Christian life, we take God’s name in vain. We are mirrors that should reflect the perfection of God. If the mirror claims to be Christ’s and reflects tendencies of hell, then we use the name of Christ in vain, and people see that.

~ McMahon, Dr C Matthew. (n.d.). The Tract Series: Taking the Name of God in Vain.  Retrieved from

I wonder if we’ve really gotten to the point yet where these words mean something in all of our day to day lives (including ministers, elders, deacons, lay people).


  1. splintersurfer

    Hello, Splintersurfer here. I noticed you linked to my blog. I'm not sure if you were talking about me specifically with these comments: "some stories are examples of extreme sensitivity and/or are full of exaggerations and, a few might be downright lies" Well, whatever you think about my blog, I can tell you that if I've written about it, it is true. It happened. I'm being as objective as I can with my writing. I'm not exaggerating on any of this. It is up to the reader to determine if I'm overly sensitive to my experiences but they are none-the-less, true. That's all I had to say.


  2. John D Carmack

    @splintersurfer: Well, I suppose the best way to answer that is that you can choose to believe that refers to you or you can choose to believe that "I have no doubt that some are at least mostly true" does. Either way, I would think the last sentence of the paragraph would at least be a signal for a potential reader to give you the benefit of the doubt.

    But, of course, each and every reader will have to make up their own minds as well, won't they? I thought it was an interesting story, so I thought I would pass it along. I'm not asking them to believe it or not, but I am saying that they should open up their minds and consider the ramifications of their actions and associations upon others.

    Fair enough?

  3. splintersurfer

    I can live with that 🙂