Come, Read the Bible with Me!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

What is in a name?

Before my family went on our trip, some brothers and sisters met to discuss our pro-life strategy in the community and church.

One of the things mentioned was a name for our organization. One sister mentioned that the term "pro-life" is old and well-ignored these days. She said that the Monroe County Right to Life organization is dead and that we should not attach ourselves to it. (If I am misrepresenting anything said that night, I apologize; my kids like to pretend that their Mom's memory is slipping as the years rush by.)

So I thought that while I am on my trip, and my time is not being purchased by my employer, I would be able to search the Scriptures and find something catchy and appropriate.

The posts on this blog would support the notion of not using a pro-life theme for a name. That would limit the group to pro-life rallies and abortion clinics and stuff. Not only that, but on these occasions and at these functions and events, such a name would limit its purpose to proclaiming the preservation of physical life.

While I will not back down from the proclamation of the sin of killing a human being based on God's Word, that is not the only truth that I think needs to be proclaimed or the only sin that needs to be rebuked. Therefore, I would not suggest any name that limits us to that issue. We do not proclaim the Pro-life Gospel.

The brother who is apparently spearheading this movement, for instance wants to take our message on campus. There we might not have the opportunity to be pro-fidelity, or pro-integrity if we were simply "Pro-life".

What is some of us wanted to demonstrate at the local strip club up the street, or the local "adult" book store down the street. Would we need to change our name?

What are we doing, anyways on Thursday mornings? Are we saving lives? Are we witnesses for Christ? Are we informing the public? If the latter, then of what?

If we are there to save or protect lives in danger, then our actions and tactics will reflect that. This is shaky ground. We could go the route of the "fanatic" placing our bodies in the way of danger, and spend some time in jail as a result. We could shout slogans and attempt to coerce with logic or worldly wisdom and statistics; or tug on heart strings with emotional messages or shocking rumors. We could think that pictures will turn their heads and hearts to make the right choice.

The very basis of the term pro-life is what? On what is a pro-lifer dependent for their cause? In fact, what is the pro-life cause?

If, however, our message, our purpose, our name is to proclaim the truth, we cannot depend on man's wisdom or our own words to convince or coerce. We would stand on the only firm foundation for any cause. We could go anywhere we are called under the same banner, and proclaim the message that we are called there to proclaim:

Psalm 37:5-8
5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:

6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.

8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.

I have to admit that I couldn't think of a name that didn't sound idealistic or adolescent. Proclaim has been taken. Procaimers for God sounds like some Awana club. Righteous Rebukers is ridiculouss.

I just keep thinking of Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 2:3-10
3 He said: "Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their fathers have been in revolt against me to this very day. 4 The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says.' 5 And whether they listen or fail to listen—for they are a rebellious house—they will know that a prophet has been among them. 6 And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious house. 7 You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious. 8 But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you."

9 Then I looked, and I saw a hand stretched out to me. In it was a scroll, 10 which he unrolled before me. On both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe.

Ezekiel 3
1 And he said to me, "Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the house of Israel." 2 So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat.

3 Then he said to me, "Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it." So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.

4 He then said to me: "Son of man, go now to the house of Israel and speak my words to them. 5 You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and difficult language, but to the house of Israel- 6 not to many peoples of obscure speech and difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely if I had sent you to them, they would have listened to you. 7 But the house of Israel is not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for the whole house of Israel is hardened and obstinate. 8 But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. 9 I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious house."

10 And he said to me, "Son of man, listen carefully and take to heart all the words I speak to you. 11 Go now to your countrymen in exile and speak to them. Say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says,' whether they listen or fail to listen."
12 Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a loud rumbling sound—May the glory of the LORD be praised in his dwelling place!- 13 the sound of the wings of the living creatures brushing against each other and the sound of the wheels beside them, a loud rumbling sound. 14 The Spirit then lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness and in the anger of my spirit, with the strong hand of the LORD upon me. 15 I came to the exiles who lived at Tel Abib near the Kebar River. And there, where they were living, I sat among them for seven days-overwhelmed.

Warning to Israel
16 At the end of seven days the word of the LORD came to me: 17 "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked man, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for [a] his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself.
20 "Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die. Since you did not warn him, he will die for his sin. The righteous things he did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. 21 But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself."

22 The hand of the LORD was upon me there, and he said to me, "Get up and go out to the plain, and there I will speak to you." 23 So I got up and went out to the plain. And the glory of the LORD was standing there, like the glory I had seen by the Kebar River, and I fell facedown.

24 Then the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet. He spoke to me and said: "Go, shut yourself inside your house. 25 And you, son of man, they will tie with ropes; you will be bound so that you cannot go out among the people. 26 I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be silent and unable to rebuke them, though they are a rebellious house. 27 But when I speak to you, I will open your mouth and you shall say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says.' Whoever will listen let him listen, and whoever will refuse let him refuse; for they are a rebellious house.


Anonymous said...


How about the name "Church of the Good Shepherd"?

With love,
Stephen Baker

Rachel Pierson said...

Pastor Baker,

Funny you should mention that. I steered clear of that name as well as the Shepherd of the Hills church (That little church on the street that also hold Northside Christian and North High School) because I thought it was probably full of hippies or free love people or something. ;c))

It wasn't until Glen became very dissatisfied with the independant Baptist church (I know about the Thursday night visitations) we were attending that upon the recommendation of Berean Baptist (the Reformed Baptist church in Grand Blanc MI that we attended before moving to Indiana) we checked out Good Shepherd.

I think David T. was looking for a name for a satylite group, you know, just for protesting and rampging and so on.

Based on Ezekiel 3, what do you think of "Flintstones"?


Rachel Pierson said...

BTW, JK about the flintstones.

I wouldn't mind incorporating the word Shepherd or some other of Jesus's names into it, although shepherding is something done with the sheep, not the wolves and goats.


Anonymous said...


My point was that we already have an organization that does (or should do) all that you mention in your post. God has odrained churches to do these things, not separate religious groups that attempt to proclaim God's truth without submitting to God's method (namely, the church, which Paul calls "the pillar and ground of the truth").

If churches were faithful in doing all that you mention in your post, then we wouldn't need separate, specialized groups that give pieces and parts of God's truth without being able to proclaim the whole counsel of God in the context of authority.

Stephen Baker

Rachel Pierson said...


I'm sorry, I can't think of anything to say about that right now.


Rachel Pierson said...

Pastor Baker,

It might be that you need to be very very upfront and clear with me. No nuances of meaning, assuming that I know something that I don't.

To use your words, I want to know what this looks like, what it sounds like, what it feels like.

I will also be very clear. I was sitting in a room with the only people from this church that I have ever seen on College Ave. on a Thursday morning more than once in the last year and a half, and one person I know to volunteer at the Crisis Pregnancy Center, and a cat.

Is this the organization to which you are referring?


Rachel Pierson said...

Pastor Baker,

I am sorry, I was too harsh and accusatory in my last comment.

I am sincerely interested in your response to my question about what you mean by the church doing these things.

If you have read some of my previous posts, you would know that I was practically begging for guidance and purpose and direction.

Please continue.


Rachel Pierson said...

Phili38 Note:

Someone anonymously left a comment here with a link... I didn't know who it was and did not want to expose anyone to any link which might compromise their computer or anything, so I deleted it. If you leave a comment, please let me know who you are. I love to have conversations like this.