Monday, March 02, 2009

What's in a name? When looking for clarity about God, everything

My first comment here in response to the person below was offered with the thought that perhaps he was well-intentioned but confused. From his response, it seemed necessary to demonstrate to him his error a little more emphatically.

His basic argument consists of three parts: 1) Since every religion calls its deity "god," then all gods must be the same being; 2) Since so many contradictory religious opinions exist, it must be that no one really knows who God is; and 3) Since so many contradictory religious opinions exist, every religious opinion is as good as every other (except of course, the one that says they aren't).

The essential answer comes in my last comment:
“Only one of those is his given name but he answers to them all.”
You’re confusing multiple names for one person to mean that one name for many persons makes them all the same person.
My first reply:

On the chance that your comment is offered in good faith . . .

If your wife were to indulge her marital urge with Bob or Kevin or Derek, would that be a problem? Would her defense of, “They’re all men” satisfy you?

You are confusing the use of the common noun “god” for all deities being the same one.

Christ is not Vishnu is not Allah is not Abaangui.
And later . . .
Doorman-Priest (Saddam Hussein? Walt Disney? Diana Ross? What does it matter? There is only one Man, and she doesn’t care what we call it, does he?),

That’s quite a few errors for so brief a post. I’ll address each one:
“There is only one God”
According to you, but as you admit, you don’t really know, so why should we listen, right?

YHWH says there are many gods. And none of them shall you have before Him.

Only one god is true, and He has revealed Himself to us. His name is I AM That I AM.

His Son, Jesus, claimed that name for Himself also.
“therefore whatever name we call him/her”
As I just noted, He told us His name. At least have the decency to respect what Someone wants to call Himself.
“whatever we perceive that God to be”
Here, as later, you imply that everyone’s opinions of god(s) are equally true. Even if our knowledge of God came only from Nature and Conscience, that would be false.

Since YHWH has revealed Himself to Humanity as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, you’ve gone past natural, human ignorance and self-deception and into outright blasphemy.

You call YHWH a liar.

So, you claim that Christ ordains genocidal prophets marry their best friend’s daughters when they’re six-years-old and begin raping them when they’re nine.

You’re a liar.
“and however inadequate that revelation”
YHWH’s revelation is sufficient. The only inadequacy is your willingness or ability to tell the truth about it.
“(or perhaps more to the point in this context however inadequate we believe that revelation to others to be), it can only be the same God.”
Equating a god commanding the slaughter of all who refuse to submit to its rule with the Christ Who taught, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” is not “inadequate revelation,” it is [a] lie straight from the pit of Hell.
“Why do we think God cares what we call him”
Something along the lines of, “You shall not take the name of [the LORD your God] YHWH in vain,” perhaps?
“when people are trying to have communion with him”
So, monsters ripping Christian schoolgirls’ heads from their bodies to shouts of “allahu akbar!” is “communion” with the one, true god?

You’re sick.
“and are approaching in reverence and faith?”
So, was Mohammed approaching the one, true god in “reverence and faith” when he began raping little nine-year-old Aisha? He said he was: “If this is from Allah, then it must happen.”
“We may not believe “others” have got it quite right”
What does Christ say?
“it’s a good job God isn’t bound by our prejudices and shortsightedness”
Isn’t denying the clear word of Christ, isn’t denying the truth, “prejudiced and shortsighted”?
“and can apply his grace wherever he chooses. I am not going to put limits on the grace of God.”
Your lies limit the grace of God by denying it to billions.

True humility would say what Christ says. It would definitely *not* blaspheme YHWH by equating Him with deities from Hell.

True humility, true religion, would say what Christ says, not multiculturalist, intellectual cowardice.
“You have made God in your own image when his enemies are exactly the same as yours.”
The faithful Christian makes Christ’s enemies — the devil, all his works, and all his ways — his own. The devil was a liar and a murderer from the beginning. And sons of hell bar Heaven to those who want to enter it.