Weekly Bulletin Articles
How important it is that we emphasize the fact that the church of the Bible is not simply an organization wearing a certain name and tracing its “historical roots” to some doctrine and practice of the “Restoration Movement”! The church is a group of persons who have intellectually, spiritually and practically accepted the authority of Christ in ALL things that pertain to life and godliness. This includes how to be saved from sins, worship acceptably, and live for Him daily. In no case was a man made a Christian by submitting to a man-made set of rules, even if those rules were: “In order to come into our church, you must be immersed in water.” Although it would be easier for a person to deceive himself and/or be deceived, it would not change that basic truth even if those man-made set of rules were: “In order to come into our church, one of our preachers must immerse you in water as he says, “I now, by the authority of Christ, baptize you into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
for the remission of your sins.’”
Unless a person has “obeyed from the heart the form of doctrine” which Peter and Paul preached (Acts 2:38, Romans 6:17-18), and knowingly and willingly submitted to the authority of CHRIST, he was NOT made free from sin and added to the Lord’s church. And this is true no matter whether he thinks he joined the “Church of Christ Church” because he was baptized by a “Church of Christ preacher” or whether he thus joined the Christian Church or some other denomination with their “Historical roots” in the Restoration Movement! It is simply Bible truth that when a penitent believer (no babies!) is baptized in the name of Christ (Acts 2:38), he is saved (becomes a member of the church for which Jesus died, Acts 20:28; cf. Mk. 16:16; Acts 22:16).
The desire for fellowship and unity is commendable, but any unity on the basis of allegiance to ANY human being-even Peter and Paul-is unscriptural. The “unity of the Spirit” is not the unity of two human spirits who are tired of fussing, but a unity produced by both parties following the direction of the Spirit.
The bottom line is: Whatever a man’s “historical roots” may be, if he is not what he is because he submitted and still submits to the authority of Christ, his religious roots are worth nothing. He will be cut off as a branch even if he had the right roots and does not continue to follow the authority of Christ!
(The Spiritual Sword VOL. 16 NUMBER 4)
I confess that I have been slightly disturbed over the years when I have heard those whom I considered great and good gospel preachers refer to “our historical roots” with the seeming implication that “we would not know what “we” really are or believe if we did not study and know about “our historical roots.”
In no way do I mean to disparage the giants of the “Restoration Movement.” I confess that I have read most everything I can find written or published by Alexander Campbell and others of that era. I am ready to confess also that I have read everything I can find by Guy Woods, Gus Nichols, Roy Deaver, Tom Warren and Garland Elkins. I owe a great deal to all of those, and many more. But the truth of the matter is that I was a Christian before I ever heart of ANY of them, and expect to remain such if they all turn out to be apostates.
I started reading the New Testament at the age of 7 and became a Christian after reading it carefully for about 4 years. I do not remember reading anything about Alexander Campbell for MANY years after that. This is simply to emphasize the fact that we in no
sense need to deny or disparage the greatness and worth of men who have gone before or are contemporaneous with us, nor to pretend that all our insights were gleaned ONLY from the study of the Bible. At the same time, we need to realize and emphasize that if Alexander Campbell, Guy Woods and Tom Warren had never lived, although the world would be a much poorer place, I would have been a Christian anyway by following the word of God.
The seed of the kingdom was and is the Word of God (Luke 8:11). If we are not rooted and grounded in love (Eph. 3:17) of that Word, it just does not matter what we or anyone else calls “our historical roots” or how similar those roots may be to some other persons “roots”.
A great and good man, now deceased wrote some tracts on “What the Church of Christ Believes.” In my judgment, all such does disservice to the Cause of Christ. Many times I have heard or used such expressions as: “The Churches of Christ have historically taught—.” The proper answer might be, “So what?” When we imply that the “Church of Christ Church” and the “Christian Church” are TWO churches with some common “historical roots,” and thus the doctrines and practices are equally relevant and valid because they have some common roots in “the Restoration Movement,” great damage is done.
