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Blasphemy has always been a tricky business. Jesus instructed his rag-tag band of understudies to avoid swearing oaths. The ancient rabbis were so gun shy about taking the Lord’s name in vain that they exorcised Yahweh of all His vowels. But Malaysian attempts to put a lid on blasphemous behavior has left Christians in a bit of a fix. Apparently, Malaysia’s Islamic-dominated government has outlawed the willy nilly use of “allah”–Arabic’s generic term for “god.” Maybe if clueless school teachers didn’t allow their students to name the classroom’s stuff teddy “Mohamed” these sort of things wouldn’t happen. Nevertheless, it puts the Church in a bit of a pickle. You see, the word for Jehovah in the Arabic Bible has always been Allah. Like, ever since there were Arabic Bibles. So while Western evangelicals are all in your face about how Muslims and Christians worship different gods, the saints in Malaysia are up in arms arguing that Allah is the name of their God, too. In fact, the Evangelical Church of Borneo has taken legal action against the government. Which I guess is only human nature. We evangelical Christians don’t want Allah forced upon our theological pedestal. But try and take Him away from us, and you’ll have a fight on your hands.
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