Many names come to mind when thinking of individuals who have caused great consternation among the generations of earth-dwellers over the millennia.
We can immediately bring them to the surface of our cogitations. Adolf Hitler stands pretty close to the top, does he not, so far as people who have troubled humanity during their time is concerned. His was perhaps the most genocidal regime ever, although if we could hear from some of the other generations of human history–for example, that under the regime of Antiochus Epiphanes—we might hear good evidence for those tyrants being the worst ever. Christians under some of the Caesars and holy Roman emperors could also tell horror stories, giving names of dictators who bedeviled them.
Josef Stalin, the Soviet dictator, is another who has troubled the minds of historians and the rest of us in more recent times. He murdered, it is estimated, between 30 and 40 million of his own people, based upon his paranoid concerns that they were out to topple his rule.
Mao Tse-tung, the beast from China, Pol Pot, of Cambodia, and Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi strongman known as the “Butcher of Baghdad,” are other troublesome names of recent vintage. And we might throw in guys like Iran’s late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and even its current tyrant, Seyyed Ali Khamenei, as candidates for the most troubling names in human history.
It is such an agonizing thing to do, writing about the next troubling name after bringing to mind all of the above horror-blighted names of history, that I can scarcely do it. But, I feel I must, because it is a name that is growing in disrepute, and in hatred among this present generation. The person whose name I will write about is dividing the peoples of Planet Earth, just as He said His name would do.
It is doubly agonizing for me to write, because evidence of this growing hatred is already well underway, even in the heartland of America. It is, as a matter of fact, manifesting itself in my own community. So, I didn’t have to go to far distant sources or lands to make the prophetic point that we are indeed nearing midnight of this Church Age (Age of Grace).
Proof of the growing antagonism to the name is observable in the excerpted portion of an article from a newspaper very near my own home. That’s right. Right in the heart of the Bible belt. And, I must tell you that Arkansas was once listed as one of three of the states that have the most people who believe that the Bible is the Word of God, a supernatural book directly from the mind of the Creator. Although this article is from some years ago, it represents a growing contingent of those who would marginalize the name in question.
Little Rock city directors should apply discretion in the words they use when praying before board meetings, Mayor Jim Dailey said Tuesday night. Dailey’s statement followed the board’s receipt of a memorandum from City Attorney Tom Carpenter in which he cautioned board members about using certain words in prayers.
Prayer to open a board meeting is not unconstitutional but can cross the constitutional line of separation of church and state if the prayer emphasizes one religion over another, Carpenter wrote.
In the memorandum, Carpenter advised board members to avoid phrases such as “In Christ’s name we pray” or “In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost” (“LR directors discuss prayer options,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Thurs. Sept. 7, 2006).
The above report, I realize, doesn’t equate with people considering the name of Jesus in the same castigating way people view Hitler, Stalin, et al. But, again, the marginalizing of the name of Christ is taking place in the heart of the Bible belt. The world at large is on the fast track to bring that holy name into hated status on a global scale. The being with the worst of all names –Satan—wants the name of Jesus to become the equivalent of the worst, most terrifying figures of history. Satan has sown –and still sows— in the minds of men that Christianity should be seen as narrow-minded bigotry and hatred, as proven in the Crusades, where, Christ-haters imply, many were murdered in the name of Christ. The tactic continues to work. Tragically, it is becoming a tactic that even convinces some pastors in churches who fall for and preach the line that to hold to thought that there is one way to God is foolish at best and hatred at worst. By preaching and teaching that there are many ways to God and heaven, that the Bible is actually just a book written by men in order to show us how to just get along, these preachers and teachers are calling Christ a liar –thus putting His holy name in the category of the many tyrants of history who led people down the pathway to destruction.
But the Scripture says:
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
There is coming a time at the edge of eternity that is awesome in its prospect. Every human being who has been born on this fallen planet will give absolute acknowledgement of the name that is above every other, the blessed name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
“For it is written, [As] I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God” (Rom. 14:11).