Author Topic: Is God Now a "Ze"?  (Read 16064 times)

DCharlton

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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #105 on: May 06, 2018, 01:39:12 PM »
Pastor Charlton asks:
Does the Christian God have a name?
I respond:
Yes, but actually many names: Father, Son, Holy Spirit, Lord, Creator, Redeemer, Jesus, Holy Trinity, Yahweh, to name a few.

Your thinking is quite muddled.  Father, Son and Holy Spirit is unambiguous.  So is Jesus.  Yahweh is Biblical, but it leaves out any clear confession of Jesus as Lord.  On the other hand, almost every putative god is someone's lord.  Many gods are said to create and redeem.  There are even other trinities.  Which God is Creator?  Which God is Redeemer?  Which God is Lord?  Which trinity is the Holy Trinity?

To quote a little booklet published by ALPB: In the desperate situation of the late 20th-century American church, it must be said bluntly: those offended by [the Lord's Prayer] - perhaps by "Father" or "evil one" or "Kingdom" - are offended by the Lord.  They should honestly say so, and adhere to whatever other religion it is which they actually think true. 

Quote
Have you been eating hot dish with Pastors Kirchner and Fienen? Did I or anyone here ever put down good theology, catechesis, and sound preaching and teaching? No, we did not.

Any teaching or preaching that says that Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier, is the equivalent of Father, Son and Holy Spirit is not sound teaching.  Any administration of the Sacraments that disobeys the command to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is not sound.

Quote
Although if we present a solid Lutheran, evangelical catholic liturgy, they will certainly catch something of who it is that we worship.

I don't know how a liturgy that intentionally avoids the name Father, Son and Holy Spirit can be called evangelical catholic.  I don't know how any baptismal liturgy that used any name other than the one that Jesus commanded us to use could be called evangelical catholic. 
« Last Edit: May 06, 2018, 01:43:19 PM by DCharlton »
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Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #106 on: May 06, 2018, 01:41:49 PM »
So when in that service Mr. Meltwater hears "God" or a reference to the Holy Trinty or the "Creator, Sanctifier or Redeemer," he thinks: "OMG!They worship Vishnu here!!!"
Good Grief!

Then later in the week, having learned about the baptism of his Swedish-American great-grandmother at "the Mother Church of the Augustana Synod in California," and found on the ELCA website that Ebenezer Lutheran Church in San Francisco still exists, checked its website to find out the worship times for the next time he visited The City.

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Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #107 on: May 06, 2018, 01:52:00 PM »
So, Charles, given that your statement was specifically about baptism, which other Trinitarian name(s) can be used instead of Father Son and Holy Spirit/Ghost to baptize?

That, Pastor Kirchner, is a "gotcha!" question and I'm not playing.
I have said here many times that I believe baptism should be in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I have never ever done a baptism any other way and I do not intend to do so.
"Can" other "names" be used? Well, I believe some (relatively few) people are using them, so that's a moot question.

You wrote:

 "5. We baptize with the biblical and confessional "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit," but if we refer to God in another Trinitarian way, we are still baptizing in the name of the Christian, Trinitarian God."

Asking for an example or two to support your conclusory statement is a gotcha question? 

I have said here many times that I believe baptism should be in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I have never ever done a baptism any other way and I do not intend to do so.
"Can" other "names" be used? Well, I believe some (relatively few) people are using them, so that's a moot question.

No one is asking whether other names "can" be used. You've already stated that other names can and may be used, and it is "still baptizing in the name of the Christian, Trinitarian God." I simply ask for an example or tow to support your position. If you are unable to do so, that's okay. If you are unwilling to do so, that's intellectually dishonest.
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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #108 on: May 06, 2018, 01:59:21 PM »
And pastorally, what is the point?
Someone comes to me an says, "Pastor, I was saved as a teenager in my family's church. We went down to the lake and Rev. McKibben came into the water with me and dunked me in the name of Jesus. I been singing in the choir and helping at the soup kitchen ever since. If I join your church, do I have to be baptized again before I can eat the Lord's Supper?"

