The verses above testify to the great love that the Bible writers had for the truth of God’s Word. Some of my most influential Spiritual mentors have said that we should speak when the Bible speaks and be silent when the Bible is silent. We should also use Bible words for Bible topics of discussion. For beyond these things we get into speculation and human ideology. There is sufficiency in the Scripture.
My Bible teachers from the past have also placed great importance on the name we give the church. Shouldn’t the church be named after the Head of the Church? If Jesus called it “My Church” in Matthew 16:18, shouldn’t we name the church after Him? Why would we give it another name? Paul warned about sectarian names in 1 Corinthians 1:10–12. Isn’t it enough to take only the name of Christ— Christians? Why would we add another designation? Paul would ask in the next verse (verse 13) if there exists any division in Christ? We might take that a step further and ask, “Are there any divisions in the body of Christ, His Church?” The answer today is, unfortunately, YES. Our duty now is to attempt to get the church back to the basics, back to its roots, just as Christ instituted it. We name it after Jesus Christ. We were baptized into Christ’s name, not Paul, Peter, John, James, Luther, Wesley, etc.
I find it interesting that when those who stand on foundational truths mention this topic of the proper name for the Church, many respond by hardening their hearts. They accuse the ones who are seeking to unify in proper church designations of being divisive. I don’t understand that. I will have to admit that I find it arrogant when people show a timeline of the church from the first century forward and then illustrate how all other churches branched away from the supposedly TRUE church. It seems that some have taken the name of Christ exclusively (named the church after Him) and used this as evidence that their church is the original and only acceptable church—a source of great pride, exclusivity, and superiority. Somehow, I don’t think this is what the apostle Paul had in mind. We can’t just put the name of Christ on our church signs and then feel entitled to say, “We are the original church of Jesus Christ; just look at the name on our sign.” Conversely, if we see the error of denominational divisiveness in superfluous nomenclatures, then why can’t we make a simple correction? Let’s name our churches after Deity; Christ is the Head of the Church. We are simply Christians and members of Christ’s church. (See again Matthew 16:18.)
Some also seem to find fault when preachers of the gospel use the words “obey the gospel” or “baptized into Christ.” I said earlier that we should use Bible terms and phrases for Bible ideas, and these quotes are taken directly from the New Testament. My first question is, why do so many take offense to Bible quotes that express Bible ideas? (For examples, see 2 Thessalonians 1:8; 1 Peter 4:17; Romans 10:16; Galatians 3:27.) Read Hebrews 5:9 and Acts 5:32. Let’s use the words of the Bible to express Bible ideas.