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What is in the Name - Jesus Christ? 

By Carman Bradley

At certain times in Canadian public life, significant events call on the resources of the religious and spiritual traditions of our land. These might be occasions of public mourning, as in the case of the crash of SwissAir Flight 111 near Peggy’s Cove. They might be solemn events such as the bringing home of the Unknown Soldier to Ottawa in the summer of 2000. They could be moments of celebrating our history, such as the memorializing of the “Famous Five Women” from the Persons Case. In communities across our land, Thanksgiving Day is often marked with multifaith celebrations.... It is inappropriate in this context to offer prayers which imply the incompleteness of another faith tradition. [i] [My underline]


                             -  Religious Ceremonies Involving More than One Faith Tradition, Canadian Council of Churches

In a modern pluralist society like Canada, what possibly could be wrong with scratching the name Jesus Christ from the roster (benching Jesus) when the game is religious pluralism?  The short answer - “everything.”  God will not be mocked by Christians who conduct inter-faith dialogue and promote multi-faith religious ceremonies (religious pluralism) predicated on no witness to the name Jesus Christ. 

In 2003, Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, which represents 43,000 congregations, and Alan F. H. Wisdom, vice president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, a conservative Christian group in Washington, stated the same assumption, in less frank language, when critiquing the approach to interfaith relations by American mainline Protestant groups.  Mr. Wisdom said, ''There has been the tendency to put reconciliation above witness to the truth here.''[ii] The two put forward their own guidelines for evangelicals that promote a fundamentally different approach to interfaith relations.  Both endorsed dialogue with Muslims but emphasized that Christians should use the exchanges to ''give testimony to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because it is our duty to do so.''[iii]  The guidelines also urged Christians to use dialogue to spell out the differences between Christianity and Islam, and to call Muslims to account for the lack of religious freedom in Muslim countries.

Responding to the criticism in a telephone interview, Dr. Robert Edgar, general secretary of the National Council of Churches (the US equivalent of the CCC in Canada), said that he agreed that each faith must not dilute its own distinctions; however Dr. Edgar went on to state:


We disagree that you can't have dialogue unless you talk about Jesus. My belief is that dialogue is best built on relationships. People have to get to know each other, to trust each other, to like each other, and in some cases to even love each other before real learning and listening takes place.[iv]

Once again, what is in the name – Jesus Christ?

The following scriptures constitute but a fraction of the Bible verses that highlight the importance of name given to the Son of the Highest (Luke 1:32); a name announced to Joseph by an angel, saying, “thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).  And "Christ" comes from the Greek word Christos, meaning "anointed." Its meaning is the same as the Hebrew word Messiah (John 1:41).  They both mean "anointed" or "anointed one."  Here is some of what the Bible states about the spiritual power intrinsic to His name:

And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name (Luke 10:17).

Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem (Luke 24:45-47).

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them (Matthew 18:20).

And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it (John 14:13-14).

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you (John 14:26).

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved (Acts 2:21).

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38).

Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk (Acts 3:6).

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).

And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour (Acts 16:81).

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God (I Corinthians 6:11).

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11).

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him (Colossians 3:17).

Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity (2 Timothy 2:19).

Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord (James 5:14).

And the Book of Revelation reminds Christians to not deny Christ`s name and describes what will happen one day on Christ`s return, even during a multi-faith memorial service for the “Famous Five Women” from the Persons Case.  The Apostle John writes of Jesus Christ:

I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name (Revelation 3:8).

And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.  And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.  And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.  And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.  And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.  And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS (Revelation 19:-16).

The StandForGod.Org website is dedicated to tackling the reasons why the witness of Canadian Christendom is so ineffectual and to pondering three basic questions.  Why has the Holy Spirit not answered our longstanding prayers for national revival?  Why has God not responded favourably to our petitions for deliverance from secular humanism and liberalism in our society?  Why has God not returned the national psyche of Canada to its beginning constitutional spirit – a nation founded upon the principles that recognize the supremacy of God.  As evidenced by the sheer size of this research endeavour there is no small number of contributory causes.  Worse still, these various causes have had a synergy effect on a national scale, like menacing threads powerfully woven together by a gifted weaver; the troubles have inter-twined to form a seemingly impenetrable shroud of spiritual darkness coast to coast.  This blanket of darkness keeps the unsaved population from all but voluntary exposure to the light of Jesus Christ.  Indeed, the weaver’s cover is so complete that significant numbers of professed believers are also trapped under the shroud.   

