What’s in a name? Names can have different meanings to different people.
There has been recent “discussion” – or should I say it’s pretty much a done deal regardless of what “discussion” takes place – in axing the “Baptist” part of my church, Grey Stone’s, name. I do not agree with this at all. I understand the name “Baptist” has been dragged through the mud – Westboro Baptist Church need I say more? I get that people have turned against the Baptist church for its few rotten apples. But the fact of the matter is there will always be people with these negative opinions regardless of whether you get rid of “Baptist” or change your church’s name to “Big Dave’s Praisin’ Center.” Grey Stone Baptist Church is all I’ve ever known. I’ve been going to that church since I was in diapers. Even though Grey Stone has changed drastically – and I mean drastically – over the years the name is a part of our community and our identity as is with any other church’s name.
I’ve heard time and again that the church is not going non-denominational although the name change suggests that. Grey Stone will apparently keep everything the same – association with the Southern Baptist Convention, etc. – just with the different name of course. But I take issue with other churches and, yes, even my own church, for doing this because it seems like they’re shying away from their true identities. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a 20-something, college student and I applaud modernization wholeheartedly. But some things need to be left alone. This is one of those things.
Let me ask you this: should we change the name of Christianity?
Popular Christian blogger and motivational speaker, Jon Acuff, wrote an article that speaks volumes to just a fraction of the opinions people have about the Christian faith. The article described a time when he was on a plane and got to talking to this woman. He mentioned faith to her and she was taken aback to find out he was a Christian because he wasn’t “judgmental enough” to be so. That’s what I’m saying. There are many people who take issue with the Christian religion itself, let alone the Baptist denomination. Will we ever change the name of Christianity because of similar negative opinions about the religion as a whole just to add a few people to our church rosters? Not a chance.
My fellow church members can call it what they want but, as far as I’m concerned, I go to Grey Stone Baptist Church.