Does it matter what name the church wears? Some people seek to justify all the different denominational names by saying, "There is nothing in a name. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet!"
Some names may not matter much, but is this always true? Suppose Mrs. John Doe began telling everyone she was Mrs. Tom Smith. What do you suppose Mr. Doe and Mr. Smith would think about that?
Or suppose I bought a new Cadillac but signed your name to the contract and the check? Would you still believe, "There is nothing in a name"?
Or again, suppose I printed an article in the newspaper calling you a "liar, thief, drunkard, and murderer." When you confronted me claiming none of those things were true, would you be content to just drop the matter if I explained, "Oh, there's nothing in any of those names; besides, a rose by any other name still smells as sweet"?
But what does God think about names? Do they matter to Him? If not, why did He give special names to many of His people? And what about the names of God Himself? If names do not matter, why are we forbidden to take God's name in vain? Could we use the names of Satan to refer to God? Surely we can see that names do matter.
What about the names of God's people, the church? In Isaiah 62:2, God said He would call His people by a new name. 1 Corinthians 1:12 forbids our wearing religiously the names of men. God wants us to wear names that He reveals in the Bible and that honor God, not men.
Can you find in the Bible the name of the church where you attend?
(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 1/2007
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