Contrast the spiritual unction and divine authority vested in the name Jesus Christ used by believers in the Early Church, with the realities of Canadian Christendom today.  The name Jesus Christ has been progressively banished from public education, civic “religious” ceremonies, institutional prayer activities in all levels of government, and from all open activities of the Armed Forces.  Moreover, in the spheres of corporate business and national media, the name Jesus Christ has been all but expunged from reference during Christmas and Easter.  Any public association to the name Jesus Christ is now so politically sensitive that calling a six-foot decorated coniferous plant found in the lobby of the Supreme Court a “Christmas tree,” in December, is controversial.  Why and how has the Christian majority (some 76 percent of the population) allowed the name of Jesus Christ to be so demeaned on a national basis, so effectively banished from the public square?  More important, what is the impact on our nation’s relationship with God, when predicated of zero public acknowledgement of our Lord and Saviour?

Gone are the days when God’s elect, men like Barnabus and Paul in public, hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 15:25-26; Acts 21:13).  Instead, too many today readily deny His name in public.  Organized religion saddles believers with interfaith religious protocols; prearranged agreements to not mention the name Jesus Christ.  The authors of these protocols speak not in biblical terminology, but in the politically correct jargon of multi-faith celebrations, inter-faith relations, diversity of religious tradition, wider community prayer guidelines and religious constituencies.  The manner in which Christians are instructed in the New Testament to pray using the Lord’s name (John 14:13-14) is deemed to be “exclusive religious tradition.”  And the Canadian Council of Churches explains the issue in their protocol this way:

It is inappropriate in this context to offer prayers which imply the incompleteness of another faith tradition.

The Canadian Forces guidance for public prayer mirrors this key constraint set out in the CCC document:

Within the context of a public ceremony the chaplain is the sole representative of all faith groups. Where various faith groups and a wide range of beliefs are likely to exist, normally prayers should be inclusive in nature respecting the wide range of faith groups and believers who may be present. The religious celebrant is encouraged to be sensitive in the use of specific sacred faith formulas to allow for greater inclusivity.

Although not explicitly stated, sacred faith formula means Christians should not call upon the name Jesus Christ in public.  Indeed, at the memorial service for SwissAir Flight 111 at Peggy’s Cove in 1998, the Chretien Government approach to public religious memorials was made clear from the evidence offered by Rev. Carolyn Nicholson, a United Church minister in Glen Margaret, Nova Scotia.  Following the air disaster that killed 229 people, Rev. Nicholson spent two days at Peggy's Cove with the families of the people who died aboard the ill-fated plane.  When she was called by the federal government's protocol office and asked to say the blessing and opening prayer at a memorial service for the victims of the crash, she was eager to assist.  But it appears that she was forced to choose between her conscience and national politics to do so.   Commenting in a letter to Prime Minister Jean Chretien after the event, Rev. Nicholson wrote:

The representative told me that no references to Christ or no New Testament (Christian Scripture) readings were permitted.  

Worse, she was asked to submit what she planned to say to the protocol office representative for approval.  Continuing in her letter she wrote:

I voiced my protest, but the decision was made and I either had to submit to the decision or refuse to take part.  I felt that I had to choose between my integrity as a Christian minister or my desire to offer comfort to the families and the people of my faith who attended the service.  

She chose to continue without reference to Christ or the New Testament.  According to Calgary Sun columnist, Licia Corbella, who spoke with Rev. Nicholson by phone, the minister "felt guilt about her decision since then, but was glad she was there for the families."  After commenting in her column that Rev. Nicholson should have made a fuss immediately and refused to take part in the service, Corbella writes:

What's most troubling is the protocol office issued a ban on Christianity despite the fact that a Native Canadian spoke of her people's beliefs, a Rabbi read from the Hebrew Scriptures and the Muslim representative read from the Koran.

She adds that the service, designed to honour the dead and comfort their grieving relatives was turned into a national public relations stunt for the Chretien Liberals to show what a multicultural and tolerant country Canada is.  The only religious representatives who should have been given the opportunity to minister and offer prayers were ones who had people of those faiths aboard the doomed plane.  From her research, there were no aboriginal Canadians on board that flight.  


