Remove Jesus to Share Jesus?

We removed J***s from His picture so we could share the Gospel with you

A couple of months ago, I attended a church that my wife grew up in.  The reason we were their was because my mother and father in law still attend that church and they were having a vote to change the name.  The church had “Baptist” in the name and many felt that the name was keeping people from hearing the Gospel in their church. “I want my friends to feel comfortable here so that they can come and hear the Gospel…”  This was a common theme with many of those who got up and spoke at this meeting that occurred after the main service.

The concern was that thanks to the apostates over at Westboro Baptist, all Baptist churches were condemned by name association.  That any church with Baptist in the name would be avoided like some plague dropped on Egypt. I think this church misses the point completely on the issue of Gospel proclamation – namely that it should be done by church members in the public, not bringing the public into the church to hear it proclaimed.  It is certainly not church name related.  I think that “proclamation thing” may be in the Bible somewhere…
I wrote about this church in an earlier post regarding the $2 million building program, so that they could have “curb appeal,” in order that they may draw people into their church to hear the Gospel.  Sad truth here is that whether a name change or $2 million building program, it is a waste of effort and money.  If you want to update/upgrade your building for your congregation, fine.  Don’t do it so that you can draw people in.  That is not the purpose of a church building.  And certainly don’t go borrow $2 million to do it.  Could you imagine a church that actually spent $2 million on legitimate Gospel proclamation and evangelism training? What a crazy notion…
Not all of the members were on board (and still are not, according to my sources).  About 30% said no to the name change.  And to their credit, there were people who stood up in the name change meeting and stated very clearly that Jesus said to “go into the world…” not bring the world into the church.  One member even pointed out that the meetings leading up to the name change were held over several weeks and accumulated many hours of time investment by church members.  He then said, “In the last year there has been one meeting about evangelism and that lasted four hours, with the lunch break…where are our priorities?” Where are our priorities, indeed…
This church now has a new name and logo.  I won’t mention their name, but it now no longer sounds like a church.  It instead sounds like a rehabilitation center.  The name does nothing to point to Jesus (the purpose of the Church) and while the logo looks nifty now, what is the point?  Appeal to man?  Or appeal to Christ?  In the course of my 20 year EMS career, I have picked up and dropped off intoxicated people at centers with the same name…
Today, I just found out that Campus Crusade for Christ is going through a name change as well…They will be removing “Crusade” and “Christ” from their name and going simply with “Cru.” (link here)
According to Vonette Bright (co founder of Campus Crusade for Christ), “We want to remove any obstacle to people hearing about the most important person who ever lived – Jesus Christ.” Especially that pesky obstacle of His name…
What is this Christianity coming to?  All of these places while probably thinking they are doing great things are actually denying the Lord.  They have a form of religion, but the deny the very One who it is all about.
Where is Scripture does it tell us to avoid the name of Jesus as Christians?  Where does it say that we are to look like the world in order to bring the world in?  News Flash…it doesn’t!
Jesus warned us that the world would hate us.  We are told not to conform to the world, but to be apart from it (James 1:27, Php 2:15) – separate as a candle’s flame is from darkness (Matt 5:14).  The reason a light on a hill is seen so well at night is because while it is surrounded by darkness, it cuts through for all to see – it stands out against the background.  Come on church!  Stand out, for crying out loud!  Stop trying to look like the darkened hill…be the light on top of it. In the darkness, but not of the darkness.
Do you realize that if every Christian (so called…) actually did as Jesus did, we would have a revolution?  People everywhere in this nation would quickly choose sides and the real Christians would be physically crushed, but spiritually…well, that would see Jesus’ proclaimed to the nations, including this dead one we are living in. And since He is our life, we benefit no matter how hard or bad we are beaten, crushed or killed.
Do you really believe that death has lost its sting (1 Cor 15:55)?  Do you really believe Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (Jn 14:6)?  Do you stand on Scripture as the inerrant Word of God (1 Thess 2:13)?  Do you believe that each person who is rejecting the truth to embrace the lie (2 Thess 2:11) is dead in their sins and facing eternity in the presence of God’s holy righteousness, which means eternal fires of torment for the non-believer (Jn 3:18)?  If you do, then stop trying to blend in with the world so they will like you and start preaching the Gospel!  They will hate you for it, true (Lk 6:22, Jn 15:18, 1 Jn 3:13) .  But this is what Jesus told us to do (Matt 28:18, Mark 16:15, Acts 1:8) and it is the Gospel that is the power of God to the salvation of all who will believe (Rom 1:16).
Change the name by removing Jesus?  Make our church look more worldly?  Where do they get this nonsense?  Certainly not from the Bible..

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