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Does God care what He's called?

The very first news story I read yesterday morning was about a Dutch Roman Catholic bishop who is advocating that Christians rename “God” to “Allah.”

Bishop Martinus Petrus Maria Muskens, (also known as “Tiny”) told Dutch TV: “Allah is a very beautiful word for God. Shouldn’t we all say that from now on we will call God ‘Allah’?”

My mouth was still hanging open when I read the last part of his statement: “God doesn’t care what we call Him.”

If one doesn’t believe that God is real, then it really doesn’t matter what name one chooses.

It’s like naming your 6-foot tall invisible white rabbit. You can call him “Harvey.” Or you can name him “Peter Cottontail.” He won’t object either way – since he isn’t real.

But if you try to rename your friend Fred from down the street, he may not be so pleased about being called George. Because Fred is a real person, you wouldn’t think about calling him George simply because somebody else likes that name better.


Because God is as real as you or I, it isn’t up to us to rename Him like He was a stray basset hound.

God has many names; most of them are names of praise and worship, rather than names in the sense of a personal name. They include Elohim, El Shaddai, Adonai, Jehovah (YHWH), Shepherd, Judge, Father, Counselor, Comforter, Advocate, or simply “Lord” or “Almighty God.” One name that has never been ascribed to Him in Scripture is “Allah.”

Bishop Muskens’ comments found an immediate audience in America. Council on Islamic American Relations spokesman Ibrahim Hooper thinks it is a great idea.

“It reinforces the fact that Muslims, Christians and Jews all worship the same God,” Hooper told FoxNews.com. “I don’t think the name is as important as the belief in God and following God’s moral principles. I think that’s true for all faiths.”

According to the God of the Bible, God’s Name is very important to Him. “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain” (Exodus 20:7).

God’s unique identity as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is very important to Him, as well. “And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. … But My covenant will I establish with Isaac” (Genesis 17:21).

Have you ever noticed that it is Allah who is seeking to be identified with God, and not the other way around? There is no effort among Christians and Jews to declare God another name for Allah (with the exception of Bishop Muskens.)

Being worshiped as God is Satan’s No. 1 objective to the exclusion of all else. Everything Scripture reveals about Satan exposes his agenda.

He tempted Jesus in the wilderness, demanding that Jesus bow down and worship him. Paul says he will sit “as God, in the Temple of God” during the Tribulation. John says he will demand worship as a condition of participating in his economic/religious system.

Notice this very important spiritual clue: It isn’t God that wants to be worshiped as Allah, but Allah who wants to be worshiped as God.

It is both a distinction and a difference.

Christians and Jews worship a Living God. As a living entity, God cannot be “reinvented” to suit somebody else, since He already is Who He is.

The Scriptures were given us to reveal God for Who He is, rather than some impersonal, nameless spiritual entity “up there” somewhere.

The doctrine of Satan is that all religions are equally valid, that all paths lead to God, that God is impersonal, unknowable, and it is therefore irrelevant to Him what we call Him or how we worship Him.

If Allah and God are one and the same, then wouldn’t the worship of the Hindu chief gods, Vishnu and Shiva, also be the worship Allah and God, only by a different name? Pretty soon, everybody is God.

Which is the same as saying that nobody is.



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