The spiritual travesty of denying the name of Jesus Christ on public religious occasions is clear (Revelation 3:8); only God knows the full measure of the consequences of such national-level irreverence.  Tragically, what has occurred in a relatively short time in Canada is the evolution from a society “open” to Christianity to one “closed.”  A few vestiges from the open era include: swearing in on the Bible to give witness in court or to make some other oath; an archived Christian Parliamentary Prayer; the Cross on Remembrance Day cenotaphs and on most memorial wreaths and gravestones; and the designated civic holidays titled “Christmas” and “Easter.”  What has replaced the open era is the period started by policies under what then Justice Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau labelled the “Just Society,” a governance plan premised on the complete secularization and liberalization of the public realm.  And to put in place and maintain a society now structured on secularism, liberalism and homosexism the bearers of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ have to be silenced; must be “closeted.”  Call this social dynamic the first law of state-sponsored morality – an inviolate principle that Christian orthodoxy cannot be advocated in public at the same time the state wishes to promote moral liberalism.  The two imperatives have a zero-sum relationship.   Indeed, this social dynamic has been called by feminists and liberationists the "morality wars."   Like all wars, social-cultural wars are won or lost by an accumulation of successful small battles; the recent same-sex marriage outcome just happens to be a Christian loss in the magnitude of a Stalingrad or Normandy.  The remainder of this essay will continue to focus on flawed spiritual warfare through three examples of decisive turning points which progressively forced Christianity out of the public sphere.  What lies ahead will also reveal the extent of collaboration by professed Christians facilitating their own defeat.

When you realize the dominant role that Christianity has played in the history of this country celebrated on Remembrance Day, and you take into account the national religious demographic in Canada today, it is astonishing that Canadian Christendom would give in to what amounts to a spiritually barren display of ritual for Christians over exalting God through an authentic appeal to the unction, power and authority vested Jesus Christ.  Do Christians really believe it is possible to do an end run on Jesus Christ, bench Him for the day, for the sake of greater religious inclusivity?  Who on the Christian side would agree to spiritually decapitate 95 percent of the religious audience who are likely believers by volunteering to deny the name Jesus Christ?  This nature of such silence and intolerance is not wholesome pluralist inclusivity; this is demographic and spiritual suicide.  This is voluntary tyranny of the majority by the one percentile religious minorities, and the only benefactors are secular humanist social engineers.  

What has taken place in since the 1960s has been a “sexual revolution” and the realization of an essentially secular humanist agenda of liberation legislations.  We are now in the “post-modern era,” which is thought by secularists, humanists, and many social planners, to be the dawn of religious estrangement or at least a time of religious homogenization, where Witchcraft, Gnosticism, Raelianism, Spiritual Humanism  are to have equal state emphasis along with “world religions” like Christianity, Judaism, Islam and others. No mind that all combined these other variations account for less than five percent of the population.  The state’s conception of the God underpinning the Charter of Rights and Freedoms has withered from theistic clarity to pantheistic ambiguity. In just four decades, the Bible as the Nation’s descriptive reference for God has been diluted in a sea of spiritual equivalency. Only secular humanist win in this reality.   

The following text titled “Resolution to Combat Religious Influence,” taken from the Canadian humanist web site, offers a substantial explanation for the ideological source behind much of this erosion in influence and pressure to neutralize the power and authority claimed in the name of Jesus Christ:

The Humanist Association of Canada is a national association that includes humanists, atheists, agnostics, rationalists, freethinkers, and non-church-affiliated people.…We believe that Canada could be a model for many countries on how to develop a free and democratic society composed of many different ethnic, religious, and philosophical groups living in harmony. We believe strongly in the separation of church and state and the neutrality of the state in matters of religion….Many current practices are undemocratic and unfair….We believe in a secular school system for all. People who want to send their children to private or religious schools should assume all the costs themselves. Another example is the recitation of prayers at official public functions. These are unacceptable….Although unsuccessful, many of our members signed a petition to have the reference to God removed from the preamble of the Canadian Constitution. This petition was read out in Parliament by MP Svend Robinson on June 8, 1999.[v]

While masquerading as supporters of freedom of religion, humanists really uphold no respect for the legitimacy of religious faith. Worse, while clamouring against public prayer and lobbying to expunge God from state and public institutions, they and like-minded activists, have shown no reservation entering our public schools to preach on the social acceptability of homosexuality, knowing that what they tell students is not science and what they say is contrary to the religious faiths of a significant number of students.

