Insight on the News
God’s Name “Silly”?
● Writing in the “National Catholic Reporter,” Joseph Summers, a member of the St. Paul–Minneapolis Archdiocesan Ecumenical Commission, states regarding the name of God that appears in the Bible: “The name offends my sense of reverence and propriety. . . . It is a theological error . . . Worse, it sounds plain silly.”
In the Bible the name of God appears thousands of times, and is made up of the Hebrew consonants YHWH. This tetragrammaton is translated as “Yahweh” or “Jehovah” in English. (Rotherham) Is this name of God “silly”? Not to God, for his own inspired Word declares: “I am Jehovah. That is my name.” (Isa. 42:8) The name was not “silly” to God’s Son, for in prayer to his heavenly Father Jesus Christ said regarding his followers: “I have made your name known to them and will make it known.” (John 17:26) Showing how vital God’s name is, the apostle Paul stated: “Everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.”—Rom. 10:13.
Those who try to degrade God’s name fall into the trap of the “father of the lie,” Satan the Devil. (John 8:44) As God’s opposer, Satan works to turn people away from true worship and tries to eliminate the usage of God’s name.
The psalmist asked: “How long, O God, will the adversary keep reproaching? Will the enemy keep treating your name with disrespect forever?” (Ps. 74:10) No, for Bible prophecy shows that soon Jehovah will do the following: “I shall certainly sanctify my great name, which was being profaned among the nations . . . and the nations will have to know that I am Jehovah.”—Ezek. 36:23.
Churches in China
● The opening of diplomatic relations between China and the United States has aroused interest by Christendom’s churches in the possibilities of renewing their activities in China. However, visitors report that they found little interest in the churches there, and little likelihood of any significant revival’s developing.
Franklin Woo, the China secretary for the National Council of Churches in the United States, reported, after his second visit to China, that there were very few public church services. Attendance was very small and ‘virtually all were foreigners.’ In addition, Mr. Woo noted that he ‘didn’t find the services doing any great credit to Christianity,’ since they were ceremonial. The churches, he stated, have been ‘widely discredited in China because the missionary movement operated in alliance with Western politics and economic domination.’
Dr. Eugene Stockwell, associate general secretary of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in America, also acknowledged: “While our Western image of Jesus is as the Son of God, the Chinese think of Jesus in terms of gunboat diplomacy.” The New York “Times” similarly reported: “The image of the Western missionary has been equated with Western politics since the first Presbyterian, Methodist and Roman Catholic missionaries moved into the country late in the 19th century.”
This negative image of Christendom’s churches persists.
“Shroud of Turin”
● From time to time publicity is given to the “Shroud of Turin,” a cloth the full length of a body, supposedly showing the image of Jesus. Roman Catholics believe that the likeness came from its contact with the body of Jesus. Others doubt the claim.
However, was Jesus buried in a one-piece shroud? No, he was not. God’s inspired Word, the Holy Scriptures, states at John chapter 20, verses 6 and 7, that in the empty tomb after Jesus was resurrected the apostle Peter “observed the wrappings on the ground and saw the piece of cloth which had covered the head not lying with the wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself.”—Catholic “New American Bible.”
So there were several cloths, with a separate one around Jesus’ head. Thus the “Shroud of Turin” could not have been any part of the actual cloths used in Jesus’ burial, since it is in one piece and Jesus was “bound . . . in wrappings of cloth,” with a separate one being used for his head.—John 19:40, “NAB.”