ChurchETHOS

A Church By Any Other Name…

Posted in church planting by Nathan Creitz on October 8, 2005

Recently, I read that someone felt “church” should not be used in the name of a church because that word is rejected by our culture as much as the title “Christianity” is. This may set up a rather cliched response, but just because someone gets pricked by a thorn doesn’t mean you must stop calling it a rose. The cliche? A rose by any other name is still a rose. No matter what someone else’s perception is of me, I am still a Christian and I’m still part of the Church. The name “Jesus” has negative connotations for a lot of people, too.

I am all for being relevant to a postmodern culture, but I don’t think we do that by stripping ourselves of everything that looks Christian because people think badly of Christians and we want them to think better of us. Relevance in our current culture is not going to come by creating new terms and titles but by living a pleasing life before God. In the early church, the followers of Christ were identified by the love they had for one another. Where is that in our churches these days? Following Christ, denying ourselves and taking up our crosses is our charge and if God grants us favor before others then let His will be done. He was able to grant Joseph favor before Pharaoh. He granted Daniel and friends favor in a culture that was extremely different than their own. He will grant favor to those who stop acting like they are “of the world” and start living like true followers of Christ. Sometimes, He will even grant us rejection and persecution. As difficult as that sounds, I think we need a little bit more of that in our churches (See 2 Timothy 3:12)

Many “emerging” or “postmodern” church leaders believe that we have to change who we are so that we can fit in, so that we can be a part of the popular crowd, so that we will be respected. We have to stop trying to fit in to culture, and start being salt to the current culture. That doesn’t mean we become a subculture, but that we are shapers of culture. The church used to be the inspiration for art, music, architecture, and many other areas of society. We have become irrelevant in all of those fields because our desperate search for relevance. We have to start living for Christ which may cause us to be rejected, despised, and even persecuted, but we will finally be relevant in the truest sense.

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One Response

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  1. Anonymous said, on November 14, 2005 at 8.17 pm

    interesting thoughts, thanks

    http://www.gbgm-umc.org/shaws_ridge/


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