The following humanist notion of spirituality makes a further mockery of religion and pokes fun at theistic believers:

You can become an ordained member of the Spiritual Humanist clergy for FREE right now! As a legally ordained clergy member you can legally perform religious ceremonies and rituals like weddings, funerals, benedictions, etc.

All humans have an inalienable right and duty to practice their own religious traditions. Spiritual Humanism allows everyone to fuse their individual religious practices onto the foundation of scientific humanist inquiry. We accept people from any religious background and recognize the validity of all peaceful religious practices and behaviors as being helpful and necessary in developing the spiritual nature of humanity.

If you agree that Religion must be based on Reason, you can be ordained right now for free, and still be able to practice your own religious traditions by simply clicking the button below: ‘Ordain Me.’[vi]

There is something terribly aberrant in a free and democratic society, where the overwhelming religion is Christianity, and yet the state enforces its notion of “religious freedom” by outlawing the use of words like “Jesus Christ,” “Holy Bible,” “Scripture” and other obvious Christian liturgy at public spiritual events such as the memorial service for the World Trade Center disaster. This state-sponsored notion that putting down Christian liturgy somehow enhances overall religious freedom is flawed spiritually and intellectually. Christians declare Jesus Christ to be God in the flesh!  We have a right to claim His name in public.  Commenting on the absence of “faith expression”`at the Canadian 911 memorial service, Pandi Madhu Sahasrabudhe, the spiritual leader of Ottawa's Hindu community and president of the Capital Region Inter-faith Council, said:  

I felt it was unusual. As a person of faith I wouldn't have cared what kind of prayer was done by who, but there should have been some reference to God, the Creator, the Almighty, whatever.[vii]

Denying public worship of Jesus Christ serves only humanist interests. 

Seven years before the 911 disaster, a huge spiritual catastrophe occurred in Canada with some controversy.  The manner by which the name Jesus Christ was deliberately left out of a revised Parliamentary Prayer is another strike agaist the legitimacy of the United Church within Christendom.   Obviously UCC ministers who have no reservations about demoting Jesus Christ to the dignity of a Mahatma Gandhi or Mohammed have no difficulty agreeing to remove His name from public usage altogether.  Rev. Wayne Hillier, senior minister at Chalmers United Church, Kingston, Ontario, relates his role in removing Christ from the Parliamentary Prayer. In his 1994 Easter Service he said the following as part of his sermon:

Some time ago I was invited by our local Federal Member of Parliament, Peter Milliken (who happens also to be a member of the United Church of Canada and who exercises that membership by being a faithful worshipper in this congregation), to compose and submit to a parliamentary committee, that he was then chairing, a prayer that I thought might be offered with integrity, by a larger number of parliamentarians than the long-standing existing prayers clearly allowed….I worked hard at composing such a prayer. I considered it a high privilege to be asked and I took my task very seriously. Here is the prayer:

O eternal Spirit, creator of all life that enriches, sustainer of all truth that abides, we come this day, seeking as representatives of this diverse country of Canada, your guiding blessing. As we strive in our varied ways to fulfill our duties, deepen our commitment to persons of vision and integrity. As we labor in this House of Commons, for the sake of the common good, strengthen our resolve to be open to a patience that can endure the strain of waiting; a hope that can rise above frustration; and a courage that can confront the truth. So may this House be blessed with members from all sides and religions who will think wisely and do justly, and love mercy. Amen.[viii]

Surprised by the reaction, Hillier comments on the prayer’s reception:

Little did I realize (nor I suspect did M.P. Peter Milliken), that this draft prayer would invite such a reaction on the part of the other MP’s as well as a larger number of writers of letters to newspaper editors across the land. The reaction was so strong, especially on the part of other Christians who were incensed with the wider reference to God as the ‘eternal Spirit,’ that the prayer never really had a chance.

