Sacrilege is irreverence expressed toward a sacred person, place, or thing. It is blasphemy, making the sacred unclean, occurring when someone purposefully misuses a consecrated object, desecrates a hallowed place, or speaks in an irreverent manner of something related to God. God must always be the one worshipped and obeyed, not any fellow human (Ex 20:3-6). Using God's name as a swear word violates the command, "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God" (Ex 20:7).

In Daniel’s end-times visions what is understood to be the antichrist will desecrate the temple in Jerusalem (Dan 9:27, 11:31, 12:11).

Other examples from the Bible include: attributing the work of God to demons, using the temple for business, a Christian having a sexual relationship with a prostitute, a wrong attitude or gluttony at the Lord’s table (Mt 9:34, 21:12,13; 1 Cor 6:15, 11:20,21).

Physical objects may have historical significance or meaning as religious symbols, but they should never be knelt before, prayed to, or sought out as a means of procuring grace. Biblical characters or historical figures, whom God has used should be shown respect and learned from, but they are still sinners saved by grace and should not steal the glory due to God alone (Isa 42:8, 48:11) .

See also: blasphemy, irreverent, profanity, sacred.


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