The truth is that the very concept of a Christian Church and a “Christian Church preacher” teaching a “Christian Church doctrine” is unscriptural, sectarian and sinful. But it is no less true that the concept of a “Church of Christ Church” with a “ Church of Christ preacher” teaching “Church of Christ doctrines” is equally so. (To be continued next week)
What is carnality? Our English word carnal comes from a Greek work that means having the nature of the flesh. Another definition is, “controlled by the senses or governed by human nature.” Perhaps the easiest definition is this, “worldly thinking and living as opposed to spiritual thinking and living.” In Romans 8:6, Paul wrote, “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” From James 4:1-10, let us examine carnality and its cure.
In James 4:1-4, James points out the products of carnality. Fights and wars have their roots in the carnal mind. Lusts, murders, and covetousness also have their beginnings in carnality. Adultery comes from a desire to please the flesh. All these things lead to enmity with God. Enmity with God will lead to mourning and gloom (James 4:9). Considering the aforementioned products of carnality, do we really want to be carnal?
While the spirit is willing to overcome carnality, the flesh is weak at times. How then can we cure carnality? In James 4:6-10, we see five ingredients needed to remove carnal thinking from our lives. The key ingredient is humility. “God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:10). Christ defeated carnal thinking with a humble heart (Philippians 2:6-8). Jesus taught that the greatest in the kingdom would be servants (Matthew 23:11).
The second ingredient is submission to God. Words that describe submission include meekness, obedience, humility, and selflessness. When we submit to God, we die to self (Galatians 2:20). We must submit to God’s will and not our own (John 6:38). Submission to God gives us the freedom to please him.
Nest, we must resist the devil. Peter warns us about our adversary in 1 Peter 5:8-9. John describes Satan as the “father of all lies” (John 8:44). It is interesting to note that resisting Satan will cause him to flee from us.
Fourth, we need to draw near to God. This implies action on our part. We draw near to God through prayer, through studying God’s word, through worshipping God in spirit and truth, through the fellowship of the saints, and by living the Christian life. If we draw near to God, He draws near to us.
Fifth, we must repent. Repentance is defined as a change of heart that leads to a change in life. In Luke 13:3-5, Jesus said unless we repent, we would all perish. In Paul’s great sermon on Mars Hill, we learn that God requires all people to repent (Acts 17:31). Carnality cannot be overcome without godly repentance.
In Titus 2:12, we are admonished to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and to live soberly, righteously, and godly. John commands us to love not the world and the things of the world (1 John 2:15-17). In Galatians 5:16-26, we are taught to walk according to the Spirit not the flesh.
What drives us—the desire to please self through the flesh or the desire to please God through the Spirit?
“How we travel to someplace determines how we feel about that place.”
The above quote comes from writer Eric Weiner on Travel with Rick Steves. During his interview, Mr. Weiner also commented upon the connection between traveling and travailing. “To travel is to travail,” he said. He was speaking in the context of taking a long train ride and feeling differently about his destination as a result of his journey. But my thoughts went to much more consequential things.
As followers of the Way and sojourners upon earth, we are all travelers. It is certain that how we travel determines our destination. If we walk “in newness of life” (Romans 6:4), “in the light” (1 John 1:7), “in the truth” (2 John 1:4), and “in love” (Ephesians 5:2), by God’s grace we will dwell with him for eternity. Peace, joy, rest, and utter amazement will be ours forever.
If we walk in our own ways (Acts 14:16), according to the flesh (Romans 8:4), in idleness (2 Thessalonians 3:11), or in darkness (1 John 1:6), then we reject the sacrifice of Christ and earn for ourselves the judgment of God (Romans 6:23). Pain, horror, loss, and constant dread will be ours forever.
The two destinations could not be more diametrically opposed. One holds the promise of the personal presence of the Provider of all that is good (1 Thessalonians 4:17; Revelation 7:15-17; James 1:17). The other is the absolute absence of anything good (2 Thessalonians 1:9; Matthew 22:13; 25:41)
Yet within those absolute places, it appears that there is room for degree.
“I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town. Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more bearable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. ” (Luke 10:12-14).”
The powerful demonstrations and explanations elevated expectations. Later in Luke, Jesus expands upon the relationship between knowledge and responsibility.
“And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more” (Luke 12:47, 48).
While ignorance is not an excuse, it does seem clear that those who know Jesus and reject him will incur a worse judgment (Hebrews 10:26-31), and those who abandon the Lord will find themselves in a worse state (2 Peter 2:20-22).
