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VANITY AND A CATHOLIC BISHOP IN THE NETHERLANDS

The Ten Commandments declares in second place that: YOU SHALL NOT TAKE THE NAME OF THE LORD YOUR GOD IN VAIN.

The second commandment is one that speaks about the issue of vanity, or, rather, against blasphemy: that we are to use God’s name in complete reverance and holiness.

Square-Yello-SML.gif These ten requirements of Man by God are so important to God that He sets them before us specifically and decidedly and, obviously, that means that He really, really commands these things of us.

His name, God does not take lightly and He really, really wants us humans to not take it lightly, too. Otherwise, this commandment wouldn’t exist second in the order of the top ten things God commands of us.

Square-Yello-SML.gif Enter, then, afterward, a bishop in the Netherlands who advises that Christians should “call God ‘Allah'” inorder to “help ease tensions between religions”:

Bishop urges Christians to call God ‘Allah’
Catholic leader believes it would help ease tensions between religions

Catholic churches in the Netherlands should use the name Allah for God to ease tensions between Muslims and Christians, says a Dutch bishop.

Tiny Muskens, the bishop of Breda, told the Dutch TV program “Network” Monday night he believes God doesn’t mind what he is called, Radio Netherlands Worldwide reported.

The Almighty is above such “discussion and bickering,” he insisted.

Muskens points to Indonesia, where he served 30 years ago, as an example for Dutch churches. Christians in the Middle East also use the term Allah for God.

“Someone like me has prayed to Allah yang maha kuasa (Almighty God) for eight years in Indonesia and other priests for 20 or 30 years,” Muskens said. “In the heart of the Eucharist, God is called Allah over there, so why can’t we start doing that together?”

Muskens thinks it could take another 100 years, but eventually the name Allah will be used by Dutch churches, promoting rapprochement between the two religions, he said, according to Radio Netherlands.

However, a survey published today in the Netherlands’ largest newspaper, De Telegraaf, showed 92 percent of the more than 4,000 people polled oppose the bishop’s view, the Associated Press reported.

Some letters to the paper were filled with ridicule for the bishop.

“Sure. Let’s call God Allah. Let’s then call a church a mosque and pray five times a day. Ramadan sounds like fun,” wrote Welmoet Koppenhol.

The chairman of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands, Gerrit de Fijter, told the Dutch paper he welcomed any attempt to “create more dialogue,” according to the AP. But he said, “Calling God ‘Allah’ does no justice to Western identity. I see no benefit in it.”

A Muslim spokesman, for Amsterdam’s union of Moroccan mosques, said Muslims had not asked for such a gesture from Christians, the AP reported.

Tensions with the Netherlands’ 1-million-strong Muslim community have been high since the 2004 murder of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh by a Muslim avenging a film critical of Islam.

Last week, politician Geert Wilders talked about banning the Quran, shortly after the head of a group of former Muslims, Ehsan Jami, compared Islam’s prophet Muhammad with al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

Muskens made similar remarks several year ago about using the name of Allah, Radio Netherlands reported. He also suggested replacing the national Christian holiday Whit Monday – celebrated the day after Pentecost – with an Islamic religious day.

The bishop also has offended Muslims, saying in 2005 Islam was a religion without a future because it has too many violent aspects

Square-Yello-SML.gif I can understand to some degree — academically — where this bishop is coming from: God is the Alpha and Omega, the One and Only, God is God. Regardless of how mankind calls upon Him, He’s God, and if there’s any change occuring, it’s in mankind and not in God.

So, allegedly, as per this bishop, call Him whatever if it appeases others. If a person of faith in God — although this bishop presents his suggestions within a Christian context so the bishop does acknowledge the Holy Trinity and that Christ is Divine, is the only Son of God — if a person of faith in God and the Holy Trinity prays to God, God understands the prayer despite what He’s being called.

Square-Yello-SML.gif Yet, I maintain that the method this bishop is deploying is one of vanity, not one of irrelevance as to what God is called but one of human vanity — which is offensive to God, and, in that context, is a violation of the commandment not to take His name in vain.

IF — as this bishop says — it’s insiginifant or unimportant to “some people” as to what God is “called,” then why the request of Christians to call God ANYthing other than God as He is known to us? To apply a term, a naming change, to advocate replacing Christian nomenclature with that of a religious practice that isn’t Christian (in this case, from Islam) also suggests not faith in God through Christ but participation in a counter-religious, counter-Christ methodology of “religion” — or, otherwise, not worship of God but denigration of Him.

If not denigration, certainly a turning away or superimposition of terms of belief replaced with ideology that is not Christian, but Muslim. Islam declares that Christ is “a prophet” but Islam does not recognize Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Which is humanism and is defamation of Christ — that position by Islam refuses the Divinity of Christ although it elevates him among human characteristics (while, I recognize, Judaism goes a step farther and denies any honor to Christ, deeming him “sorcerer” and otherwise ruined human being).

Square-Yello-SML.gif But, as Christians, as Catholics, we believe in the Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. I believe it’s reasonable to expect that those who lead us in our faith — priests to include bishops — are Christians, also, and are met with us in our faith and principles of belief.

If the bishop wants to replace Christian holy days with Muslim ceremonies and commemorations, that’s his business as an individual, but, AS A BISHOP, a representative of Christ among men, the bishop ought to recognize that he’s defining himself not as a representative of Christ but as Muslim, and by that, the bishop is leading Christians astray because he’s certainly not leading Christians toward Christ but away from Christ by way of appeals of vanity.

Square-Yello-SML.gif I’m not going to be “calling God ‘Allah'”. Perhaps the bishop should concern himself more with advising Muslims to call God, God and bringing men to Christ.

O N E C O M M E N T

  1. Joe Ramen (A Yank in Kiwi Land) compared our current complacency to cooking lobster. He said, if you plunge a live lobster into boiling water it will know it is going to die, and will scream in pain. But if you put it in a pot of lukewarm water on the stove, and the heat gradually increases, it will die without being “aware.”

    It seems the western world is succumbing to creeping incremental Islamization unaware. But calling God by a different name is a BIG increment.