Monday, October 27, 2008

What’s in a Name

I thought rather than leave the following epistle on Jim’s blog, I would share my thoughts on what he was musing on over at, Lord, I Believe; Help My Unbelief. (I just feel real awful about God)

I love your real and honest plea for the Truth Bro, it is most refreshing.

Here's a real kicker to muse on, what you quoted here. “If you only see God as Father, you will balk when He has to render judgment. You'll only want to crawl into His lap, when maybe it's more appropriate at the moment to fall at His feet. (And even your idea of a "father" will be based somewhat on flawed human experiences.)
If you only see Jesus as your Friend (read: "Homeboy"), you are more likely to relate to Him with hi-fives and chest-bumping, and you won't show the proper respect that is due the Creator of the Universe.
If you only see God as a Judge, you will likely be legalistic, inordinately hard on yourself, and even harder on others--and you won't let yourself get emotionally close to God.
If you only see Jesus as the Bridegroom and a Lover--admittedly, that can get just plain weird." I see all of these tags, descriptions, metaphors and so much more in such simple words as Papa and Father

Not trying to be wise guy here at all, but without the Spirit making alive the person behind the name to and in me, what the heck does it even matter, what we call Him?

In my opinion so many have the T's crossed and the i's all dotted but without His Spirit bringing revelation to their little heart, of the One hidden within our tagged descriptions of Him, it’s just a name.


I so loved what you said here, "but wasn't it God himself that asked to be called Jesus - a common name for a man in the form of a carpenter? Jesus said, if you have seen me, you have seen the Father. It just seems to me that he came to smash some of our preconceptions of a God who is only to be reverenced."

The Almighty had been worshiped, revered, held in great awe etc etc, for a very long time, and here in the fullness of time he sends His Son Jesus to do what, reveal the Father, and to make His name known to us! Once again, we can use whatever name we deem is the 'right one' but along with what Jesus came to do in making His name known was going to mean squat without revelation to our heart.
Jesus was making God the All Mighty more approachable than He had ever been since the Garden, and here He is incognito in Jesus and people are slowly warming up toward this One who says, If you've seem Me, you've seen the Father Himself! I find it strange that there seemed to be NO disrespect or cheapening of who the Father was and is being vividly portrayed through the Son of God!!

I encourage any to feel free to share any additional thoughts you might have.



Jim said...


Thanks for the link back and the comments. I agree completely that without the Spirit's involvement we are just shouting words into the air anyway.

Amy said...

Excellent post again! I agree with you about the names we wish to call God by. I believe God delights in the many names we call him (as long as they are respectful and loving). After all, each of us come from a unique background, relationship with Him, and personalities. As well, many of us experience different "seasons" of our Journey where a specific character of God (among the multitude of his multi-dimensionality) seems emphasized within our hearts. This is the working of the Holy Spirit. Thus, it makes sense that Papa is perfectly happy and content with whatever we choose to call Him, as long as it's in a spirit of Love.

Additionally, at the end of time (Earth), God wipe this Earth clean and we will live on the New Eternal world. When this occurs, He will also give us new names. I honestly believe each of us will receive a unique name according to who we are. Thus, if God embraces and delights in the beauty of uniqueness of naming, why would he dislike the uniqueness of names we call Him by?!

Love what you say here: "Not trying to be wise guy here at all, but without the Spirit making alive the person behind the name to and in me, what the heck does it even matter, what we call Him?"

Again, good stuff, Rich!

~Amy :)

Rich said...


Everything we have to do with the Father is based upon revelation.
As a matter of fact without that reality made clear to us, in Him opening our eyes to see that there are NO Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal or any other flavors in the beliver but Christ Jesus, the same seed, son and life in all that are His.

How is it possible to separate the truth from the person of Truth, Christ Jesus himself, and yet its done everyday.
One thing I see the Father doing is making it very clear that it's the Truth (Jesus) that makes/sets us free, not my truth vs someone elses truth!

Rich said...


Thanks for jumping in here, enjoyed your comments/thoughts.
One of the most powerful things I see Father doing, in fact he hasn't changed at all in His wanting to engage with us.
Offending our minds to revael/expose our hearts, and I see that being done in a wonderful way in the book the Shack, especially with Mac!

Without Knowing His love for us, so called playing it safe with Him is not much more than a platonic arrangement imo.
The purpose in Him exposing/revealing the condition of our hearts is to show us our need for His love. He wants to destroy that which is maybe not so softly killing us!

Free Spirit said...

"Papa" seems to be doing the trick for me right now. It's much more personal than I've been accustomed to in the past. :)

Rich said...

free spirit,

I love how He gets up real close, and makes it so personal.
I would love to hear if you care to share what Papa is making known to you.