In a state of absolutes (joy or sorrow, peace or pain, delight or depression), how can we experience degrees? Perhaps it is how we have traveled.
Those who sacrificed all, who gave up family, friends, and freedom will appreciate the gifts of heaven all the more. Those who have plumbed the depths of suffering while walking with their Savior will find his personal comfort that much more soothing. Those who have grown from infants (1 Peter 2:2), to fully mature (Hebrews 5:14), who have drunk deeply at the well of living water (John 4:10, 14), will be more prepared to fathom the flavors of the tree of life.
The opposite must also be true. Those who have turned from walking with the Lord will spend eternity in agony knowing exactly what they lost. O what soul-crushing agony to have looked upon the Saviors face, to have stepped in his glorious light, only to turn to self and destruction!
The details belong to God, but this seems clear, how we travel will impact not only our destination, but also how we experience it.
Travel well, my friends. The travail is worth the triumph.
Serious talk. Guys, I’m a little bit scared. When my elders announced we would be resuming class at the church building on Wednesdays, of course I was excited. BUT—and here’s what I debated sharing publicly because I’m embarrassed—there was a part of me that was disappointed about “having” to be at the building Wednesday again. Disappointed.
Why? Because it’s been over 3 months since the church met together for Bible study. I’ve grown accustomed to coming home from work, eating dinner with the family, and then relaxing in the living room watching some sort of canned Bible study on my TV (with my family). I’ve officially gotten out of the habit of the family getting ready for Bible class and driving to the church building on Wednesdays.
So there was a part of my heart that was actually disappointed—bummed—over the “burden” of going back to Bible study.
And that scares me.
Of course I’m taking my family back. That’s not a question. I’m excited! (And I’m the preacher, so I kind of need to be there!) There’s no danger of me or my wife “falling away.”
I’ve just gotten out of the habit. And psychologically, my mind has grown accustomed to it. I don’t like this about my heart. And in my prayers, I ask God to rid my heart of sinful desires like this (like the desire to stay home when I can assemble, which is a heart problem).
Here’s another scary thought to me: What if I was 18? That time was an impressionable time for me. I look back, and I sometimes think I could have gone one way or another with my faith. I would have been vulnerable to this if this happened to me then. I NEEDED the assembly—every assembly.
What if I was 5? Or 10? Or 13? Kids that are that age are going to remember this. And we have deprived them of assembling with the saints in some major, important ways.
What if I was a new Christian? What if I was a weak Christian?
If I felt disappointment in my heart, think what others may be feeling at the thought of “going back to church.”
I still think the churches, collectively, did the right thing in postponing their assemblies for a number of weeks. But elders did this to better assess the situation. At first, because of the unknowns, the virus was a major concern. And it still is a concern. But over 3 months later, at what cost?
This virus isn’t going away any time soon. At some point, we need to think, “What is the end game?” Am I willing to be absent from the assembly of my church family for another month? Three more months? Six? 2021?
(Why even go to church anymore? Let’s sell the building and do everything online! Is that what some of us are good with??)
At some point, we have to ask: what’s a greater threat to the church: a virus? Or the effects “scattering” is having on the church after months of isolation?
I don’t want to oversimplify things. But if your conscience isn’t as burdened over this anymore, then—I say this kindly but bluntly as your brother in Christ—you have a heart problem. The virus is no longer the biggest danger in your life.
God designed His church to be an ASSEMBLING church. Online “worship,” while I’ve been thankful for it, will never be a substitute. His people need to be willing to take a little bit of RISK to follow His plan and ideal. We need to have a little bit of FAITH—not that God will miraculously protect us from getting the virus—but that assembling with His people is more pleasing to Him than cutting ourselves off from the church.
Let’s take safety measures. But I need “church.” I need to be in relatively close proximity to my brethren. I need the friendships. I need the encouragement. I need the congregational singing. I need the classes. I need the accountability. I need to hear YOU—in person—push me to keep going, “and all the more as we see the Day drawing near.” Let’s not give Satan one more inch.
