Hallowed Be Thy Name

What does it mean for God’s name to be holy? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Hallowed is simply a way to refer to something as holy, and holiness is something we have lost sight of. In our world today, the question “Is nothing sacred?” is entirely relevant. Most people today seem to live just for the next pleasure high, and that doesn’t necessarily mean drugs, though it can. Casual sex is all too often and apps like tinder can exist to pretty much just give a hook-up to someone.

Sometimes I look at our society and wonder what people think is worth living for. What is the true greatest good in our lives? For we Christians, we would say it’s the goal to see God one day, but while we say that, we often live like the greatest good is something else, myself included.

Holiness refers to something being set apart. It’s not just something common and normal. It’s to be reserved for a specific usage and time. God’s holiness means He is set apart from creation and refers to His goodness and purity. He is unique.

We can honor His name best by how we live our own lives. Do we live lives of service and gratitude to Him? Do we seek to love our neighbor as ourselves? Do we seek to do good to those around us even when they wrong us?

Also, do we treat God way too flippantly. Do we seek to speak for Him when we have no business doing so? I think about this when I hear so many people convinced that God is speaking to them. God gets treated in a casual manner. I don’t really care for John MacArthur, but I think he was 100% right when he talked about the guy who told him that God talks to him every morning while he’s shaving and MacArthur asked “Do you still keep shaving?”

My wife and I attend Celebrate Recovery together and normally, you introduce yourself as a faithful believer in Jesus Christ. I don’t say that. I try to remind myself of something else with my introduction and say “Servant of King Jesus.” Jesus is a friend for sure, but He is not just any friend. If you were friends with the president, regardless of what you think of him and if you don’t like Trump replace him with someone you do like, you would not treat that friendship casually. You would treat the president still with the utmost of respect.

Clay Jones in his latest book Immortal argues that one of the reasons we might not have such a Christian drive in our country is we have lost sight of what happens when we die. We try to not think about the fact that one day all of us will. When we lose sight of that, we also lose sight of the fact that we will be judged.

Think about that. You will give an account for every deed that you do. Really think about it.

Every deed.

So what have you done? Did you get snippy with your wife? Were you berating your husband? Did you scare the kids by being harsher than you should have been? Did you give your neighbor the cold shoulder? Did you rejoice over the suffering of a personal enemy?

Every deed.

Most of our sins against God are not directly done against God. They’re done against His creation, mainly other people. Jesus tells us this in His parable of the sheep and the goats. C.S. Lewis reminded us that we have never met a normal person. Every person we meet will one day either be a creature we would be tempted to bow down before and worship, or a creature that would come out of our nightmares.

And a lot of this starts with a low view of God. If God is treated casually, then we are missing out on Him. Most Christians don’t have a clue about the Trinity, for example, and what a difference that should make to our lives. God is really no different than Zeus to most of us. He’s just a superpowered human being.

Seeing God as holy will require a revolution in our thinking about God. We will need to take doctrine seriously and our own holiness seriously. We will need to seek to banish evil not just from the world around us, but from our very selves. Fair wager here, but I suspect most of us spend more time complaining about the evil of others around us than the evil within us. To refer to Lewis again, he said that we often seek to excuse our sins, but not the sins of others. When we sin, that is different, but the other person? They really ought to know better!

If we are going to be Christians who say Jesus is #1, our lives had better be different. Our marriages had better be different. Our parenting should be different. Our job performance should be different. Our entertainment should be different. Everything. We should be different people because we serve a God who is really different from everything else.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Are Theology and Doctrine A Bad Thing?

Can having theology or doctrine get in the way of your walk with God? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Recently while I was doing the book plunge through Why There Is No God, a friend got in touch with me asking about a minister he talked with regularly. This was a person who said he just used the Bible. He didn’t need any of this theology or doctrine. It got in the way.

For some people, this sounds noble, but really, it’s a train wreck. Just as a start, unless this pastor knows Greek or Hebrew, he is relying on others and not the Bible only. He’s relying on good translators to tell him what the words of the Bible should be translated as.

I also want to know what God He’s talking about. How does He know this God has revealed Himself in the Bible? How can He tell that to his congregation? What will happen when his young people come to him and ask him why they should believe because of all these videos they see on YouTube and such? What’s going to be said?

One of the biggest problems with this is that ultimately, theology and doctrine is just about knowing God and who He is. It’s saying that you believe specific things about God. How does it get in the way of a relationship with God to know specific things about Him and have beliefs about Him?

Imagine if I came to you and said “I want to have a great marriage. I don’t need any of these facts about my wife or anything like that. I just have her and all this information about her will get in the way of my relationship with her.” You would think that was crazy and rightfully so. If you’re in a marriage with someone, don’t you want to know as much about them as you can? Why would you want otherwise?

If that applies to your marriage, how much more does it apply to the most important person in your life, the person of God? Why would you not want to know about Him? Why would you not want truths about Him? Your walk with God can be further improved if you know some truths about who God is and what He is like. (Now the problem is can we often move past that point of knowing the truths and start living the truths.)

Ultimately, this really comes down I think too often to a case of pride. It’s this idea that I alone in the Bible have all that I need. There have been many people in the past who have thought about the Bible. For instance, unless you came up with the doctrine of the Trinity on your own, you are relying on those who went before you. There is no need to reinvent the wheel and you are not a lone ranger teacher. You need to learn from the people who came before you and hear what they have to say. Remember, there is nothing wrong with knowing who it is you jump into bed with. Just ask Jacob.

In Christ,
Nick Peters