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Jesus Lover, Christian - What's in a name?

We met an American at a wedding feast last week. I think his name was Jim. The music was so loud we were shouting back and forth across the table and even then we sometimes had to shout the same thing 3 or 4 times before being understood, or not.

Jim said he likes to call himself a Jesus Lover and not call himself by the name of a particular group. After all if the important thing is accepting Jesus as Lord, why would you call yourself by the name of a particular group?

Here are things I wish I could have thrown into the conversation to ask him about:

*** Do you think accepting Jesus as Lord includes obeying his commandment to be immersed into him?

For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (Galatians 3:27)

Would you say that you are not in Christ until you are immersed into him?

*** You prefer the term "Jesus Lover" to an unnecessarily divisive name like Baptist, or Methodist. That is a very Biblical concept:

Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe's people, that there are quarrels among you. Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, "I am of Paul," and "I of Apollos," and "I of Cephas," and "I of Christ." Has Christ been divided? (1 Corinthians 1:10-13b)

However, would you consider using the term "Christian" since that, at least, is in the Bible?

but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. (1 Peter 4:16)

According to this verse it would seem God specifically wants us to use the term "Christian" to glorify him.

If the term "Christian" is in the Bible, but the term "Baptist" is not, then wouldn't making up the term "Jesus Lover" which is also not in the Bible be more akin to using the term "Baptist" than using the term "Christian"?

Shouldn't we do Bible things in Bible ways and call Bible things by Bible names?

It would have been good to hear what he had to say. It would have been fun to talk about all kinds of things to do with the Bible. Meanwhile I really appreciate him for bringing up something as interesting as the Bible to talk about and not the weather.

Jim, in case you ever see this post, here's a guy who also doesn't think we should be doing anything but what is in the Bible.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellent answer.

Anonymous said...

Good article. Here are a couple of verses for your consideration:1) Acts 11:26 "...and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch." not Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, or ______ (fill in the blank); 2)John the Baptist (more properly "the baptizer" or "the immerser," says of Christ, "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30). If John is the only one referred to as a "Baptist", and he is, and if he says that he (as a Baptist) must decrease, we have a mathematical equation: 1 Baptist - 1 = zero "Baptists". Also we read of no hyphenated Christians in the Bible because there were no denominations. The closest thing to this is in I Corinthians 1:10-17, where Paul condemns division of the body of Christ into followers of Paul, Apollo, or Cephas (Peter)(verse 12).

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