(Although I don’t agree with this statement, “I still think the churches, collectively, did the right thing in postponing their assemblies for a number of weeks.” the problem that this brother is concerned about is very real. Mike)
By Rick Brumback
So often during times of crisis, despair, or when the obstacles of life seem to overwhelm us, we wonder where God is, and if He knows or cares what we face. Each think of a time, and it may even be today, when we have felt buffeted by the forces of life that threaten to swallow us. It becomes difficult to function; we dread the prospect of a new day with its troubles and wonder if it all matters.
The atheist should have no trouble because survival of the fittest is the rule. Those who look to God (or some “higher being”) struggle to reconcile the existence of evil and suffering with the presence of God. The argument usually goes something like this: If God is all powerful, and If God is all loving, Why do evil and suffering persist? There have been many theories, called “theodicies,” and books to try to give an answer. You might recall such a book: Why Bad Things Happen to Good People. But the ultimate, correct answer will only come from God’s thoughts and inspired Word.
The truth is that people can and do choose poorly, and that is the source of trouble. First, our poor choices, aka. sins, take their toll on us (Prov. 13:15). Second, the sins of others affect us (Ex. 20:5). But we can rightly ask why our parent, or our child, is afflicted with a terrible disease. Did they do something to merit this? That was the view of the ancients (Cf. Job 4:7-8; Luke 13:1-5; John 9:13). But there must be a better answer. We live in a realm characterized by sin. From the Garden of Eden sin has tainted everything it touched because perfection was ruined. That is why Joshua said “I go the way of all the earth” (Josh. 23:14). The result is that none escapes the touch of evil or pain (Ecc. 9:1-2, 11-12). But it would be wrong to say that we are hopeless.
Often people try to make sense by considering themselves, and then everything else in relation to them. But perhaps there is another way. Instead, let us try to look at God and then all existence in relation to Him. Our questions are not new; God has heard them before. But what have others seen in response to these questions (Psalm. 4;39;49)?
How should we react to problems? Let’s look at the case of Job. His faithfulness was tested by the loss of property, family and health (1:8-19; 2:7). This testing is allowed as a demonstration of his commitment to God. Job did not understand all that was behind this suffering, and he wished God would explain. But the reality is that God did not explain Himself, He expected Job to know that His ways are ultimately inscrutable and that one need only be confident in His wisdom and ability (40:1-2; 42:1-b). But one thing is certain; Job did not lose integrity or faith in his God (1:20-22;2:9-10).
Perhaps we forget that there may be value to suffering. It helps us realize that we should not be satisfied with life here. It affords opportunity to demonstrate our integrity and confidence in God. It teaches us that we can win with God even when times are tough. (Heb. 12:3-13;1 Pet. 1:6-7). And while we may not seek occasions of suffering, we should not be overcome when such come. There are some things we know and are to remember I can decrease the trouble in my life by choosing to follow God’s good ways rather than indulging in wrongdoing. And even if we choose this course, not one of us is immune from other troubles. We help one another to bear up (Gal.6:2), because we share a common challenge and a common bond. The presence of absence of evil is not to be equated thoughtlessly with our spiritual faithfulness of God’s concern for us. Therefore we should not make the mistake of speaking for God by saying, “God just wanted her to come home” and other phrases of “comfort.” It places blame on God for all evil, when it really belongs with Satan and the presence of sin in an imperfect world. God does not intend to spare us all challenges or troubles; they can serve a purpose if we will let them. The real battle is not in our flesh, or our careers, or family health. The real battle is in our minds as we are determined to maintain our integrity and not charge God foolishly.
This all started with the question, “Where is God when I need Him?” Is He listening to my cries? Does He care? The answer to these questions is thus: God is right here hurting with us, wishing things were perfect and that sin did not exist. God has walked in our shoes and cares about us. What’s more, God was at the cross, suffering, so that we could escape to a place that is perfect.
Most of us have likely heard one or more of the following statements: “I don’t believe in arguing the Bible;” “The truth doesn’t need defending;” “Debating is unchristian.” The devil couldn’t be more pleased with such statements —they contradict God and the Bible! Contrary to such thinking, Christians are obligated to think logically, to reason soundly, and to use logic and reasoning in defending the faith (Jude 3).
Paul states, “Prove all things; hold fast to that which is good” (1 Thess. 5:21). To prove is to try, discern (Phil. 1:10), examine (Gal. 6:4), and put to the test (1 Cor. 11:28). The conclusion being that Christians are to prove, try and test what is heard regardless who the speaker might be. The Bereans were of this disposition, “searching the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11). For this reason, “they were more noble than those in Thessalonica.”
