What is in a Name?

Discussion in '2006 Archive' started by Haddon, Mar 5, 2006.

  1. Haddon

    Haddon
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    I really need to get some advice. Our church is going through an identity crisis. 3-4 years ago a man candidated for Pastor. During his interview he said he was Baptist and if the church called him they would be getting a Baptist preacher. He would lead and teach Baptist Distinctives, and take on only Baptist missionaries. Mind you I was not part of this local church at this time. The church from its beginning was named "Bible Church". During the past 3-4 years we have been known as a Doctrines of Grace Church in our community. The congregation has listened to our Pastor and for the most part agreed with him. It is only now that our Pastor wants to change the name of our church to Baptist that we are having trouble. I'm afraid that we will end up splitting the church if we (Pastor and Deacons) peruse this Identity. However I believe that scripture holds us accountable to be obedient to the man God has appointed to Teach us. If what he is teaching is not against Scripture, if he does not have his own agenda, and if he feels that the Lord is leading him. For three years we have been taught that we are an Independent Fundamental Bible believing Baptist Church, I think our name should reflect this. A lot of good men have died to preserve this name, holding as close to scripture as possible, holding the Bible as the ultimate authority. I could really use your opinions
     
  2. Watchman

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    Hello Haddon, welcome to the Baptist Board. Myself, I think your Church should make this change, but that is just my opinion.
    Also, I am not a moderator and cannot speak for them, but there could be a problem with you posting in the "Baptist Only" sections when you do not go to a Church with a Baptist name. May the Lord direct your Church members in this matter.
     
  3. Ransom

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    This sounds like change merely for the sake of change. What's the point?
     
  4. standingfirminChrist

    standingfirminChrist
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    Shakespeare once wrote, 'What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name, would smell just as sweet'

    That which we call a hamburger, by any other name would cost twice as much.
     
  5. go2church

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    If you are Baptist in doctrine, why not be Baptist in name?
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    If you are already baptistic and reformed, why change the title? Just put "a reformed baptist church" under the historic church name.

    Our newest mission church is:

    "Sovereign Grace Church"
    A Reformed Baptist Church
     
  7. Haddon

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    Thank you all for your kind words. I guess I should have stated " I am a Baptist" by the Grace of God. And we have suggested the possibility of adding a byline with the mention of Baptist but the issue seems to be more of Pride and control rather then sound Scriptural discernment. I have suggest that the church buy a bus and print Baptist on it and park it in the parking lot. Ransom I wanted to address your comment as this particular comment has come up in our church. What about the individual that comes to our church for the first time and thinks we are a nondenominational church? What about the individual who is looking for a Baptist church but finds back biting and strife? If is looks like a duck and sounds like a duck I always say ...it must be a duck
     
  8. standingfirminChrist

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    What's in a name? depends on the name.\

    Ed has two letters in it
    Ron - 3
    George - 6

    I guess the answer is letters
     
  9. Ransom

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    Haddon said:

    Ransom I wanted to address your comment as this particular comment has come up in our church. What about the individual that comes to our church for the first time and thinks we are a nondenominational church?

    What about the individual who comes to your church, sees "Podunk Baptist Church" on the sign for the first time, and thinks you are a Southern Baptist church when you're really IFB? Slapping the name "Baptist" into the official name of the church isn't going to solve anything except perhaps keeping those pesky Brethren out.

    You could always put your church affiliation on the sign in small print, or in your bulletin, or something: "An Independent, Baptist Church." That's a perfectly reasonable thing to inform random strangers of. Plus, it probably avoids all the church politics and legal red tape that a formal name change would entail (not to mention the headache of having to change all your stationery, and so forth).

    What about the individual who is looking for a Baptist church but finds back biting and strife?

    ROFL! You make it sound like they're mutually exclusive.

    If there's backbiting and strife, the problem is with the people in the church, not the sign on the church.

    [ March 11, 2006, 11:40 PM: Message edited by: Ransom ]
     
  10. MRCoon

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    As a Marine a lot is in a name. Many former Marines (we don't use the term "ex") have sacrificed much and for me to proudly earn and claim this title is honoring to their service and brings honor to my service. So why is it ok to have "Brand Names" in the commerical (read secular) world but try to be wishy-washy about it in our Churches? I am Baptist by conviction because I believe the Baptist faith is the closest to resembling the New Testament Church. So I think a Church name should reflect the Church's beliefs and teachings and be a name worn with honor and changed as soon as possible!! :D
     
  11. MikeinGhana

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    Having the name Baptist over the door does not mean that much these days. But, changing the name or taking the name off does make a statement about something. Either the doctrinal position of the church has changed or the membership has. If the church caled this man to be their pastor with the understanding that he was Baptist and had the intention of making the church a Baptist church, the name should reflect this. The name does/should identify the doctrinal position of the church.
     
  12. J.D.

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    Well words do matter and so do names, but everything in it's own place.

    To say that a name is just a name borders on "nominalism", that is an ancient philosophy that says that words are just sounds - they mean whatever you and I agree to make them mean. Hence Bill Clinton's "sex" wasn't "sex" unless both he and I agreed that it was indeed "sex".

    But just as ideas have consequences, words have real meanings, and it is a good thing to seek the best expression of ideas through the proper words.

    There are many baptist churches without the word Baptist in the name, and I've never been comfortable with that. I say if the church body, by a signified majority, desires to have that identity, then by all means it should be inlcuded in the name.
     
  13. MRCoon

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    uh...yeah DITTO!! :D

    I just usually use more words to say that but I'll save you from having to read so much more of my opinions ;)
     
  14. James_Newman

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    Having gone from 'bible' church to 'baptist' church, I understand what Haddon is talking about. There is an association of bible church with non-denominational anything goes. It is not hard to tell when people walk in the door and see a bunch of baptists that they feel they have been betrayed ;) I think that laying all the cards on the table to begin with is probably best. How would you feel if you went to 'Local Christian Assembly' and found out they were really JW's?
     
  15. J.D.

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    James, good point. This is not a cut-and-dry issue. I guess I'm just trying to say that the name is important and shouldn't be chosen in a flippant manner.
     

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