What’s in a Name?
A friend recently told me about a pastor of a large local church challenging his people to avoid using names such as “Christian” or “church” because of the potentially negative connotation that they bring. This is a growing trend among churches today, yet there are no biblical grounds for the avoidance of using these names.
The Case for Calling
In Ephesians 4:1, Paul writes: “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.” Paul’s charge is one of invitation to live in the manner indicative of your name.
The Greek kaleo which we often translate “to call,” is noted three times in the above passage: parakaleo (“urge”) is a “calling alongside of,” kleseos(“calling”) implies an invitation, while eklesia carries the meanings of “naming” and “designation.” (Theological Dictionary of the New Testament) This is just one of numerous cases in Scripture that instruct believers to conduct themselves as their title indicates.