Religion has no power if God is not truly 'dangerous, ' but religion also seeks to manage God, and make God safe. The second commandment speaks against the management of God. We cannot help but make our images of God, for God has given us imagination. But every image we make of God is finally a box: a cage, potentially an idol, from which the living God keeps breaking out. And if we try to keep God there, then God comes out with 'jealousy' to overturn our careful construction. The third commandment speaks against the management of God. To take God's name in vain is to make God useful to our projects and ourselves. We are wont to trivialize the truth of God and then disparage it for being trivial. We are told God's name in order to love this God, but loving God is not managing God but fearing [respecting] God. And with God, the attitudes of love and fear [respect] are not contradictory but complementary.
Daniel James Meeter
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