Letters: Name Droppers

We all know “that guy” who knows everybody who is somebody. And the conversations you have with that guy tend to move towards some famous person or highly esteemed human. In the conversation, “that guy” drops a name and the conversation becomes about that person.

This is the time when we check out of the conversation. Because we don’t know the name that just got dropped. Or perhaps we stay in the conversation because we are impressed with names. Or perhaps we stay in the conversation because we actually know the person who’s named just got dropped.

If we do know the person who’s name got dropped, we usually have an opinion. We usually have an assumption of where this conversation is going. For example:

“Yeah, I was at this party last night. You won’t believe who was there. I had the longest conversation with Bugs Bunny.”

So, now that the person dropped this name of Bugs Bunny, it stirs something inside of you. You’ve always wanted to meet Bugs Bunny. You ask about Bugs Bunny and what Bugs is like in real life. You ask if Bugs is really funny. You make the person who dropped the name of Bugs Bunny the professional in all things Bugs Bunny.

Or maybe you thought Bugs Bunny was a rascally rabbit. So you have a formed opinion of Bugs and can’t get into the conversation about Bugs. You begin to think about the person who dropped the name of Bugs Bunny as someone who “thinks the same way Bugs Bunny does” or someone who “associates with rascally rabbits.”

Now there is a line that has been formed in your mind.

All Because of a Name Dropper.

While I was in Switzerland and France I was humbled to see the Body of Christ functioning in ways that were not common to me, being from America. There were ways the Lord revealed Himself through these brothers and sisters that I had not seen just yet.

And then it happened. A name was dropped.

I was given the opportunity to receive this name as a functioning member of the Body of Christ, or I could reject the ways of this person’s name and label him like our example of labeling Bugs Bunny’s name dropper.

I was reminded of a letter Paul gave to the Corinthians. He sent part of this letter to talk about Name Droppers. Here is his initial perspective on someone dropping a name:

Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgement. For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you. Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.” Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you … For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void. (1 Corinthians 1:10-17 NASB)

Paul dropped a name too. He dropped the Name above all names. Jesus Christ. Paul’s focus was unity, not division. Completion and sameness, not separation. Paul reminds us who was crucified. He reminds us who we are baptized into.

Jesus Christ.

There is no other name among men that has the power of the name of Jesus Christ. If we drop a name that has any other letters besides J, E, S, U, S, C, H, R, I, S, and T, then we are putting focus on someone else besides Christ.

For when on says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men?

What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. (1 Corinthians 3:4-9 NASB)

We don’t need to pick sides. We don’t need to find unity under any name except Jesus Christ. Brothers and sisters who function by the power of the Holy Spirit are merely functioning. By the power of the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, they are of Christ. If we claim we are of anyone besides Christ, we are claiming a human, not the divine Christ. Humans are functioning members of Christ. We plant. We water. We cultivate. We harvest. However, God is in control of who, of His Body, functions for His Kingdom.

We are God’s field. God’s building. This implies that our opinion of who the best gardner is, or who the best builder is should only reveal one person.

Christ.

So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God. (1 Corinthians 3:21-23 NASB)

Paul closes this portion of his letter to the Corinthians with a bold statement that I believe we need to remember.

All things belong to you. All things. Not just the perspectives of a human that you agree with.

You belong to Christ, not just the people that agree with Christ. All of humanity.

Christ belongs to God. He is in God. He is from God. Christ is of God.

So, if you are in a conversation and a name is dropped as being “the man” or “the woman” with everything together, or the next doctrine or philosophy or thing … remember, this person who’s name got dropped is a potentially functioning member of the Body of Christ. They have been given their function for only one purpose. To glorify Christ and express Him in this world today.

May we hear through the name dropping. May we not point to the humans, but may we point to Christ, for He is of God and we belong to Him. May the doctrines and philosophies and other things that get in the way of our communion with saints fall to the wayside. And may our focus be on Christ alone, for He is to/for/through/in all things and all people.

And when we drop a name, may it be His Name, which is the Name above all names. For His Name brings Life. His Name brings unity.

6 comments

  1. Jamal Jivanjee (@JamalJivanjee) · October 4, 2012

    Amen bro, what a great word to the body of Christ! Thanks for writing this:)

  2. vinny0 · October 4, 2012

    Very good Mark! A facet of this that comes to my mind is WHY we drop a name? Because even some that said “I follow Christ” could have wrong motives. 😦 But to assume the best in one another and look past that is of higher good.

  3. James Goen · October 4, 2012

    Agreed, this is greatly encouraging. There are too many divisions in the body of Christ, and we allow too many things to divide the body of Christ. Christ is not divided, He is one, and He is uniting all things in Himself. What humility it truly takes to allow Christ’s life to work in us. I particularly liked this portion. “May we not point to the humans, but may we point to Christ, for He is of God and we belong to Him. May the doctrines and philosophies and other things that get in the way of our communion with saints fall to the wayside. And may our focus be on Christ alone, for He is to/for/through/in all things and all people.” Thank you for glorifying Him, above all things.

  4. jimpuntney · October 4, 2012

    Our natural mind love the association with “big names”, yet we all put our pants on one leg at time.

    I loved this post due to the intent of unity “in” Christ, for “in” Him there is great equality.

    Thanks again bro!

  5. Trevor Honeycutt · October 9, 2012

    Too true. I wonder if dropping names is really an appeal to authority, so as to try to force the hearer to accept what’s being said without thought or discernment?

    “God told me” seems to be another form of [the ultimate] name dropping. Who can argue with you when “God told you”?

    The back-n-forth of discussion, digesting, discerning, etc is a good & healthy thing.

  6. Pingback: September Pivot :: Letters « marklchampion

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