Thursday, 16 August 2007

A hotline to God

What can you say to a person who believes he has a personal and exclusive hotline to God? Certainly you can't disagree with him, after all he has the inside news- not you!

And so it is with Bishop Tiny Muskens of Holland in the NY Times article about his recently speaking on behalf of the Almighty. He recently said in an interview that Allah is a beautiful name for God (and so it may well be) and that Christians should simply refer to God as Allah, since God has apparently revealed something to the good bishop, and we quote:
"Allah is a very beautiful word for God. Shouldn't we all say that from now on we will call God Allah?'' Bishop Tiny Muskens said in an interview broadcast this week. ''God doesn't care what we call him.''
Well, I may have not have studied as much theology as bishop Muskens, but I do remember something rather distinctly about God's name and its revelation to a particular people. Something that in the end has set that people apart from all others, that God gave them His name and called them His own. Mind you I might have been reading and older version of this book, and perhaps the bishop's copy is more up to date then the one I was reading.

Indeed a person's name means nothing to you when the person is not important. I would never forget the name of my mother or father, nor would I allow anyone to change or falsify their names on the pretext that it doesn't matter what we call them, what matters is that I love them, or some other equally meaningless phrase. A person's name does matter, because that is how we address ourselves to him and at the same time how we come to know him. A no name brand God is not a God worthy of our adoration.

What the bishop doesn't get in his bending over to appease the Muslims is that he will in the end offend everyone, including the Muslims, let alone Jews and Christians as well. But that's what happens when a person lives in a world of his own, or spends too much time on the phone, listening to some others, even if he is convinced that the other is really God. Did God reverse the charges?

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