Those who mix truth and error are consistently before us and we must ever be on guard. Subsequently, we must not only be studious, but questioning and testing what is said. Jesus warned, “Take heed what ye hear” (Mark 4:24). Our testing equipment in testing what we hear is the Bible. It is our measuring rod, our “yardstick” to determine correctness.
Peter exhorts, “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer...” (1 Peter 3:15). The Greek word translated “give an answer” is a legal term used in court wherein the attorney talks his client off a charge levied against him [Wuest’s Word Studies, First Peter, p.89]. Since the Bible has no verbal defense except its believers, persons of faith must be its defenders. Therefore, Peter enjoins upon Christians the obligation to defend the faith in a verbal way —“give an answer.” The only restriction given is that it must be done with an attitude of “meekness” and “fear” in trusting God and His word rather than self.
God called upon Israel to “reason” (Isa. 1:18) and so Elijah debated the false prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:21). Religion needs to be constantly tested and tried as to its quality. In the cases of God and Israel, and Elijah and the false prophets of Baal, the genuineness of the two religions was tested and that which was not of God was shown to be vain and wanting.
One’s “Christianity” stands in its right to exist as the religion from God when it can be substantiated in faith and practice in light of Scripture. Children and servants of God are: 1) To not believe every speaker (1 John 4:1); 2) Not to succumb to a perverted Gospel (Gal. 1:6-9); 3) Beware of those who go onward and abide not in the Doctrine/Gospel of Christ (2 John 9- 11); 4) Mark them that cause divisions and occasions contrary to the doctrine of Christ (Rom. 16:17-18); 5) Contend (go to battle) for the faith once delivered (Jude 3); 6) Reason out of the Scriptures as Paul did at Athens and Ephesus (Acts 17:17; 19:8); 7) Expound more accurately to others the way of God as did Aquila and Priscilla (Acts 18:26); and 8) like Paul, be “set for the defense of the Gospel” (Phil. 1:17).
Valid and sound argument is not wrangling or contentious dispute, but is the method of giving proof and evidence. By reasoning truth, we confirm Jesus to be the Christ, the Son of God; the New Testament plan of salvation and worship; church polity, etc. We are confident in what we believe and practice because we have Scripture to witness to our intellectual hearts in the matter. Consequently, such confidence allows us to teach and preach with all boldness (Acts 4:29).
The Bible is God’s message of love and concern for mankind. It is also a story of mankind’s need of redemption. God created man in a state of purity, innocence and sinlessness. Adam and Eve were blessed to begin life in a perfect world —a veritable Paradise (cf. Rev. 2:7). The Creator wanted them to enjoy life as His special creatures made in His image (Gen. 1:26-27). Genesis 1:31 reveals that at the end of the Creation, “God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.” This statement certainly included the first two human beings. They were “very good” because they were not yet marred by sin. As such, they were initially able to have unimpeded fellowship with God who made them. God created man to have fellowship with Him (1 Cor. 1:9; 1 John 1:3-7).
Colossians 1:16 says of Jesus, “All things were created by Him and for Him” (cf. Rev. 4:11). We were given life to please God! This only happens when we obey His will. Sadly, man’s earthly paradise was lost when sin entered the world (Gen. 3:6-19). Significant changes occurred as a result. Adam and Eve lost their innocence, sinlessness and close fellowship with God (Gen. 3:21-24). Death entered the world for the first time (Rom. 5:12). Though their disobedience in eating the forbidden fruit may seem trivial to many, God viewed their sin as a heinous crime. Before their transgression, the Lord had warned the first couple that the penalty for disobedience would be death (Gen. 2:17; 3:3). Did they die the day they ate fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Yes, they did! They did not die physically — that would occur 930 years in the future (Gen. 5:5). But, Adam and his wife died spiritually that awful day when they broke God’s simple law.
