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Saturday, November 14, 2009

What's In A Name (aka: My Soapbox for the week)

When I was pregnant and before we knew that Joshua was going to be... Joshua, we thought long and hard what we would name our child. We both KNEW that it had to be a good and strong Christian name.

Sometimes people choose to name a child in honor of a family member. Some people choose to name a child after a celebrity. Some people try to choose a name that is unique and NOBODY has ever used before. And some people, like us, look for a name who's meaning is something of a good characteristic.

We chose Joshua (Jehovah is salvation) Aaron (light bearer) with the thought in mind that he would grow up learning that Jehovah IS salvation and that he (Joshua) would live for sharing the good news that Jesus is our salvation.

But there is another name that we have chosen not just for Joshua, but for ourselves. It is the name of Christian. We, as many others have labeled ourselves as "Christian".

When you look up the definition of Christian, you will find:

a : one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ
b: Disciple (which is defined as: one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another)

So by taking on the name of Christian, we are professing belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ but additionally we are to assist in spreading these doctrines/teachings.

I know this is rather basic, but we've all been taught "Teach by example"- I may not be a good teacher and I am definitely not called to preach (haha) but, if I live my life in a way that is harmonious with the teachings of Jesus Christ, then I am "assisting in spreading His doctrines" (Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Mat 5:16)

So what are the teachings of Jesus Christ? While there is a lot contained in the scriptures of how we should live, this scripture has always seemed to me, plain as day, what we are to do as "Christians":
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. Eccl 12:13

FEAR GOD and keep His commandments- I saw in an email today: Going to church makes you no more a Christian than standing in the garage makes you a car. You can't call yourself a Christian just because you occupy a seat in the church house on Sundays. You have to DO something. Now don't misunderstand me. I am not talking about our eternal salvation here, I am talking about taking on the name Christian here in this life.

In times past a man's good name was worth it's weight in gold. To have your name tarnished was the worst thing that could possibly happen. When we are living ungodly lives Monday-Saturday for all the world to see, we are TARNISHING the good name of Christians. We are tarnishing the good names of our families and we are tarnishing the good names of our churches- It makes me think of identity theft. Lets say someone steals your identity, goes out and does a bunch of illegal stuff using your name, destroys your credit- you have nothing to do with it, yet your good name has been destroyed. Well it's the same thing- whether you are the one living ungodly or there is someone you know that is living ungodly yet claiming to be Christian- they are destroying your credibility to others.... do you know how hard it is to witness to someone about your church when your credibility is destroyed?

It infuriates me to see people on FB/Myspace who claim a certain religious affiliation (whether it be PB, or just "Christianity") yet their profile/home page couldn't be more contrary. Why would you profess to the world wide web that you are "Christian" and then turn around and upload photos of you drinking/partying? Or use profanity that is so filthy that your mother would have to wash her mouth out with soap just for reading it. Or claim to be of a religious affiliation and not even bother to come to church at all. NO FEAR OF GOD

Now that it is 4:15am I should probably wrap this up by saying: I can't control those around me, but I can control myself. I will work extra hard to not be a reproach to my God, my church, and my family and I pray that others around me will take their profession of faith seriously and that as a nation we will return to the Lord- Fear God and Keep His Commandments


Rachel said...

I loved reading this post, it was just what I have had on my mind asof late.

Lil. Bit said...

Amen girl! Thanks for sharing and you are so right! Me and Westlee were just talking about that the other day!

Dani said...

Amen, and a timely reminder for all of us and a very practical example.

Amanda said...

I totally agree with everything you said and I have had those same exact thoughts and feeling lately. And it infuriates me as well to see all that mess on people's fb accounts. Ridiculous and shameful. But that's people's problems these days: NO SHAME AT ALL.

BTW, I enjoyed your soap box and would enjoy reading them more often :)

Amy Ellen said...

A very true post. ANd your little guy is getting so big. The picture is very cute. Wish I could stop by more often, but with now being a single mom trying to raise and support these 6 kiddos of mine, I do get a hair busy.