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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

God can accommodate all of the names we attach to Him/Her/It

Have you ever noticed that it's not just the sacred name folks who get hung up on what to call God? Theists, atheists and every shade in between just can't seem to leave this one alone!

As long time readers of this blog know, it is the premise of this blog that God cannot be bottled up by our concepts of the Divine. In short, this blog advocates a bigger view of God - a view that surpasses our weaknesses, prejudices and limitations.

Unfortunately, many of the folks who are willing to take a more expansive view of God, religion and spiritual things still trip over names/labels. For many Judeo-Christian believers, God is ELOHIM or YHWH, "He" couldn't possibly be ALLAH! Likewise, many atheists and agnostics deride the use of YHWH as a moniker for God (if God exists, "He" couldn't possibly be equated with the vindictive and homicidal YHWH of the Hebrews). And let's not even get started on gender assignment - Is God our Father, Mother, Grandfather, Grandmother, Brother or Sister? Could God be all of those things?

In this connection, the account of God's conversation with Moses in the third chapter of the book of Exodus has always been interesting to me. We read there:  "And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? What shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you." (verses 13-14)

According to Blue Letter Bible, the Hebrew word translated into English as "I AM" is "hayah." It means "to be, become, come to pass, exist, happen..." https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/Lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?strongs=H1961&t=KJV
In other words, don't worry about it! I am bigger than any moniker that you could conceive of or attach to me!

Hence, while it would be appropriate to point out that the names ELOHIM, YHWH, ALLAH, ADONAI, FATHER, MOST HIGH, THE ETERNAL and FATHER are all inadequate, we can see that it would be equally foolish to exclude them! Yes, God is bigger than any of those names. In fact, God is big enough to accommodate all of them.

We (humans) are so arrogant and full of ourselves sometimes! Do you honestly believe that God cares what you call "Him"? Do you honestly believe that God doesn't listen to folks who call "Him" Allah or Mother? Really?

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