The Southern Baptist Convention decided this week to sort of, kind of, not really change its name this week. The legal name will remain the same, but a modifier has been added. In addition to, or in substitution of, SBC churches may call themselves, Great Commission Baptists.
I know that my regular followers have been wondering where the Deuceology blog post about this has been. They know that I have been a lifelong Southern Baptist and are wondering what I think about it. So, here goes.
I don’t care.
I hope that wasn’t too anti-climatic. I simply don’t care what the name of the denomination of my local church.
I understand all the sides of the issue.
Are you really a Southern Baptist if your church is in Massachusetts or Kenya?
The name is offensive to some due to the origination being tied to the South and slavery.
Some are proud, like the leadership of the Tennessee Baptist Convention, of the Southern Baptist name. They do not see the need of any sort of change.
Again, I don’t really care. I’m not terribly proud or ashamed of my Southern Baptist heritage. I’ve never felt the need to apologize to anyone for what my ancestors did. All of that is history. I don’t ignore it , but neither do I fly a banner or allow it to trip me up.
My concern is whether people know Christ.
If I call myself a Great Commission Baptist in New England, and people know Christ, then that’s what I want.
If I call myself a Southern Baptist in the Bible Belt , and people know Christ, then it’s a win.
I won’t boast in either one.
All I want to do is boast in Christ.
Are you a Southern Baptist? Do you care about the name? Are you okay with this non-change change? Did you even know about it?
What is the name of your church?
Churches have a variety of names, don’t they? I found myself chuckling in the middle of a terrible story recently because of the name of a church. Here’s what it was.
( Fill In the Blank) Original Church of God.
Wow! The original church of God???
I have to admit that this was a new one on me. I had never heard of a church that labeled itself as an Original.
All of us have heard of or may attend this or that First Baptist, Methodist or Presbyterian.
You don’t hear about too many Seconds, though Second Baptist in Houston does stand out. Never mind Third Baptists. Folks can deal with being second. Few can deal with being Third. There is a 5th 3rd Bank around, but if a church had a similar name wouldn’t it be just as easy to call itself 15th?
There is a Ninth and O Baptist in Louisville, Kentucky. Can you imagine being the Ninth Baptist in a town? You might cry O! (Not really. I’ve been there and it was named after its original location at the intersection of Ninth and O.)
Now days, churches are getting creative in the names of their churches.
When I see some of the names of those churches, though, I’m not sure what they are. Sometimes it takes me a little bit of time to figure out that they are a church.
The church that I am attending and getting plugged into is Calvary Baptist. That’s nice, traditional and churchy, isn’t it? Don’t let that fool you, though. What worship! What love among the people.!
I think that, no matter what, to paraphrase Shakespeare, a church by any other name will smell the same. It isn’t the name that matters. It’s what’s going on and Who it’s all about that really matters.
I will say that there is probably one name that none of us ever want to see on any church, much less our own.
Do you know of any unusually named churches? What is the most unusually named church you have heard of? Does the name matter to you at all?