One of the ten commandments states that no one should use the Lord’s name in vane. I find that many preachers constantly use the Lord’s name in vane when they write books that might mention God. But He takes second place to the writer and what he believes. Some of the best selling Christian authors write about how God wants His people to be happy all the time, rich, and successful. But if that were true, why did Saint Paul write that Christians would have to struggle in life and that pleasing God was more important than worldly success and the praise of men? Any writer that states that God told him to do something that is contrary to what the Bible says uses the Lord’s name in vain, or empty. I’ll give some examples of using the Lord’s name in vane and demonstrate that it doesn’t always mean swearing.
Years ago, Oral Roberts claimed that God had told him to raise millions of dollars within a certain length of time or else he would be taken home to Heaven. When he didn’t raise the money within the time period, he said God had given him an extension. He raised the money. But he used the Lord’s name in vane by making His name meaningless. God hadn’t told him to raise the money which means he lied. Roberts was punished by God. He lost his hospital, his university, and eventually his life.
When televangelists talk about God telling them they need to raise money and they write that God wants His people to be rich and if they aren’t rich they are failing God’s purpose for their lives, they make Christians feel like they aren’t pleasing God. Maybe even sinning. But God knows that many Christians would forsake him and feel like they can do whatever they want to do and never worry about going to Hell because once you accept Christ as your Savior, you can never be forsaken by God and wind up in Hell. What televangelists seem to forget to tell or write is that God holds His people responsible for what they do for or against Him. I sometimes thank God when televangelists are disgraced for their actions that He is exposing their vanity. There are no self-reliant servants of God. A Christian should be God-reliant.
Faith healing and gifts of the Holy Spirit that Pentacostals believe still exist at times make Chrtistianity a “side show” religion. When Jesus was on earth in the flesh, not all of the people he met accepted him as their Savior. Many wanted to be healed or fed. They wanted to see him do a miracle or two as if he was a magician who happened to speak well too. If God wanted His people to speak in tongues, why do Pentacostals go to language school before going to foreign nations as missionaries?
I’ve written a book about Chritian principles and what the Bible states. I must confess that I used my limited understanding when I wrote much of the book and tried to be as close to what God meant when I commented on what the Bible taught. Christian writers often stray from what the Bible states and express their opinion. I have a friend that likes to point out errors in the Bible. He doesn’t like to be shown where he is sinning because he believes Christians like me make up sins. Gambling is wrong because it relies on luck and has nothing to do with pleasing God or depending on Him to make them rich. God wants us to give to His work. He never tells us that if we play lotto or play the slots He will reward us financially. I tell my friend that gambling is based on greed. You want to take other people’s money. He tells me if you are willing to lose your money, it isn’t sinning. I tell him that when he plays cards, why don’t they give their money they win back to the players that lost it or play for potato chips? When he puts his money into a slot machine, why doesn’t he just walk away? He tells me that’s not what people do. If he goes to the local firehouse during Vegas night when it uses games of chance to raise money, why doesn’t he just give the money to the firehouse and consider it a charitable contribution? But he would rather walk out of the firehouse with more money than he had when he walked in.
Christian writers can’t excuse sins as meaningless or easy for God to excuse. Abortion won’t send you to Hell and neither will having sex like a bunny. They don’t please God. But Christians will have to account for what they did and what they believed. Just because Jesus forgave the sins of a prostitute doesn’t mean it is all right to use the sexual services of prostitutes. It is still adultery and fornication which God condemns. Even in my book “The Russian Madhouse” which has nudity in it since the rocket scientists used to be a nude model has a dream scene in which the main character takes a shower with her. But he doesn’t have sex. During the trip to Mars with the rocket scientist, he could have had a torrent love affair with her. But he knew what people would think if he traveled to the Red Planet alone with her. So he brought his wife along which meant she would see her cousin on Mars. He finds out his ancestors came from Mars and if the main character’s wife didn’t hitch a ride to Mars, there would have been little reason to deal with him and the beautiful woman he meets up there and eventually marries.
I’ve read some stories and books written by Christian writers. I find some of them are boring and predictable. Writers of Christian stories and books don’t need to write for children and old people only. In my book there is a scene in which a female android is masturbating to lure a pornographer into having sex with her. But he is punished by the android since she has defenses that prevent rape. He also deserved to be put in his place. If a Christian writer shows sexual encounters in the manner God might consider appropriate, he shouldn’t be ashamed if Jesus were to read the book or story. Besides, since the Holy Spirit dwells in all Christians, Jesus already knows what a writer is writing. That’s one of the reasons why I had the main character include his wife on the trip to Mars. The main character showed moral character that Jesus would be proud of. In the Bible, not all people written about were perfect. Many gave into temptation and sinned against God. Writers should be willing to show flaws since they are writing about people and not angels. Readers want to read about people like them and if they have problems that are not what you would expect Christians to have, they might be what the readers would have. Writers can relate better to readers if the stories seem real even if they are science fiction. Remember, Christians live lives pretty much like non-Christians except for one thing. They should be living lives pleasing to God. If a character is living in sin, the readers should know it is wrong and the writer also considers it wrong. Sin is enjoyable. But writers shouldn’t show the consequences of sin. If a character can overcome sin through the power of faith in God, readers must be encouraged by the victory. If a reader is addicted to pornography and he reads how a character overcomes that addiction, it will be a victory for the reader, the writer, and more importantly, God.
Christian writers should always consider the eternal impact their stories and books have on readers. They might not sell a million books and have their works made into movies. But if they are something they would be proud to have Jesus read, they can consider themselves successful writers. Their true rewards will be given to them in Heaven and if they hear God tell them, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant,” it will be better than any good review in the most influential newspaper or literary review magazine.