Category Archives: Names are Important

God By Any Other Name Is Not Allah

 GOD BY ANY OTHER NAME IS NOT ALLAH

                                                            –  Mary A . LaClair

“…because he has known My name.  He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;…..”  Psalm 91:14                                                                                                           

It was my good fortune to make friends with some East Indian ladies some thirty five years ago. One was a young bride.  Our children were small and we had good times together.

This time period in my life just happened to be the time when I was discovering the Risen Christ.  I exhibited the exuberant joy which comes from finding out that the Creator of the Universe knows my name.  (…and where I live and the thoughts I think)!

The Indian lady, another American friend, and I discussed God on many occasions.  She showed us her cupboard where she kept her gods and incense and said she spent one whole afternoon each week in front of that cupboard in devotion and prayer to her many gods.

The exuberance deep in my spirit with the Divine Revleation that Jesus Christ is God made flesh, showed itself freely.

When another East Indian lady came to the small rural village we were two American women and two Indian women. They came to some of our Bible studies. One of their favorite statements was, “We worship the creator – he knows we pray to him, and because he knows we talk to him, it doesn’t matter what we call him.” 

One of these ladies repeated this and the Lord gave me the answer. I know the Holy Spirit was behind the words because they came out in a tone which was non-challenging, but matter-of-fact.  It is an answer which I have used many times since.  The new foreigner had an East Indian name which was hard to pronounce and much harder to remember. I had been looking for an opportunity to tell her that we needed to come up with a short American name, one which was easy for us. So, when she said it did not matter what she called god as long as he knew she was talking to him, I spoke.

“OK,” I said softly, “now we would like to call you ‘Connie’ because it is easier for us. You will know we are talking to you. Connie will be your Americanized name and you and all of us here know it’s you.”   Other ladies in the room unanimously agreed that Connie was a fitting American, name relatively close to her East Indian name of Kanak.  It was agreed that we would all call her Connie. 

 Well, guess what?  She emphatically said,  “NO!, that is not my name.”

“Well,” I ask, “what difference does it make? Because I am looking right at you. We all agreed. You know I’m talking to you. What difference does it make what name we call you as long as you know we want to talk to you? What difference does it make what name we use, as long as we know who we are talking to?

“I will NOT answer to Connie, that is NOT my name!” To say that her statement was firm would be an underestimation. Her tone was indignant.

“Ah, then you have just proven that using the correct name makes a difference, yes?”

I have since used the same approach with a man who said God was God and it didn’t matter what we called Him, Allah, Budda or Krishna; funny thing, Jim wouldn’t answer when I called him “Bill” during the course of that evening.  He was even more put out than my lady friend; and he wouldn’t let it go. 

Will a dignitary feel any less put out if called by the wrong name?  Will you? Will God?

God by any other name is NOT Allah.

 “…because he has known My name.  He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;…”   Psalm 91:14      

    “Blessed is the Nation whose God is the LORD.”  Psalm 33:12