Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Name

My family's always done some pretty different things. After two years of sending me to school as a child, my mom decided to homeschool me. Now, when I say, "I was homeschooled," people usually conjure up an image of a mom sitting with her children for 8 hours a day and teaching them as if it were a classroom. They come up with blindingly ingenious jokes like, "So, going to the store musta been like a field trip for you!" If I had a penny for every time I heard that, I could make a statue of myself out of all the copper.

No, my mom decided that I would learn to teach myself. She purchased my learning materials and expected me to go through them and have the knowledge down. Granted, she had to step in a lot when I was younger, but as I grew, I learned how to do things on my own.

Another thing? My parents were always big believers in the family unit. That's where everything started. This means that we did not live as individuals who simply lived under the same roof and ate at the same table. We did everything together. Especially vacations. My parents refused to go on these long "getaways" without me and my brother. If they "got away," it was with us. As a result of this ideology, we've been one of the most tight-knit families I've ever seen.

However, one of the more interesting things we did differently is that, in the past few years, we've repeatedly turned down movies that use the name Jesus Christ in a flippant, or derogatory manner.

"Oh, come on now, you're being legalistic."

Really? So you're telling me that I should watch movies that throw around the name of the Savior who bled and suffered for the glory of His name? You're telling me that it's OK to sit back and be "entertained" by people who think blaspheming the sacred name of Christ is a good way to get laughs? You're telling me that, for the sake of a "good story," it's all right to let some Godless actors pervert and abuse the name of the person who bought my freedom?

I'm sorry, but that's crap.

I've been reading through some Old Testament stuff lately, especially Leviticus, and I've noticed that every time God issues out a command, it follows this basic structure:

"In the land of Israel, My people shall ____________. I Am the Lord."

And you see this a lot. The Law was God's special, intimate gift to His people, and He chose to sign His name to almost every part of it. It was as if part of the gift was simply His name in and of itself. It is for this reason that the Jews would never say God's most precious name, "YHWH" out loud. When reading the Law, they would use the name, "Adonai," instead, for "YHWH" was too sacred to be said out loud. Granted, that's not what I'm suggesting, but simply get this one thing I'm trying to say:

If believers bear the name of God, it becomes their responsibility to make sure it is never perverted.

When telling Israel not to offer their children as sacrifices to the false god Molech, the warning for the man that does so is this, "I myself will set my face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given one of his children to Molech, to make my sanctuary unclean and to profane my holy name."

Hear me out. We, as a Christian culture, need to regain this idea of the weight carried in the name of God. Intrinsic in His Name is the vastness of the universe, the breath of life, the richness of creation, and the mass of absolute, unrelenting, infinitely self-sustaining glory.

And it is this name we bear, engraved in the very muscular fibers of our heart, animated with every beat and colored with every surge of blood.


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