My answer would probably be "yes."

And that is indeed the pastoral answer. I would only delete the word "probably".

Charles Austin

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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #109 on: May 06, 2018, 02:11:42 PM »
Pastor Charlton again:
I don't know how a liturgy that intentionally avoids the name Father, Son and Holy Spirit can be called evangelical catholic.  I don't know how any baptismal liturgy that used any name other than the one that Jesus commanded us to use could be called evangelical catholic.

I comment:
I don't know that either. But we aren't really defining what a service may be "called." I though we were talking about how God acts.

Pastor Kirchner again:
No one is asking whether other names "can" be used. You've already stated that other names can and may be used, and it is "still baptizing in the name of the Christian, Trinitarian God."
Me again:
I'm not sure I said it that conclusively. I merely suggest that God does what God intends to do, even if we mess it up. So if an ELCA or LCMS pastor, a cleric in good standing, with good training, and serving a more or less "traditional" congregation, gets infected by the Inclusive Bug or is scarred by the Abusive Patriarchy monster, or is slightly dim-witted and falls prey to the Trendy Temptor, and baptizes in the name of the Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier, God may wince and roll the divine eyes, but I do not think the one baptized is any less baptized than someone on whom water is poured accompanied by more "traditional" words.

Pastor Kirchner again:
I simply ask for an example or tow to support your position. If you are unable to do so, that's okay. If you are unwilling to do so, that's intellectually dishonest.
Me:
My "position" is that we ought to baptize with the familiar names. My understanding is that some few may not do so. And I think it is spiritually arrogant to suggest that God can only act if things are done in a narrowly particular way with wordage that we - we flawed humans - have dared to grasp the mind of God.
So there's your "gotcha!", Pastor Fienen; have fun with it.
And FWIW, I would probably urged the river-dunked baptized-in-the-name-of-JEEzus! guy to take baptism again in "our way". (Billy Graham was baptized three times.) But if he didn't want to do that, I'd still take him as a member and at the Lord's table.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Oh, my. How close we were to a situation where many people with guns couldíve killed many members of Congress. The possible result? Martial law and/or Civil War. Thank God some people are still coming forward to tell the truth.

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #110 on: May 06, 2018, 02:25:38 PM »
Pastor Kirchner again:
No one is asking whether other names "can" be used. You've already stated that other names can and may be used, and it is "still baptizing in the name of the Christian, Trinitarian God."
Me again:
I'm not sure I said it that conclusively.

Yes, you did. You wrote:

 "5. We baptize with the biblical and confessional "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit," but if we refer to God in another Trinitarian way, we are still baptizing in the name of the Christian, Trinitarian God."
Don Kirchner

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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #111 on: May 06, 2018, 02:34:08 PM »
Pastor Kirchner again:
No one is asking whether other names "can" be used. You've already stated that other names can and may be used, and it is "still baptizing in the name of the Christian, Trinitarian God."
Me again:
I'm not sure I said it that conclusively.

Yes, you did. You wrote:

 "5. We baptize with the biblical and confessional "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit," but if we refer to God in another Trinitarian way, we are still baptizing in the name of the Christian, Trinitarian God."

Just chalk it up as muddled thinking

Jim Butler

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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #112 on: May 06, 2018, 03:01:46 PM »
And pastorally, what is the point?
Someone comes to me an says, "Pastor, I was saved as a teenager in my family's church. We went down to the lake and Rev. McKibben came into the water with me and dunked me in the name of Jesus. I been singing in the choir and helping at the soup kitchen ever since. If I join your church, do I have to be baptized again before I can eat the Lord's Supper?"

Considering the only denomination that I know of that "dunk(s)...in the name of Jesus" is the United Pentecostal church which is modalist, the answer would be yes.
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Jim Butler

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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #113 on: May 06, 2018, 03:09:35 PM »

So what is God doing during those baptisms? Saying "nope, this one's not mine, he/she didn't get the words right" or "scratch that name off the redeemed list," or "Pastor screwed up, no valid baptism"?

