Future Glory, Present Disgrace

Future Glory

John Calvin, in speaking about the Third Commandment, “Thou 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,” made in passing this observation as central to his thesis. And I quote, “We shall soon see that to swear by God’s name is a species or part of religious worship. And this is manifest, too, from the words of Isaiah 45: 23 for when he predicts that all nations shall devote themselves to pure religion, he thus speaks, “As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall swear by me.” End of quote. Calvin then goes on to say, as he discusses this passage in Isaiah which we just read, in particular the twenty-third verse, which is the key verse in the passage. That God prophesies certain things.

First, that history will culminate in God’s absolute Lordship over all men and nations. Every knee shall bow unto God. Now this does not mean, as Calvin points out, citing Isaiah in a number of passages, that everyone in the world will be a believer. What it does mean is that Christian faith shall triumph. And everyone the world over will acknowledge the sovereignty of God whether they believe in Him or not because it is the people of God who rule. It is the Law of God which prevails. It is the righteousness of God which is declared in every nation. Thus, there shall be from end to end throughout all the Earth, the sovereignty of God manifested and the Law of God governing.

Secondly, Isaiah declares in this passage, or God declares, speaking through Isaiah, that unto me not only shall every knee bow but every tongue shall swear. In other words, an oath in the name of the God of scripture shall be the universal oath in every nation, in every court, for every office. And God declares that this constitutes a form of worship. Thus we see that oath taking is declared by scripture to be a form of worship. So that when George Washington took the first presidential oath of office (and he knew exactly what he was doing), he was worshiping the God of scripture and declaring that his term of office would be an attempt to magnify God and to govern in a godly manner. [ 0:05:43.4]

The Third Commandment Swearing and Worship by Dr. R.J. Rushdoony

God’s Name will be the foundation of every state, every nation, every court of law, everywhere men trod the earth. Or anywhere else they go.

That is the future now, and when Rushdoony was speaking.

Present Disgrace

Now as Calvin goes on to interpret the Third Commandment, he points out that in terms of this passage in Isaiah, it is silly to restrict the meaning of the Third Commandment to the use of the name Jehovah. That is, any profanity which uses God’s name. Calvin declares that profanity means any activity outside of God, outside of the temple. And blasphemy is any activity conducted outside of God, and in contempt of His sovereignty. Any trifling use of reality apart from God is thus, blasphemy. When men do sometimes tremendous and awe-inspiring things, that they do it in the name of man. The {?} of violating the Third Commandment. When they attempt to play God as they deal with life, they are again guilty of blasphemy.

This last week, for example, the papers reported that scientists are planning soon to be able to tell any expectant mother whether her child is going to be a boy or a girl. They will remove the embryo from the uterus, examine it to see whether it will be male or female, and if they don’t like the sex, it will be killed. If they do, it will be reimplanted. They claim that in a few years they may be able to do this but they have done it experimentally, sometimes to success, with rabbits. Now this constitutes blasphemy. It is a trifling use of reality in contempt of God. It is taking the name of God in vain. The commandment says, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” Thou shalt not, therefore, deal with any reality in vain, in vanity, in contempt of God and His law. We must take God’s name in truth.

The Third Commandment Swearing and Worship by Dr. R.J. Rushdoony

This was a future form of blasphemy at the time Rushdoony was speaking, but it is widespread today. And not just in China and India, but also in Sweden and Canada.

Note that feminists are the one backing this in the West. But they never loved their fellow girls and women, just their own sexual pleasure without consequence.

Just their own pleasure. Nothing else.

If you think these murders – of women, and of the future – will actually have a future, think again. See what is before your eyes.

Safety in Escapism and Trivialization

We can see, therefore, how trifling a great deal of preaching is on this subject. I’ve known a number of ministers who went after all kinds of slang expressions as though they were blasphemy. For example, I can recall one minister in particular (and incidentally the last time I saw him, I almost threw him out of the house because of flagrant lying), who was death on anybody who said, “Dear me.” Now when you trace “dear me” back to its origins a few centuries ago, we find that various people from Latin countries who were in England very often said in their language, “My God.” (Deo Meo). And the English parodied it and made fun of it, “Deo me” and it became “dear me.” A kind of a joke at these immigrants who were in England. But some of these clergymen will tell you that if you say, “dear me,” which is an utterly harmless expression, you’re guilty of violating the Third Commandment. Is this being trifling? Isn’t it taking the name of the Lord in vain to preach something like that with all the wickedness and evil round about us?

Similarly, some clergymen will say that the expression, “not worth a dam” is profanity. But is it? For one thing, the ‘dam’ there is not d-a-m-n, as in damnation, but it is d-a-m. It has reference to the smallest coin in India. It’s like the French expression, “not worth a sous.” The sous is the most insignificant of French coins, so insignificant it has disappeared. No longer a coin. And the dam is the smallest coin of India. And various Western troops, especially the British troops stationed in India, when they wanted to say they couldn’t care less or a thing was totally worthless, they said, “not worth a dam.” It’s a good expression. We might soon be saying, “not worth a penny” and mean the same thing. And before long, “not worth a dollar.” Isn’t it trifling to reduce the Third Commandment to such nonsense? Of a good deal of preaching today we had better say it’s not worth a dam.

The Third Commandment Swearing and Worship by Dr. R.J. Rushdoony

Worthless, powerless preaching does not bring the wrath of Our Betters upon the heads of the preacher.

And the preacher shows, by what he truly fears, who is truly Lord over him.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.

Matthew 23:23, English Standard Version

To change the clergy, the laymen must change.

That change in the heart, from rebellion and disobedience, to repentance and obedience, is what opens the door to the future.

Instead of being locked into some dying past, hating God as you fall into the pit.

Powerless and irrelevant.


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