Summary: What’s in a name?
What’s in a name?
I grew up in New Jersey. As a young fellow I was taken to Ebenezer Baptist Church in Englewood NJ for spiritual worship and fellowship. When you are young and part of the family I was in, there was not an option when the family went to church. You went happily and without complaint.
This church was where I saw other children sing church hymn’s along with me in the basement Sunday school. It was where I used the fan that I found in the pews to move the pages of an unused bible for fun. It’s where I saw my cousins sing in the choir and I felt such pride in them. They belonged to me fully as my family elders. They sang and moved in unison with the church as I watched in amazement not understanding why I felt so good about it.
The Pastor, Reverend Flowers, knew my name and asked about my welfare and engaged easily with my family. Being young I was encouraged to do well both in and out of school. The Sunday school message was constant inasmuch as it emphasized the honor given to parents, elders and older siblings. I followed along happily because I loved being part of my family.
This study begins in an endearing fashion because my inquiry to the Holy Spirit is where did the simple things of God go? Did they depart with my maturity? Is believing as that child did still important?
If you are a parent and have children I would like you to consider a scenario to open this study. Your children arrive home to proclaim that they have decided to change their given name to one they have chosen. Your first response would be to laugh expecting concerted laughter. When it is not reciprocated then you will ask incredibly,” what are you talking about?” You see the change would affect who and what your children are and how they are perceived. From that point forward if the change is allowed, they will physically still be the same offspring, but recognized outside of your home as unrelated to you. There would have to be an explanation constantly to overcome the differences in names within the family structure.
This is the nature of this study. I believe mankind has taken the purity of Christianity and compartmentalized, boxed, labeled and diluted its essence. We as believers derive from one pure act of love. My Lord allowed Roman and Jewish authorities to apprehend Him. Mercilessly beat Him through the day and night. Finally culminating in an excruciating crucifixion that took His human form and dismantled the physical aspect of it. He did all this to allow the purity of grace to reign upon those who would believe on Him. He did this to erase the sin of all men that had presently believed upon Him, and for those future generations to benefit from a clean slate.
What transpired in the coming centuries after His death was mankind jockeying for the position Christ through God planned to hold forever. Due to free will, man was given the opportunity and freedom to pursue this end without hindrance. This is the true nature of love. That which you love you allow to live and breathe on its own hoping that a reciprocal love is the direction it will take. That mutual direction and will would parallel creating the joy that love brings.
In the centuries that followed the Lord’s sacrifice, man has searched aimlessly for the key that would open the door and allow man himself to sit upon the throne of truth and righteousness. This is the initial sin that began the fall of Lucifer and ultimately the fall of mankind. To raise himself higher than his created stature and stand side by side with the almighty. At the very least, there is a constant attempt to rise above and lay claim to the highest form of mankind available through religious leadership. This is the vanity and the ego that has plagued us for all time. Let us look at the ways man has done this over the years. Keep in mind, the study speaks of changing the purity through reinvention, name changing, and doctrine tinkering.
The word Protestant is derived from the Latin protestatio meaning declaration which refers to the letter of protestation by Lutheran princes against the decision of the Diet of Speyer in 1529, which reaffirmed the edict of the Diet of Worms against the Reformation. Since that time, the term Protestantism has been used in many different senses, often as a general term to refer to "Western Christianity that is not subject to papal authority."
Firstly, to separate from papal authority (which is a good thing) there was an establishment through protest and a change in doctrine that was accepted at the time. Yet again would it have not suited those in protest to simply state,” we are Christians only, and our doctrine is to be Christ like and to live as He lived, and love one another.” Let’s keep looking at the changing faith filled landscape. Offshoots of offshoots.