My favorite seminary president preached last night about the difficulty of applying the prohibition of using the Lord's name in vain. Difficult? You bet; it's not just the "true oaths," but also minced oaths ("gosh darn it" & such) and even....
....literary forms used in a wildly improper manner. No kidding; Dr. Bauder recited a number of limericks, and explained the form to the congregation. AABBA rhyme scheme, short lines, and an element of absurdity. Believe it or not, obscenity is NOT central to this form--I teased him, though, about reciting ALL of the clean limericks known to man. (He said there were even more.)
He then recited a number of poems with AABBA rhyme scheme talking about salvation, the goodness of God, and other Biblical topics--and made the claim that by using the inherently absurd genre for eminently serious topics, those who would use the limerick to talk of God's grace are using His name in vain.
Troubling, but true, I think; perhaps we need to confront ourselves in how we put Scripture to music and verse, and see if the form we've chosen is appropriate to our topic. If we do this, I dare suggest we'll be able to reach out to the lost more effectively, too.
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