Some people, in their desire to honor and show respect for God, have turned to the Sacred Name movement. While their desire to please God is commendable, this may not be the best approach.
God is called by many names in the Bible. El, Elohim, Adonai, Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh, YHWH, Shaddai, Zebaot, Adir, Avinu Malkenu, Boreh, Ehyeh asher Ehyeh, Elohei Avraham, Elohei Yitzchak ve Elohei Ya`aqov, El ha-Gibbor, Emet, and I could continue.
To make matters even more confusing, there are variations in what is considered the main name of God. YHWH, Yah, Yahweh, Yahvah, Yahveh, Jehovah, Yahovah, Yahoweh, Yahovah, Yahuweh, Yahuveh, Yahuvah, Jeova, Jehofah, Geova, Ihowa, Iahueh, Yaohu, etc.
Also, there are variations in the main name for the Savior. How do you know which name is the correct one? There are dozens of different spellings and pronunciations of the names used by those who claim to have the correct name. Yahshua, Yasha, Yeshua, Yahushua, Yaohushua, Iahushua, YAHVAHSHUA, Yhwhhoshua, etc.
For this reason, I think the Sacred Name movement is a red herring, which draws people away from the real truth. It can also be divisive.
God wants us to worship him in Spirit and in truth. To manifest love in our hearts for him and our fellow man. When we do that, we honor him no matter what name we call him by. Personally, God and Jesus work fine for me - he knows I am referring to him when I use these English transliterations.
A Rose by any other name would still smell as sweet - Shakespeare. Does God cease being God, if I call him Elohim, instead of YHWH. Does Jesus cease being Jesus, if I call him "Isa Mesih" as the Turks do, instead of "Iesous Christos" as the Greeks do?
Why waste time arguing over this, while the world perishes for lack of love, the real manifestation of God in our lives. Merely professing his name does not honor him, one must do his will.
Matthew 7:21 Not everyone who keeps saying to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will get into the kingdom of heaven, but only the person who keeps doing the will of my Father in heaven...
Matthew 15:8 These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me...
Christ says we can even speak ill of him and be forgiven, but we must not reject the Holy Spirit, which is the unpardonable sin. What does this tell you? Is his main concern what name we call him by, or that we are born of the Spirit?
Matthew 12:32 Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the one to come.
If you really want to have a relationship with God, you do so by accepting his Spirit, not by intellectual acceptance of certain dogmas, or simply professing belief. While you do well to profess belief, as James said even the demons believe and tremble (James 2:19).
One must accept God's indwelling Spirit and be born of love. If you use the correct name, profess belief, have faith, know doctrine, you are still nothing without the Spirit of love. Don't let legalistic thinking, draw you away from the real issue.
1 Corinthians 13 If I speak in the languages of humans and angels but have no love, I have become a reverberating gong or a clashing cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can understand all secrets and every form of knowledge, and if I have absolute faith so as to move mountains but have no love, I am nothing. Even if I give away everything that I have and sacrifice myself, but have no love, I gain nothing
Romans 8:14 For all who are led by God's Spirit are God's children
1 John 4:7 Everyone who loves has been born from God and knows God. The person who does not love does not know God, because God is love
Of course, there are many fine people in the Sacred Name and broader Jewish Roots movements, who are genuine seekers of God and desire to please him. I commend their zeal and good intentions. As long as they don't judge others who do not use the same name as they do, or cause divisions over it, what is wrong with them using (what they consider to be) the authentic name of God?
I simply point out, that actions born of love honor God far more, than what name we call him by. He desires justice and righteousness, to spring forth from a heart born of love. If we don't honor him with our hearts, whatever name we call him by is mere lip service.
It is interesting to note that when Jesus was crucified, his name was written in three different languages above the cross.
John 19: 19-20 ...and it was written, 'Jesus the Nazarene, the king of the Jews; this title...written in Hebrew, in Greek, in Roman.
Whatever our language, or culture, one thing is certain - at some point, everyone (without exception) will confess Jesus Christ is Lord.
Philippians 2:10-11 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
updated by @ken-rich: 05/26/17 03:01:35PM