During a Bible Study I was asked the question, “What does it mean to take God’s name in vain?” This is a serious question that causes a lot of people to worry because it is breaking one of the Ten Commandments.
To begin with it is not a casual curse asking God to bring damnation on someone or something. It is a serious sin and in some cases a serious crime.
It is an act you do on purpose and with the understanding that it is wrong. A person takes God’s name in vain when he or she swears an oath in the name of God knowing at the time that it will not be kept.
One example is making a marriage vow in the name of God while planning to commit adultery is taking God’s name in vain. I have known people to do just that.
Another example is swearing in court in the name of God that you are going to tell the truth while you know that you are going to tell a lie. That happens to be serious crime as well as a sin. It is called perjury and you can get jail time for that.