I don't know what God is doing. But God is saying, "No valid baptism." The person's faith may be OK, but the baptism is not valid. It's not a matter of the words, its of the confession.

And if I had someone join my church who has been baptized under any other name other than "Father, Son and Holy Spirit", then I would not recognize that baptism as valid and would tell him/her that s/he would need to be baptized properly.


God might even be at work amongst the Pentecostals and some others who baptize only in the name of Jesus. You better speak to God about that, can't have all those invalid Christians running around.

As I noted, the only Pentecostals that do this are the Jesus-only modalists. Are you saying that God is at work among those who deny the Trinity and believe that Jesus is the Father, Jesus is the Son, and Jesus is the Spirit?
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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #114 on: May 06, 2018, 03:28:28 PM »
Who is the Christian God?  Is it ever important to name the Christian God?  Does the Christian God have a name?
These are good questions. Why have we allowed tradition (and, perhaps, Calvinist translators) to keep us saying Lord, Lord, Lord, when the name God has given appears over and over again in the Scriptures, though we strenuously avoid saying YHWH? The concordance of the Lutheran Study Bible has an interesting choice ó listing Lord separately by where the Hebrew says (as we might in English) Lord and where YHWH appears; the sheer number of places this has happened shows how blurred this distinction is in the minds of modern Christians. Not only does a chunk of the Church have a problem with God's own use of masculine language to speak about Himself, the larger Church has a problem using the name He Himself used to talk about Himself.

The ancient Jews, when printed scriptures were rare, when reading the scriptures in worship, said 'adonai when the text had YHWH. Hearers wouldn't know what word was in the text. Confusion goes back a long, long, time.

Bibles for centuries, back to at least the King James Version, have let us readers know the distinction between YHWH and 'adonai. The first uses all upper-case letters: "LORD". The second uses upper and lower case letters: "Lord." In a few verses where both words occur in Hebrew, "Lord GOD" is used. (Nearly every time that comes up in a Bible study class, I point it out.)

The LXX uses κύριος for both Hebrew words. Perhaps that's where the confusion started - a couple centuries before Christ was born.
Thanks for stating what is known. The question still stands: why do modern translations stick with this, when there is no good reason to? I'm still partial to the suggestion made by Dr Reed Lessing when he was still at CSL, that YHWH Sabaoth be transated General Yahweh.

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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #115 on: May 06, 2018, 03:48:27 PM »
And I think it is spiritually arrogant to suggest that God can only act if things are done in a narrowly particular way with wordage that we - we flawed humans - have dared to grasp the mind of God.


Who's daring to grasp the mind of God here? 

I know it is spiritually arrogant to assert that, since God (being God) can do whatever he wants, we pastors (as his called ministers) can deliberately do something different from his particular instruction (adding "narrowly" doesn't actually do anything to "particular" except cast aspersions on those following what God has actually revealed) given to assure us of his grace and mercy, and God will do what what we want him to do anyway.

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Richard Johnson

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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #116 on: May 06, 2018, 04:01:05 PM »
And pastorally, what is the point?
Someone comes to me an says, "Pastor, I was saved as a teenager in my family's church. We went down to the lake and Rev. McKibben came into the water with me and dunked me in the name of Jesus. I been singing in the choir and helping at the soup kitchen ever since. If I join your church, do I have to be baptized again before I can eat the Lord's Supper?"

My answer would probably be "yes."

And that is indeed the pastoral answer. I would only delete the word "probably".

Well, the only consideration that makes it "probably" would be the need for nuance. For instance, if what the young man said was true, the word "again" is problematic. If there was some uncertainty about what actually happened, I would want to have further conversation with him and perhaps suggest "conditional baptism." In any event, my point was that a simple "yes" without further conversation may not be helpful to him.
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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #117 on: May 06, 2018, 07:52:59 PM »
Perhaps someone can parse this for me...

this Pentecostal group has a false view of the Trinity (assuming that is true, don't know the group myself and their teachings)... and so their baptism is more than suspect, must be done again...

so, the Roman Catholic church may teach salvation by works not by faith (traditional argument; again assume for this purpose) and so their baptism is OK, don't redo...

so, the Baptist church does not believe in the baptism of infants and so their adult baptism is OK, don't redo...

