There is no doubt that the disciples of Jesus were called Christians; and if they had any definite, distinguishing name this was it. Acts 11:26 tells us that "...the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch." When the apostle Paul preached to King Agrippa, the King was apparently impressed with the message, and said: "In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian" (Acts 26:28). In 1 Peter 4:16 we read: "...but if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not feel ashamed, but in that name let him glorify God". One thing is clear: If the disciples had a formal name of any kind it was the name Christian. It is in that name that we can "glorify God" and I do not know of any other name in which God can be glorified!
This name, Christian, needs to be revived for use today by the disciples of Jesus. It aligns them with Christ and gives to Him the honor and glory due Him alone. He is the central, important one, and we should give "glory to His name" by using it. That NAME is far more than just a mere name.
The name Christian is not divisive as are all the denominational, sectarian names of today. We all know that a Lutheran is not the same as a Baptist; nor is a Methodist the same as a Presbyterian. All denominational names represent alienation and division, which is sinful. Wearing any denominational name is a sinful practice; and I defy anyone to justify such sectarian names by God's word! Church of Christ, whether spelled with a small "c" (which is ridiculous) or a capital "C", is a sectarian name and just as wrong as any of the others. The Church of Christ churches, of all brands, are religious sects just like the other denominations.
Remember that the English word church is not a translation of any word in the NT Greek text. The redeemed people of God are not to be divided up into a multiple bunch of sects called churches, whatever the names by which they are called. Again I must remind you that there is no church of any kind described or set forth in NT Scripture. Oh, the word church is there; but the word church does not translate any Greek word in the sacred Scriptures! King James ordered the word church to be used wherever the Greek word ecclesia appears, with the exception of its appearance three times in Acts 19. Therefore, the word church is from men not from God! If you "belong to a church", you are in or a member of something that is without any authorization from God! If you support a church with your time, service, and money, you are supporting something that is NOT from God or the Lord Jesus Christ! That is plain speech, but I defy anyone to prove that it is wrong.
There is nothing divisive in the name Christian as it relates to those who are truly Christians; who are true followers of Jesus Christ. They are Christians, just that and nothing more; and all are equals under the authority of Christ. The name clearly identifies them with HIM; not with some movement, institution, organization, human creed, man, or church. In the name Christian, assuming that people really are such. all differences melt away and all truly become one in Christ (Gal. 3:27-28).
There must not be any brands, shades or grades of Christians. Our problem starts with churches, structural organizations, with their peculiar and identifying names, doctrines, and operations. Churches do come in brands, shades and grades; but not Christians. It is not our attachment to Christ that segregates, labels, and divides people into the sects (divisions) and denominations of today. It is joining churches, placing membership in some church, that does this dividing and separating.
Some people claim that they are a Baptist Christian, some a Methodist Christian, some a Church of God Christian, and some a Church of Christ Christian, so they all imagine. Christians do not come in differing varieties. One either is or she isn't a Christian, a follower of Jesus.
This reminds me of that old song I used to hear: "You go to your church and I'll go to mine; and we'll all get to heaven at the very same time". It's a lie and deception that has led millions of people into grievous error and sin. Remember that "the disciples were called Christians first at Antioch." Isn't that name Christian good enough for you if indeed you are a Christian? It embodies the name of Christ and we are called after Him, Praise God! Denominational names are sinful and divisive. Christians should not be called by such names. All denominational names should be repudiated because they are from men, not God. Also, please remember that all churches, of whatever brand, are from men, not from God. The children of God have a direct relationship to our Lord Jesus and God the Father; and there is nothing no church or institution between them and the Lord Jesus or God.
Over the past several years I have challenged the C of C church prX-Mozilla-Status: 0009 essential requirement for being a denomination that is not true of the various brands of C of C churches. So far not one preacher (nor anyone else) has made an effort to do so. I know why: there isn't any essential difference and they know it! Denominationalism is sinful, whatever the name! Christians are free in Christ and must not be members of any of the religious institutions called churches, which stand between the person and his/ her Savior. - CAH