In the Scriptures, death is a word that has the root meaning of separation —either of the spirit from the body (James 2:26) or of the soul from the presence of God which is also called the second death (2 Thess. 1:7-9; cf. Rev. 21:8). Sin transformed the first two souls who had been created as “very good,” into people who were now outcasts! They were no longer good people in God’s eyes. It was fitting they should be driven from the presence of the Lord (Gen. 3:24). God did not want them to remain in the Garden of Eden because they would have access to the tree of life and could eat of it and live (physically) forever. However, God, in His great love for man, was not willing for that to happen. He had much better plans in mind but this required a restoration of fellowship. He was willing to save man from his ruined condition.
Adam and Eve were originally good people for they were created that way. Almost 3,000 years ago Solomon observed: “God made man upright, but they have sought out many inventions” (Eccl. 7:29, schemes). The same sad story is repeated whenever sinless young souls make their first accountable decision to sin (cf. John 4:11; Heb. 5:13-14; Matt. 18:3). Sadly, when sin first touches a soul, that person ceases to be inherently good. This is not to say that the person cannot never do good again. However, just as with Adam and Eve, there is a need for sin to be forgiven in order for fellowship with God to be restored. As long as sin remains unforgiven, the guilt and potential for eternal punishment remains. Sadly, this fact is rarely appreciated by most people. During the Lord’s earthly ministry, Jesus taught that many will be lost when the Day of Judgment arrives (Luke 13:23-27; cf. Matt 7:21-23). Few will enter by the narrow gate that leads to life because few are seeking it (Matt. 7:13-14). Jesus promised that if a person seeks, he will find (Matt. 7:7-8). The reasonable conclusion from this teaching is that most people are lost, and will continue to be lost, and will ultimately perish as the ungodly and unrighteous souls they truly were. They will forever be known as sinners and enemies of our Lord (Rom. 5:6-10). Such are not “good people” in God’s sight regardless of how “good” man considers them to be.
Man and God often see the same thing in two very different ways. This is a very old problem. Samuel, the prophet and judge, declared concerning God, “For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7; cf. Acts 13:20).
Have you ever heard a person speak of another and say something like, “She was such a GOOD person!” Most of us probably have. Comments like this are often heard in eulogies at funerals. We need to remember that few people are truly “good” as God sees it because few people are right with God! You can be right with God by obeying the Gospel and living faithful the rest of your life (Acts 2:38).
Christians are named after Christ who is their leader. This name brings honor and glory to Christ and denotes one as a follower of Christ by adhering and conforming to His doctrine.
God foretells that He will "Call his servants by another name" (Isaiah 65:15). And, "The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord will name" (Isaiah 62:2). Here God foretells that He will give His people a new name after both Jews and Gentiles are involved. Also notice the Lord would give the name. By Acts chapter eleven the gospel had been preached to both Jew and Gentile and the church in Antioch was composed of both. In fulfillment of this prophesy we read "And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch" (Acts 11:26). "And in His name shall the Gentiles trust" (Matthew 12:21). It was the Lord who gave the name after the Gentiles began obeying the gospel.
After the apostle Paul had preached the gospel to King Agrippa , "Then Agrippa said to Paul, ‘You almost persuade me to become a Christian’" (Acts 26:28). Almost is not good enough. When we wear the name Christian, we give glory and honor to our Lord. "Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this manner"(1 Peter 4:16). We should never be ashamed to wear the
name Christian. Jesus says, "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory" (Luke 9:26).
But there are those who must be ashamed of Christ since they will not wear His name, the name Christian. They wear the names that glorify other men or things such as John the Baptist, Martin Luther, the apostles, the methodical way of doing things, the community, Rome, the Day of Pentecost, etc. Even by their names they don't even claim to belong to Christ. Why would anyone want to wear a name that does not have God’s authority and approval? Denominations do not exist by the authority of God and are contrary to the doctrine of Christ (John 17:21).
The term Christian is used very loosely today. One is not a Christian just because he says he believes in Christ. "Even the devils believe and tremble" (James 2:19). Today every kind of church doctrine, tradition, and practice is labeled as "Christian". Even the United States is called a Christian Nation. This is a misnomer.
Christians are only those who have been baptized for the forgiveness of their sins (Acts 2:38) so they can be saved (Mark 16:16). Then "The Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved" (Acts 2:47). Only Christians are in the Lord’s church and have the promise of Heaven when this life is over (Ephesians 5:23). We should give glory and honor to Christ by wearing only the name Christian, which the Lord Himself gave for us to wear.