Bethel was the place where Jacob dreamed his dream of angels on the ladder. He built an altar there, more than once, and called the place "Bethel" because that is where he had his encounter with God.
Later on, Bethel was one of the first places that the Ark of the Covenant was set up. Since there was as yet no Temple, the people met there for their worship. It most certainly was "the house of God" then.
After the nation divided, when Jeroboam was trying to glue the northern kingdom to one another and himself, he set up the golden calves—to worship Jehovah, mind you, "the God who brought you up out of Egypt," as Aaron had called a similar image--one in Dan at the northern end of his kingdom, and the other in Bethel, in the south. Now worship was convenient and no one had to make that long trip south to the Temple.
Of course, this led straight to full-blown idolatry along with all its accoutrements. When Hosea came along, calling them all to repentance, he flatly refused to call "Bethel" by its name. It was no longer "the house of God." (Hos 4:15; 5:8; 10:5) Instead, Hosea called it "Beth-aven." And what does that mean? "House of iniquity," or evil, vanity, affliction, or wickedness. A much more suitable name, don't you think, for a people who had broken their covenant with God by worshipping other gods, making alliances with other nations, and even sinking to the "abomination"—a word reserved for the things God considers the most heinous of sins—of sacrificing their children. "You no longer deserve this name," Hosea was telling them.
So how are we doing at living up to the names, or in some cases descriptions, we use of ourselves? What does the sign say outside your meeting place? If you do not follow the teachings of Christ, if you are not behaving as a child of God, how can your assembly (church) possibly think it is "of Christ" or "of God?" And as to our individual name, if I am not acting like a disciple of Christ, how can I possibly claim the name Christian?
The privilege of using those names and descriptions carries with it a responsibility to live and worship a certain way. "God wouldn't mind…" is more about living like you want to live than like He wants you to live.
If you were being honest, what would you call yourself this morning?
But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.” (2Tim 2:19)