Ponderings of the Preacher . . .
Slogans, mottos, and jingles can be very useful. One of the benefits is making something memorable. I can still remember some of the jingles from the 1960’s that were used in the advertising industry to sell products. Another benefit is the power to unite people for a cause. In the 1830’s, a motto that united people behind a cause was “Remember the Alamo.” One other benefit is the potential to generate enthusiasm. Throughout our history there have been slogans that have been used to build enthusiasm for political candidates. One of the most famous was in the Presidential campaign of 1840. The slogan that was used to generate support for William Henry Harrison was “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too.”
Our church is a part of the Restoration Movement, an effort to restore the present day church to the way it was in the New Testament. The Restoration Movement had its beginnings in the early 1800’s. There were several different slogans that became a part of this movement that helped make the purposes of the movement stick in the minds of the people, rally them to a common purpose, and create enthusiasm.
There are three such slogans that I want to share with you in this column. Perhaps you are already familiar with them, but on the other hand maybe you have never heard them before. If you are not familiar with them, then you should be.
“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, love.” All agree that there must be unity in the clear areas of biblical teaching. But in matters of opinion a wide variety of differences can be tolerated – as long as these opinions do not contradict biblical teaching, are not made a test of fellowship or church membership, or are not made essential to the church’s teaching.
“No creed but Christ, no book but the Bible, no law but love.” The unity of the church is to be found only in the basics of New Testament teaching. All other sources of teaching ultimately become divisive. That is why when a person wants to become a member of our church, we do not ask them whether they agree with a lengthy statement of beliefs but only whether they believe Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God.
“Not the only Christians, but Christians only.” We do not believe that the only Christians are found in our church but we do refuse to wear any other name than Christian. All followers of Jesus want to be known as Christians, but names other than this divinely given name can be divisive.
I am proud to be a part of a congregation that stands on the ancient book, the Bible, and bears the ancient name, Christian, and follows the ancient command, love God and one another.
I hope to see each of you this coming Lord’s Day morning!
C U N Church,