By Dr. Mark Creech
Recently a hostile blogger informed his readers that my name, Creech, is in the Urban Dictionary. He provided a link that showed that a “creech” is a noun used to describe someone who is both a “creep” and a “mooch.” “The creech is the person who always invites themselves to whatever you are doing. The guy who always ends up showing up even though no one invites him.” Similar meanings are “baggage and dead weight.” The Urban Dictionary also points out that a “creech” is the “same guy who comes over uninvited and eats all of your food or orders food for everyone at a restaurant and then shorts on the bill.
The word can also work as an adjective. For example, a sentence with the word as an adjective might read, “How does that ‘creech’ Jason always seem to show up when we get together?”
When I read this I couldn’t help but be disturbed by the defamation of my name – the same name that belonged to my blessed father – the same name my wife took as her own – the same name that my son and grandchildren carry to this day – the same name that I have lived to honor because of the family it represents. The use of my name in such a disparaging fashion tempts me to indignation.
But then it hit me. What a dishonor it is to God to misuse His name. The third commandment of the Big Ten instructs, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”
What a great wrong is committed when we use God’s precious name in an expression of profanity or slang. When we take that holy name and use it lightly, saying something like, “My Lord,” or “Good God,” or “Oh my God.” What a wrong is committed when we take the Lord’s holy name in vain by desecrating those things to which he has lent the influence of his name. Think of all the ways the word Christian is related in our time with the most erroneous of doctrines and unholiest of actions. And what about all the ways Christians use the Lord’s name in vain by reciting creeds they don’t believe, singing hymns they don’t live, making vows to God that they don’t intend to keep?
One of my favorite stories is about a time when a soldier charged for misconduct was brought before Alexander the Great. The man stood before the great commander with knees trembling. “What’s your name?” asked the Emperor.
“Alexander sir,” the man replied.
There was a pause. Again the Emperor inquired, “Soldier, I believe I asked for your name?”
“My name is Alexander!” the man said.
With a face of red furry, the Emperor shouted again, “What is your name?”
“Alexander,” came the meek reply.
Alexander the Great then stood and faced the man, and said, “You either change your name or change your conduct!”
It is bad enough anytime someone scurrilously misuses the name of another. But worse still is to abuse the name of the Lord. God’s name is holy. If we would ever bear that name on our lips, it must be repeated with reverence – it must be identified with a life of holiness consistent with God’s own nature. Furthermore, to call oneself a Christian is the same as to bear Christ’s name – a responsibility that requires we either act like Christ or drop the use of the title, Christian.