GOD in Capital Letters

By Marilyn Kettering Badger

August 15, 2016

Many years ago, I was in a meeting in which some decisions were being made about a document for a church group.  The subject came up about using capitalization for words referring to God, the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit, the I Am, the Man Eternal and the Trinity.  There are so many words to represent God.  We also refer to Him with pronouns and other words:  He, It, Him, His.  I insisted that all these words referring to God should have a capital letter to show it was a name, a holy name.  (If god refers to an idol or is used in a non-Biblical way, it is not capitalized.)  I want people to know, as a Christian, that my God is important.  And certainly a piece of Christian writing from a Church organization should document that - If the church believes it!

 As a former teacher this is what we taught children at public schools – not as a Christian principle -- but as a rule of English grammar.  However, I was told by a church committee member that this was old-fashioned and outdated in today’s world and we need not do that.  But shouldn’t we want to do it - I wondered over and over. 

 One day in April 2016  --online -- while looking up a grammar question I discovered the following statement: “God is capitalized when it functions as a name.  English speakers also traditionally capitalize the pronouns He, (His, Him) in reference to God.  This remains a common practice among people of faith.  In phrases like for God’s sake, by God, and thank God, the word is capitalized because it generally refers to the God of the Bible and treats the word as a name.” (http://grammarist.com/style/god-capitalization/)  It bothers me when Christians do not think this is important.

 I ask you: does God or His name ever become outdated?  Not the God I know and love!  As His follower and as one who believes in Him, should I not show respect for Him in all the documents I would write?  Should not our Christian church documents show this.  Just as Christ’s name and references are capitalized shouldn’t we also recognize reference to the parts of the God, i.e., the Trinity.  When we do not use the capitalization we are losing some of the naming power of God, Christ, Jesus, Holy Spirit, etc.  If the schools teach it; shouldn’t the churches use it that way too?  Or will Christians just throw that away.  So much has already been lost. Something more to think about while we go along life’s highway.

Prayer: Lord, use us to promote your kingdom, love, grace and forgiveness. Amen.

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