What’s in a Name?

Did you notice in the prior post that I referred to my maternal grandfather as Wal-Paul? No, that wasn’t his given name. Born Waldon William Meeks back in the 1900’s, he went by Wally, until the prophet decreed his heavenly name was Paul. Yeah, the few remaining members of the Full Gospel Assembly Church in Benson, Arizona would claim they practice prophecy. Here’s where it gets a little muddy.

Prophecy is when God gives someone a message to declare to another person or group of people. The person declaring the message has the gift of prophecy and may be referred to as a prophet or prophetic. If what they declare comes true, God’s actually speaking through them; if not, they’re a false prophet and shouldn’t be trusted.

Furthermore, one can quantify prophecy into two categories: general and personal. General prophesy is declared to a group of people, usually to serve as encouragement or in some cases, as a warning. Personal prophecy is a message from the Lord spoken specifically to one person. Makes sense, no?

Well, the Full Gospel Assembly church that my grandfather joined practiced personal prophecy, and somewhere along the way that personal prophecy became a vehicle for instructions to be given, such as give this much money to the church, here’s your heavenly name, you’re going to marry this person, or here’s what you’re going to name your children.

That’s why we referred to my grandfather as Wal-Paul. We knew his real name was Wally, but he referred to himself as Paul, so my family combined the two. Oh, we knew better than to call him that to his face. He was our grandfather and we needed to show him as much respect as we could muster.

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