August 16, 2013
Well said, Erica. "One of the most wonderfully whimsical moments in the Bible" -- yes indeed! Maybe that's why Genesis 2:19 is a favorite passage of mine. I'm struck not only by the grandeur (and whimsicality) of the task God assigns to Adam, but also by the expression of God's interest in the matter, and God's willingness to follow Adam's lead: "... to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name." If only Judge Ballew were so gracious as her Lord is.
I can see where the judge is coming from, though. To people who have some idea of what the name means, it's a bit like meeting someone called 'King' or 'God'. Not what the parents intended, but it would seem very strange in a predominantly Christian neighbourhood. Even to people who are fine with the meaning of the name, it still seems more like a title than a name.
I'll admit, I was a little put off by the name. I think there's a big difference between naming a baby Joshua, Jesus, or some such thing, and naming him Messiah. The first is a common name but the second is a specific title, and to claim it does seem to claim the rights and duties of the office. It would be one thing to name my child George after Will and Kate's son, and quite another to name him Prince. This isn't a huge deal for me and if I met a "Messiah" I probably wouldn't think twice of it - much as I didn't think anything of my friend Kristoph's name until you pointed it out here. (Excellent point on that front, btw!)
The bigger concern for me is a civil judge seemed happy to say the secular government wouldn't permit heresy. That makes me much more uncomfortable than any name someone might want to give a baby.
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