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What's in a name?

Earlier this week there was a debate going in the media surrounding the word “dominionism” and how it relates to Christians, specifically Republican politicians Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann. The Daily Beast, Washington Postand USA Todaywere just a few who weighed in on the subject. It has truly created a stir within liberal and conservative circles.

As I read through these articles and the comments that preceded them, which either affirmed the belief or sought to dispel the accusation, I couldn’t help to think about the issue of name calling. Whether you find the term “dominionist” derogatory and inappropriate or not, I don’t believe, really matters.

We, as Christians, have been called names by those who disagree with us for centuries. Matter of fact, look back to when Jesus walked this earth, preaching and teaching the Good News. He surely didn’t avoid the line of fire of name calling.

In John 15:18-19, Jesus said those who follow Him will be in the world, not of it. We will not be understood, and we will not be liked because of that for which we stand.

“Dominionism” is not the first label the world has placed on Christians, and it won’t be the last. Perhaps you’ve been called a Bible thumper, Bible basher, Jesus Freak, Fundamentalist, Holy Roller, goody two shoes or some other “mean” word. It’s never fun to be called names whether you are two or 92, but when it’s for the sake of Christ, Jesus tells us we must learn to count it all (Philippians 3:7-9). Paul was a great example of this. He even praised God when he was behind prison bars.

The Bible tells us that when we are truly living for God we will face persecution.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” —Matthew 5:10-12

I want to encourage you today to live boldly for Christ knowing that you are doing something right if the world is taking notice enough to call you a name.

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