It’s pretty funny how much work lawyers have found in the world of rock music. Lots of legal battles about money and copyrights, and names. Several years ago 4 members of the group Yes reunited to tour together, but weren’t allowed to use the name Yes, because another former member was using the name. There were renegade Doobie Brothers who tried to tour using that name, and were sued by other members of the group. Even the Beach Boys have found a lot of “Fun, Fun, Fun” over the years by suing each other over the use of the name.
Names come with certain expectations. When we see our favorite band’s name on the marquee, we expect to hear their big hits done well. And when it’s not who we expect, and they don’t do a very good job, it tarnishes the reputation of everyone associated with the name.
So, it’s frustrating as Christians when we see or hear of things done by others who call themselves Christians , things that we would never do. How can we respond? Shouting “that’s not us!” doesn’t seem to help much.
The best we can do, is to work even harder to do the truly Christian things that cannot be disputed: offering hospitality that welcomes people as they are, offering healing without judgment, advocating for justice and mercy without concern for our own success. And then, don’t keep it a secret that we, too, are Christians! Give people a chance to see that what they experienced elsewhere with “Christians” isn’t what they will experience with us.
And pray for healing of the spiritual blindness that afflicts us all. We might see it more clearly in those we disagree with, but we experience it as well.