My daughter, bless her concerned heart, has long been getting into discussions with her friends about their use of the phrase "Oh my god!" She doesn't even like it when they say "Oh my gosh!" because it's the same thing spelled differently. Her average friend does not know quite how to handle her unyielding disapproval of language that is disrespectful toward God.
I tell her that even though she has a valid concern most of them will not get it, no matter how valid, because saying "Oh my god/gosh" is so popular and widely accepted. That even though it's being disrespectful toward God to use His name in a "vain", "empty" sort of way, it's not our problem. And if they insist that it's harmless then it's not up to us to force the way we do things onto them. This strong language is the only way I can get her to back down. Her father is extremely proud of the Lord for placing such strong conviction inside of her about this and now he realizes that he's got to teach her about the power the Lord has placed inside of her to allow her to manage this conviction properly.
And while I had a nice post written up this afternoon, something happened, autosave problems began to mount, and with one push of the wrong shortcut button my post disintegrated into cyberspace with only it's inadequate blurry remains left in my memory. So in a day or two I'll be able to pick up on this and give it another shot.
So my whole point here is to get some stuff down on record that my daughter and I can refer to.
The thing that immediately comes to our mind when God's 'name' comes up is thanksgiving and worship. As it probably is with most Christians.
When people use the phrase they are generally expressing dismay, anger or amazement. They're not seeking God's presence, His approval, even His help. They're expressing the same emotion that, when strong enough, turns into violent profanity. It never is actually about God. It's just a selfish and empty 'exclamation' usually related to confusion.
There is usually nothing 'about God' in saying "Oh my god". And if there's nothing about Him in it then His name is being misused 'vainly', in an empty and wasteful way. If one is saying "Oh my god" and 'is' referring to Him, then it's being disrespectful since He's told us not to refer to Him that way. And it would also stand to reason that if it's not about Him, then it's referring to a false god. The very Creator of all things has offered us an intimate relationship with Himself wherein He has asked us to remember that He is The God. Our God. "Hallowed be Thy name". A hallowed name that is not thrown around "with no purpose".
His name is to be honored. We call upon It for our salvation. It represents our Truth in a fleeting messy world.
The phrase "Oh my god" is often used by non-christians to connote the god of their particular concern of the moment. The weather god, the god of luck or good fortune, or 'this', or 'that' god. It's a phrase used commonly by people who have rejected the one true God who's revealed His Son and proved Himself to all men by raising Him from the dead. We don't want to share their vernacular. It's empty and presumptuous at best for them to talk that way and it's a way we don't want to imitate.
The biggest excuse I hear for justifying the use of the phrase "Oh my god!" is that friends and parents do it and, moreover, don't have a problem with it. That would be getting your authority from our friends and aquaintances instead of our Bible. Again, a very compromising position concerning the showing of respect for our Father God who has offered us a place in His kingdom.
I probably should be but I'm not quite done yet. I'm just thankful things let up a little so I was able to get back to this. Sorry it took so long. I'm eager to post some more on the blessing my church has been to me lately but want to get through this thing first. His kingdom come.