THE CHRISTIAN GOD MUST BE CALLED BY HIS OWN NAMES
A Christian author in Sabah observes that all the Christians leaders who so far had made statements with regards to the issue of the use of the name ‘Allah’ in Malaysia had shown gross ignorance on a very important matter in the issue.
Raymond Tombung, a wellknown columnist and journalist in Sabah, says that the President
UPKO, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, Datuk Clarence Bongkos Malakun as the President of the Council of Justices of the Peace, Malaysia are both clearly unaware that the Judeo-Christian God has many biblical names.
"It is not quite right that Tan Sri Bernard had proposed to use the name 'God' in English church services, 'Tuhan' in Malay services and 'Kinoingan' in Kadazandusun services, while Datuk Clarence had proposed the name 'Tuhan' or 'Tuhan yang Mahakuasa'", Tombung said.
"This clearly proves that as Christians they are ignorant of the names of their own God, most likely because of poor biblical knowledge as a result of low readership and study of the Holy Bible."
Tombung, who recently authored and published a Christian book and also ministers by teaching and preaching in his evangelical church in Sabah explains that the Judeo-Christian God whose revelations preceeded Islam is called by various names, which are Yahweh, El, El-Shaddai, Elohim, Adonai, and Jehovah.
He points out that "God's commandments listed in the Ten Commandments alone give very strict provisions on how we should address our God. The first commandment says that 'Thou shall have no other gods before Me' which means we cannot even so much as allude to the possibility of God being called by wrong names."
"The third commandment also clearly states that 'You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain' which means we must not so much as play around with His names, or modify or abuse them for whatever purpose," he said.
"As such, to suggest that God be called 'Allah' and 'Kinoingan' is blasphemous. Christians who believe and worship their God should at least know His names and would fear the possibility of offending Him by calling Him with the wrong names.
"Therefore, the legal pursuit by churches to have the right to use 'Allah' to call their God is clearly wrong and offensive to God. That is why our church, since 2006, had decided to call God with the name 'Yahweh' instead of 'Allah.'
"In view of this, Datuk Clarence's call for compromise is commendable, but the proper names of God must be used. 'Tuhan,' and 'God' are generic names, like calling a person 'human' whereas their specific (personal) names are 'John', 'Joe', Steven and so on.
"The churches can easly switch from 'Allah' by replacing it with 'Yahweh' everytime the names occurs, as what we do in our church," Tombung said.
He also opined that the court victory to have the right to use 'Allah' is a political victory which will lead to more negative consequences, not only due to political backlashes but because it is not sanctioned by God himself. "For blessing, we Christians need to be right with Him firstly and lastly."
*Tulisan ini di petik dari laman SabahKini (http://www.sabahkini.net )