What comes to your mind when you hear the phrase, “In the Name of Jesus”? Does it command pious attention and an air of sanctity about it? Does it remind you of all power in heaven and on earth? What does it strike in the keys of your memories?
While Christ was on earth, especially in the clincher stages of His ministry, He reminded his disciples of the power in His name. Their ministry, and whatever else they were to do after His ascension would be indomitable so long as it was done in His name. Such phrases prove the power of Christianity and Christology:
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins KJV Matthew 1:21.
And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. KJV Matthew 18:5
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. KJV Matthew 18:20
And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. KJV Matthew 19:29
Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. KJV John 16:24
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. KJV Acts 4:12
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. KJV Matthew 28:18-20
What the Bible presents about the name of Jesus, is the power of Christianity. In the name of Jesus, sinners can be saved from their sins. In the name of Jesus, our hospitality to the “least of these” is counted as a virtue. In the name of Jesus, our gatherings are made a Holy convocation. In the name of Jesus, our sacrifices are made worthy of a blessing in this world and a higher joy of sanctified meditation in the world to come. In the name of Jesus, our prayers are made a key of faith conformable with the doors of the storehouse of Heaven. And in the name of Jesus, those who decide to change camps from the servitude of sin to the true freedom in the service of God, get the power to live in the newness in Jesus Christ. The Bible presents the name of Jesus as a detonator in the battle against sin and its propensities.
However, history has given us some occurrences that give mixed signals. People have done unprintable things in the name of Jesus. The worst persecutions and fiendish acts have been done by people presumably motivated by religious reasons. The Church of Rome persecuted and anathematized people in the dark ages, presumably in an effort to defend the name of Jesus. The stake, the faggot, and the rack were all employed ‘in the name of Jesus’. In fact, Willam Edward Lecky, a British Historian, wrote:
“That the Church of Rome has shed more innocent blood than any other institution that has ever existed among mankind, will be questioned by no Protestant who has a competent knowledge of History.”—The History of the Rise of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe, Vol. 2, P. 32.
The Church of Rome estimates that it put to death during the DARK AGES, about 50,000,000 people. ( History of Romanism pp. 541,542. New York: 1871)
In fact, in the year 2000, Pope JOHN PAUL II publicly apologized to the world for the innocent blood shed by the Church of Rome. This is not sacrificial blood—for the sacrificial system was rendered unnecessary when the type met antitype on the cross—instead, it is the blood of martyrdom. All these in the name of Jesus?
Today, it is hard to preach Christ among the academic community especially those people with competent knowledge of history. The reason being, they understand how ‘Christianity’ was used by the imperialists to pacify the potential colonies to accept the colonial masters who did their best to blast virtue out of the rich resources of their horsts. If you read books like, “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa” by Walter Rodney, you cannot be attracted to Christianity. Even the founding father of Kenya, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, said, “When the whites came, they taught us how to pray with our eyes closed, and when we opened our eyes, they had the land and we had the Bible.” Such historical occurrences do not recommend Christianity to anyone.
I once heard a Preacher say that he saw a T-shirt in Germany with an opprobrious epithet, “Lord Jesus save us from your followers!” printed in bold. Has it gone that bad? Is that the Christianity seen in the life of the ancient disciples in Antioch?
And if you ask yourself why I wrote this article which most people would prefer to hush away it is because of the following occurrence:
Is that the kind of Christianity that Christ taught for three and a half years? Is this not ‘another gospel’ other than what Christ died for on the cross? I think most of the worldlings have been robbed of the experience of True Christianity. There is a huge chasm between Christ’s life of self-denial and the life of self-seeking of modern professors of Christianity. Many things people have done in the name of Jesus, especially after the spiritual darkness ushered in by the dark ages, are extremely unchristian.
Nevertheless, we can’t hide from asking the vital question; “what is wrong with Christianity today?”
No one who has problems with Christianity can cite their points of dissatisfaction from the four gospels or the very life of Christ. Instead, it is mostly from historical misrepresentations by false professors who either patch up fables instead of Truth or preach a boogie man Jesus who scares people into obedience through fear.
Scholars in most cases are victims because their definition of Christianity is linked to the misuse by the imperialists and the persecution during the dark ages. They also misinterpret the Scriptures to suit exactly what they want to hear, not what the Bible intend to say. However, apostate Christianity is the greatest enemy of Christianity. Apostacy makes people speak from both sides of their mouths and thus they become confusing teachers.
Maybe someone should be reminded that you can’t do everything in the name of Jesus. Well, you can choose to hate those whom you want to hate. You can persecute and harm those who are within your power. You can discriminate against those you want to discriminate against. BUT YOU CAN’T DO ALL THESE IN THE NAME OF JESUS! He didn’t identify with such.
In the name of Jesus, we can do all that pleases Him and aligns with His ministry of salvation full and free. History is full of people who have dragged Christ into human mess and iniquity, and this can only prepare people for the resurrection of damnation. If you want to know about Jesus, read the Bible and I would recommend a book that has been ranked by the Library of Congress as the best non-Biblical penmanship about Jesus, The Desire of Ages, by Ellen White. Here’s an excerpt from this powerful book:
By His life and His death, Christ has achieved even more than recovery from the ruin wrought through sin. It was Satan’s purpose to bring about an eternal separation between God and man, but in Christ, we become more closely united to God than if we had never fallen. In taking our nature, the Saviour has bound Himself to humanity by a tie that is never to be broken.—The Desire of Ages 25.3
Don’t misrepresent Jesus in the name of Jesus!