in vain on billboards

Is anyone else bothered by the adverts for the new Kit Kat Chunky? Emblazoned on bus shelters all over town, a casual disregard for the third commandment – thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain – a morally binding requirement that the name of God ‘be holily and reverently used in thought, meditation, word, and writing’.

I don’t suppose there’s much point writing in tones of loud righteous indignation, because of how amazingly many self-identifying Christians think so little of taking God’s name in vain, not to mention the routine practice of non-religious people who only ever (but, all the time) make use of the name of God or Christ as a swearword.

But still, it’s rather insulting.

If I wasn’t already boycotting Nestle, I would be now.

7 thoughts on “in vain on billboards

  1. Is that a rebuke or an invitation? :-)

    Somewhat reluctant to put examples in writing, so will chicken out and quote Thomas Vincent instead (c17th Explanation of the Shorter Catechism) – ‘How are God’s names, titles, and attributes profaned and abused?’

    “1. When persons do think slightly and irreverently of them, without any suitable affections to them; especially when their hearts are filled with despising, hatred, and aversion towards the name of God. ‘If I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the Lord of hosts unto you that despise my name,’ Mal 1:6.
    2. When persons speak irreverently concerning God, making mention of any of his names, titles, or attributes, in ordinary discourse, crying, O Lord, O God, God forgive me, God save me, and the like, without minding what they say, or having any awe of God upon them, whilst they are speaking of him. …”

    Not but that it is surely right to appeal to him when you’re taken aback, or delighted about something, or whatever – pray without ceasing etc – but when people use God’s name or Christ’s name just as a formula and entirely thoughtlessly — without the least consideration that he is actually listening and watching — then it clearly slides into the category of taking his name in vain. Even (can i even dare to say especially) when it’s professedly Christian people who do it.


  2. There’s a reinforcement/motivation embedded the commandment itself, says Fisher, in that he is “the Lord our God” – “the force of the argument taken from his being the Lord or Jehovah [is] that his infinite essential glory and excellency should fill us with the greatest reverence and humility, when we think or speak of any thing by which he makes himself known.” And the force of the argument taken from his being our God is that “his making himself over to us in the covenant of promise, as our reconciled God and Father in Christ, should lay us under the strongest obligation to a holy and reverential use of his name.”

    Some people won’t even say “for goodness sake”, in case goodness refers to his attribute. Dunno. The advert says OMG. Which it turns out may not even be meaningful to anyone old enough to be unfamiliar with txt speak – but encapsulates precisely the thoughtless disregard for who God is which the 3rd commandment specifically targets, it would seem, to me, who can hardly claim innocence of commandment-breaking in the face of Vincent’s point 1 above, but still.


  3. Definitely – because the self-proclaimed Christianity of our time is so unconscious of its own duty. If self-proclaimed Christians text each other OMG and use the unabbreviated version as a throwaway phrase in the most trivial of circumstances, what point bringing it up with an organisation which glories in the kind of track record for keeping the second table of the law that Nestle has. Or with the ASA for that matter. Unfortunately.


  4. So my comment meant “but perhaps there’s a point in writing to them in non-indignant tones”.

    There was a jeans advert in Warsaw saying “I am who I am”. I mean, it’s possible they didn’t intend any biblical allusion. But I did vaguely hope the Jewish gmina would take advantage of the current trendiness of anti-anti-Semitism and complain loudly about it.


  5. It is very hard to boycott Nestle when they keep buying up all the sweet manufacturers. Even over here they have quite a grip.

    On your main point – I would agree, write them a stiff note!

    (ahh, Toffee Crisps)


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