I did not use my real name in the church and now I feel ashamed and bad

Discussion in 'Personal Advice, Care & Prayers' started by river_chris, Sep 11, 2022.

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  1. river_chris

    river_chris New Member

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    Hi, sorry for a long post, my story here: I came to England from another country when I was young (about 19-20 years old). I was shy of my birth name because it did not sound very 'western' and I was scared to be bullied because of it. So I started using the name that sounded similar to mine but not really my name. For instance: my real name is Adahan but I told everyone I met that my name was Adam and it kind of stuck to me all the new friends I made I would tell them to call me Adam apart from officials (at college or work) who would always call me by my real name which is in my ID and which is Adahan. One day I found a church that was near my home I really loved it and I started going there, I made friends there. I got to know people from congregation, the clergy and even the parish priest. Everyone was so lovely and I love those people but I continued telling them that my name was Adam because I was still 'scared' to tell them my real name, was scared what if their perception of me would change if my name sounded like a jaw-breaker and not a Christian one. I decided to be baptised in that church. After years of just praying on my own I was very excited to become officially Christian so to speak and be able to receive the communion. But when they asked me to put my name in some sort of papers before the ceremony it asked me what name I would prefer and I used Adam again. Now more than five years have passed and I kind of have changed my mind and the attitude towards my name and I think I am happy with my real name name now. I kind of stopped being ashamed of it. Although it is not very nice sounding but I accepted it. And my girlfriend who is also Christian and (soon to be wife) calls me by my real name so it gives me more confidence. I still go to that church and now I am really scared if people there going to be so upset when they learn I deceived them. Also I am not sure what to do about my baptism somehow I thought that I could use Adam as my 'baptismal' name while still being Adahan by birth.. not sure if it works that way in christianity (?). I feel ignorant. I cannot find any documentaion or the certificate related to my baptism and my confirmation because I did it a few years ago. I feel like I messed up big time... I feel like maybe my baptism is not 'legitimate' now. I have not spoken to the priest who baptised me about it yet but I want to. Can I change the name in the baptism now after it already happened? Does anyone have any ideas what would be the right thing to do for me now? I am kind of lost now.
     
  2. Annie Grace

    Annie Grace Active Member

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    I am not really sure what the problem is here. It has upset you a lot but it really isn't a serious thing. I have had several names in my lifetime because the one given to me at birth was the same as my mother, so I was called by another name. Later I made that my legal name officially and used that for several years. When my parents divorced, I took my mother's maiden name instead of my father's surname and had that done legally. Then I got married and took my husband's surname - until after the divorce. LOL

    I went back to my original name with my mother's surname eventually and have been known by that for over 20 years now legally. As long as you keep a paper trail to supply to things like police checks, then you are fine. Yes, it is a lot of hassle from time to time when they ask the dreaded question 'Have you ever been known by any other name?' but it isn't the end of the world.

    I would suggest just going back to your real name, and try to get the paperwork all lined up. I have had certificates and degrees reissued in my current name, and everyone is usually fine about it if you have proof. So contact whatever official you need to do this and get things issued in the name of your choice.

    It isn't a sin. Relax.

    PS - If your friends are really your friends, they should be fine about using your real name too. I have lots of relatives with really interesting names.
     
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  3. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I think you're getting upset about nothing.

    My wife's cousin married someone from an Eastern European country. He assumed, uses and is known by a simple English name. Everyone had difficulty pronouncing his actual name.

    If people ask why you are using a different name just give them a brief and simple version of what you told us in your OP. If people do not like your answer that's their problem not yours.

    I'm not a canon lawyer so I give this advice with that caveat. I don't think being baptised as 'Adam' has made the slightest difference. God knows who you are and you're truly baptised. If it sufficiently concerns you have a quiet word with the priest at your church. I'm sure he'll put your mind at rest. I really don't think the name in the baptismal register and on your baptism certificate is going to be a problem. You have done the right thing where anything legal was concerned and used your real name.

    I think you should be at peace about this and stop worrying about it.
     
  4. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    If you were baptized because you have become a follower of Jesus Christ, then God knows your heart. The name on a piece of paper can't affect your salvation or your relationship with God.

    I suggest that you present the situation to the local church in the manner of "Adam" having been your preferred 'nickname' for "Adahan," similar to Dave being a nickname for David or Mike for Michael. And please, by all means, make an appointment with your rector so you can sit down and talk about this; I would bet that he will be very understanding and will explain to you that the name you used for the baptism is not a big issue.

    My mother's parents decided to call my mom Vernice when she was born. But the RCC required at the time that all babies baptized in the church be named after some saint. So they used "Veronica" for the baptism. But thenceforth she was raised as Vernice.
     
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  5. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Names, admettedly, are important ways we express our own identity and others identify us. However, names change often, in reality and in the scriptures. Abram became Abraham. Jacob, (Hebrew Yaʿaqov, also called Israel, Hebrew Yisraʾel,). Simon, also called Peter. Saul became Paul. If you think that a change in your name is some kind of problem, then Yeshua or Joshua, (Saviour), had his name changed to Jesus when it's spelt in Greek and he had lots of other names too. I think you may be worried over all this for nothing my friend.
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    Last edited: Sep 16, 2022