“Yelling at God” Chuck’s latest Faith Column for the Hill Country News June 25, 2014

YELLING at GOD!

4x6 B&W Chuck Portrait 6032By Chuck Robison

If you can honestly say you have never been mad at God, good for you. You are very much in a small minority. Most of us have experienced many of those moments when it makes perfectly good sense to be mad at God.

Sometimes we are so mad that we want to tell God exactly what to do with our anger. Even though we do not know if God would ever be willing to completely destroy any of his creation, we have been taught that asking him to damn something, using current language, is a way of breaking the third commandment, which states: You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.

When you think about it, how did Moses know to include in the Ten Commandments a commandment that would not be usable until after the codification of Biblical English in the first printed Bible? Most churches I know about want to be sure that when you ask God to Damn something, you are taking his name in vain.

But that simply is not the truth. God does not mind you yelling at Him….and when you do he hears only your frustration, and not your attempt to control what He will or will not do.

The truth behind this commandment is much more complex and powerful that this simplistic cultural norm.

The Jews never write out what they believe to be God’s very own personal name. All they do to identify God is to write out his name without any vowels. YHWH is a symbol for God’s name and we are permitted to use this without any penalty. But when we start adding the vowels and saying that word out loud, it is like your mother addressing you by your full name as a means of getting your attention. As in my mom’s yelling out at me, “Chuck Robison, get over here right this minute!” The minute she called out my name, I knew something big was going to happen, and usually it was because I did something wrong, and I gave her my full attention.

The Jewish scholars, who have studied this issue for almost 5000 years, understand that calling on God by name will result in getting his full and undivided attention. And then what? Suppose you were being the little boy who cried wolf and you kept calling on God by name over and over again. Each time you call God by name, you are inviting him in, so, as the Commandment suggests, you should be very careful when you use his complete name, because he will appear. It is reported that during the German Holocaust, there was a debate the rabbinical scholars engaged in for the whole course of that awful concentration camp period: “Is this the moment so terrible, that we can call out God’s full name, get his attention and seek his power, without breaking that commandment.” The issue was never resolved, officially.

And you can also be sure that, correct name or not, God’s help was sought during every moment of that trial, by people of all kinds with all kinds of beliefs, all over the world. You can also be sure that those prayers were answered, and not just in this dimension, but throughout the Universe.

Jesus said this about prayer: “Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Whenever you pray, go into your own room and shut the door.” And when you pray, do not beg God for anything. Rather, know that the One who listens to your every breath, will answer your prayer with the perfect response custom made for the continued growth of your soul. And with that knowledge, you will have arrived at the beginning of truly advanced spiritual growth.

Gratitude. Gratitude is that moment when you thank God for answering your prayers and blessing you even before you were aware that you were going to ask them. Every person we have interviewed on our show, when asked what our viewer could do to increase his spiritual growth, has said almost the same thing: Gratitude is the place to begin. And surely using God’s most personal name in gratitude would never be in vain!

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