Say The Name

As a rather newly ordained Teaching Elder within the PCA I'd like to offer some loving counsel to my fellows in the denomination. If you ever appear on a nationally televised program to discuss the love and grace of God, please, please mention Jesus. Mention sin. Mention the cross. Something! If you stick to vagaries about God's acceptance and love then the pagans who hear you will inevitably conclude that God is nice rather than holy; that He is interested in our feelings more than our redemption.

I will probably never write a book and I cannot imagine any respectable television program wanting me to appear. However, if by some strange confluence of events I land on a television set being asked by the hosts, "What is grace?" and I never mention Jesus or the cross, you have every right to make me wear a dunce cap for the rest of my life.

Of course, it's rather easy for me to imagine what someone in that position should have done. And I am quite sure that it is the right thing for a Christian, especially an ordained minister, to explain the gospel when asked about the grace and love of God on a cable news program. But fairness demands that I hold myself to the same standard when I interact in ways that will never be televised such as those opportunities with neighbors which could happen more frequently with just a little bit of effort on my part. Or what about the people I meet in coffee shops who see the Bible on my table? I live in a friendly community (We're south of the Mason/Dixon Line, but that's redundant). It's common to talk to people in the checkout line at the grocery store. It ought not be too far a stretch to imagine striking up a conversation about Jesus with someone in those circumstances. Wherever we find ourselves may we not be ashamed to say the Name.