I get it that Trinitarian false teaching is bad but are not the others above (for the sake of argument) also bad or are they not bad enough ... like sin, there is venial heresy and mortal heresy?
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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #118 on: May 06, 2018, 08:09:57 PM »
I get it when we don't like someone's Baptismal formula.  I am upset that someone would purposely hide the biblical names for the Trinity's persons.  I would condemn someone for not believing in the Trinity and using descriptions of God because they do not believe in the Trinity.  I think (guess) there are some who believe in the Trinity and the threeinoneness of God and who are not modalists and who use descriptive names rather than the F,S and HS names for reasons less than denial of the Biblical faith.  Maybe not good or the best or the right reasons... but less than wanting to destroy the faith.

Are we sure their baptism is completely invalid?  Or are we doubtful and questioning?  If someone is baptized simply in the name of Jesus, it causes me to wonder, I grant.  So when in doubt what to do?  Some among us do a conditional baptism, others say there is no such thing because you either have been or are and there is no conditional such thing.  I understand that linguistically but it does make us make a judgement not God. 

I have been to Communion liturgies of Lutheran pastors on at least three occasions in the last thirty years where I cringed because the Verba of the consecration were either using some wide and IMO weird language-liberties with the biblical translation of the scripture or some off the cuff sort of telling of what they sort of said in their own words to make the moment personal and emotive and special.  Did those there at a Lutheran camp, at a sick bed and in a Lutheran parish on Sunday receive the Body and Blood of Christ?  Was I bothered, sure... and felt like running for the door or a bathroom break but I did not make a scene.  There is a lot in the church that continues to bruise the Body but I know the resurrected flesh and blood can take it and I hope he receives it in mercy and pours out love in spite of us.

--Someone who is ordinarily inordinately fussy about things liturgical and traditional
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #119 on: May 06, 2018, 09:22:43 PM »
Who is the Christian God?  Is it ever important to name the Christian God?  Does the Christian God have a name?
These are good questions. Why have we allowed tradition (and, perhaps, Calvinist translators) to keep us saying Lord, Lord, Lord, when the name God has given appears over and over again in the Scriptures, though we strenuously avoid saying YHWH? The concordance of the Lutheran Study Bible has an interesting choice ó listing Lord separately by where the Hebrew says (as we might in English) Lord and where YHWH appears; the sheer number of places this has happened shows how blurred this distinction is in the minds of modern Christians. Not only does a chunk of the Church have a problem with God's own use of masculine language to speak about Himself, the larger Church has a problem using the name He Himself used to talk about Himself.

The ancient Jews, when printed scriptures were rare, when reading the scriptures in worship, said 'adonai when the text had YHWH. Hearers wouldn't know what word was in the text. Confusion goes back a long, long, time.

Bibles for centuries, back to at least the King James Version, have let us readers know the distinction between YHWH and 'adonai. The first uses all upper-case letters: "LORD". The second uses upper and lower case letters: "Lord." In a few verses where both words occur in Hebrew, "Lord GOD" is used. (Nearly every time that comes up in a Bible study class, I point it out.)

The LXX uses κύριος for both Hebrew words. Perhaps that's where the confusion started - a couple centuries before Christ was born.
Thanks for stating what is known. The question still stands: why do modern translations stick with this, when there is no good reason to? I'm still partial to the suggestion made by Dr Reed Lessing when he was still at CSL, that YHWH Sabaoth be transated General Yahweh.


First of all, we don't know that Yahweh is how the word was pronounced when it was spoken by the High Priest on Yom Kippur. The vowel pointing under יהוה are the vowels for 'adonai to remind the readers not to speak the Holy Name. An older pronunciation was Jehovah.


Secondly, why would we want to purposively offend Jewish folks who would find it as misusing God's name; breaking the commandment?
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