Saturday, April 27, 2013

Should You Change Your Name to Reflect Your New Messianic Identity?

So I read something from a Messianic scholar today (and to that scholar who will probably recognize that I'm talking about him, please understand that I still love your work and I'm not mad), that said that a non-Jew who changes his name is dishonoring his ancestors.

I respectfully disagree (and this doesn't change that I love your work and agree with you 99.99999% of the time).

So here's a bit of personal info on me...  Are you ready for this?

The main reason I don't use my last name is for security and privacy reasons.  But I suppose a vague concern would be that it's probably a pagan name (one can never know for certain).  As I understand it, it most likely refers to an ancient pagan god.

[Pause for the shocked gasps from the audience]

So why haven't I legally changed my name?  I didn't really see the need.  I do have a Hebrew name which I haven't really told anyone other than my wife.  I don't feel the need to use it.  I know who I am and my identity is strong enough that I'm not threatened by my inherited name.  My wife also has a Hebrew name that is quite lovely...  Come to think of it, just about every Messianic I've ever encountered as adopted a Hebrew name for certain occasions or to be used when socializing with other Messianics.

But should non-Jews change their names?

That's the discussion question.  Perhaps some of you who have actually changed your names will want to chime in with your reasons.  Let's not be afraid to discuss anything on this blog.  We're all brothers and sisters in Yeshua--that's all that really matters.  To quote the Bard, "What's in a name?"  Okay, so the Bard never had to deal with the social issues that we in the Messianic movement have to do deal with.  : )

Actually, my ancestors wouldn't be offended by my Hebrew last name "ben Avraham" given that they were literally sons of Abraham (though not sons of Yitzhak).  : )






25 comments:

  1. I don't think anyone should change their name, like for example: Boaz Michael, it makes people think he is Jewish, when in reality, he just changed his name, which blurs distinctions between Jew and Gentile. Which is also an example of how those who support Bilateral Ecclesiology, pick and choose when to acknowledge distinctions, just when it fits their agenda.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You call yourself "Zion."

      Delete
    2. You call yourself "Zion."

      And your point?

      Delete
    3. You're a Gentile calling himself by a place name that means "Jerusalem." A name change that communicates a Jewish identity or the same thing you complain Boaz Michael is doing. Point made.

      Delete
    4. You're a Gentile calling himself by a place name that means "Jerusalem." A name change that communicates a Jewish identity or the same thing you complain Boaz Michael is doing. Point made.

      No, this is called an online alias for the purpose of anonymity, I did not change my legal name, such as the example of Boaz Michael or any other gentiles who have done such and I do not recommend anyone change their legal name. Thus you have no point.

      Delete
    5. Zion,

      Given the Prophetic expectations that goyim/nations will be keeping Torah, the blurring of distinctions seems almost inevitable. Case in point: Ezekiel 47 talks about goyim settling in with certain tribes, acquiring land... You telling me there's not gonna be any socializing there? : )



      Delete
    6. Given the Prophetic expectations that goyim/nations will be keeping Torah, the blurring of distinctions seems almost inevitable. Case in point: Ezekiel 47 talks about goyim settling in with certain tribes, acquiring land... You telling me there's not gonna be any socializing there? : )

      I don't doubt the Messianic Kingdom will be very different than today, but I think today with all the identity issues, it will not help to fake being Jewish. There have been people doing this in local Jewish synagogues and it has set bad examples, just be honest and be yourself, trying to deceive people to gain acceptance is not a good example.

      Delete
  2. I was once thinking of changing my name from Dan Ben-Zvi to Danny Deerson....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was thinking of changing my name to Gene...

      Delete
    2. "I was thinking of changing my name to Gene..."

      But Peter and Gene are both Greek names. It's like trading a Chrysler Neon for a Dodge Neon.

      Delete
    3. Too much Neon lights, Gene....

      Delete
    4. "Too much Neon lights, Gene...."

      Dan, then I suppose it's time to leave Vegas and return to the Land.

      Delete
    5. I am seriously thinking about that. I would love to die and be buried in the Land.

      Delete
  3. Zion,

    If you did not want to blur distinctions to a degree, perhaps you might consider modifying your handle to something like 4Zion or Standing4Zion or StandingWithZion.

    No one could then claim that you have adopted a Hebrew name.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey, Gene, you are not by a chance thinking that the Land is Florida, do you?...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Hey, Gene, you are not by a chance thinking that the Land is Florida, do you?..."

      Well, for most American Jews it certainly is.

      Delete
  5. Arafat called Florida Occupied land....He wanted it back......

    ReplyDelete
  6. Speaking of Boaz Michael, has anyone on Facebook noticed how he recently had his personal profile page converted over into a fan page? People who had him as a friend on Facebook are now actually listed as his "fans."

    How unethical is this...?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why is this unethical?

      Delete
    2. Really, that's all you got? I think it's far more "unethical" of you to make this into an issue just so that you can bring some charge against a person.

      Delete
  7. Turning your personal page into a fan page, when no one asked to be your fan, is another example of the ever-present shell game at FFOZ.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So, people who asked to be your FB friend are not really fans of yours? And here I thought that a friend was closer than a "fan".

      Delete
    2. Turning your personal page into a fan page, when no one asked to be your fan, is another example of the ever-present shell game at FFOZ.

      Don't get me wrong, I am no fan of FFOZ, but your argument, does not make any sense.

      Delete
  8. Anon, lay off Boaz personally. You may challenge his views and beliefs, and that's it...

    Otherwise, we can say how ethically is joining a blog and not reveal one's name?

    ReplyDelete