The adopted Parliamentary Prayer is reads:

Almighty God: We give thanks for the great blessings which have been bestowed on Canada and its citizens, including the gifts of freedom, opportunity, and peace that we enjoy. We pray for our Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II, and the Governor General. Guide us in our deliberations as Members of Parliament, and strengthen us in our awareness of our duties and responsibilities as Members. Grant us wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to preserve the blessings of this country for the benefit of all and to make good laws and wise decisions. Amen.

We will now have a moment of silence for private reflection and meditation. Amen.

This non-sectarian prayer is read in English and French before the doors to the federal Parliament are opened to the public each day.  

Changing the theology behind the laws and Constitution of our Nation has enormous implications.  Canadian Christians wonder why Christ does not intervene and bring revival.  When the government eradicates all relevance, all reverence, all reference to Jesus Christ is it any wonder God is silent?  Is it any wonder the country is in the mess that it is in?  Are we, in our national day-to-day operations, a God-fearing country or a God-less country? What would Jesus Christ say if present at the recitation of the Parliamentary Prayer?  After all Christ said:

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6). And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything, and I will do it (John 14: 13- 14).

Humanists, Gnostics, agnostics, atheists and secularists must have applauded Rev. Hillier’s and the final adopted all-inclusive prayer. From their perspective a universal, serves all religions type-of-God is only a symbolic God, almost as good as declaring an unknown god. The prayer is impotent ritual.  In the space of forty years, the God of the Constitution and Charter thus changes from a specific relational God to a token multi-faith God. Taking Jesus Christ out of the prayer lexicon and attempting to address some all-inclusive eternal spirit defiles the God of Scripture. When praying, Christ said, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name” (Matthew 6:9). And God commanded in Exodus 20:7:

You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

Subsequent petitions in 1995 to revise the Parliamentary Prayer by angry Christians carried little persuasion:

Mr. Peter Adams (Peterborough, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from residents of the city and county of Peterborough. Whereas the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, in the Lord’s Prayer has been included in the historic parliamentary prayer of the House of Commons since 1867, and whereas Canada was founded and built on the principles of Christianity and the large majority of Canadians profess the Christian faith, therefore the petitioners call on the House of Commons to close the parliamentary prayer with the words: ‘Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen’ and reinstate the Lord’s Prayer at the conclusion of the opening prayer.[ix]

Protest, in 2002, to stop implementation of the Chretien Government’s policy to remove the name Jesus Christ from sermons of the Armed Forces chaplains was ineffectual:

Mr. Brooke Taylor: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition on behalf of over 100 folks here. The prayer of the petition states, “We, the undersigned are protesting the decision to remove all references of Jesus Christ from the sermons of Armed Forces chaplains. We feel that this is an insult both to the Christian faith and to Christians everywhere.” Mr. Speaker, I have affixed my name to the petition.[x]

Most Canadians supported the respect given Canadian Sikhs, by allowing this cultural and religious minority to wear turbans publicly as police and as members in the military. This state policy was seen as granting freedom of religion, by allowing Sikhs to differentiate themselves and sustain their beliefs through a visible and unique headdress. With such government policy, it seems extraordinary, that Jesus Christ, the ultimate focus of Christian faith, had to be expunged from public liturgy. The real benefactors from the muzzling of Christians are not members of other theistic faiths, but humanists and atheists.


Why has the Holy Spirit not answered our longstanding prayers for national revival?


Why has God not responded favourably to our petitions for deliverance from secular humanism and liberalism in our society?


Why has God not returned the national psyche of Canada to its beginning constitutional spirit – a nation founded upon the principles that recognize the supremacy of God.”

Copyright © 2008 StandForGod.Org

[i] Religious Ceremonies Involving More than One Faith Tradition, Canadian Council of Christian Churches,, 09/13/08.

[ii] Laurie Goodstein, ``Top Evangelicals Critical Of Colleagues Over Islam,`` New York Times, May 8, 2003,, 109/13/08.

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] Ibid.

[vi] Spiritual Humanism,, 12/12/02.

[viii] Rev. C. Wayne Hillliker, What Makes or Breaks Prayer,

[ix] House of Commons, Routine Proceedings [214], 8 June 1995.

[x] Hansard, 8 April 2002.