Month: June 2013

IN JESUS’ NAME (IJN)

I first came across the acronym IJN (in Jesus’ name) in a text message a few years ago. I remember I felt a little uncomfortable then like I still do today about our new Christian lingo. I wondered why I would have to sacrifice the name JESUS to keep the text message as short as I wanted it. I wondered if God was comfortable with this or if I was just over-reacting or being too conservative. I queried my mind and spirit on the matter, my thoughts fell on paper and I still have the same conclusion.
We live in a fast paced world in which the rate of change keeps increasing. Change is almost obsolete the minute it happens. And at this rate, you might wake up one morning and find out that life has moved on and literally left you behind. So these days, anything to help you get what needs to be done as quickly as possible is rushed at. From quick meals to shortened maturity period of plants for food, from 2 weeks MBA programs to ‘abbreviated’ church services, everything is picking up wings for speed. Everything is being shortened; even the URL for this blog is shortened to bit.ly/yFcmnG.
While all this is going on, efforts are made everywhere to remove references to God and Jesus Christ in government, business, education, etc. Political correctness these days is really all about edging Jesus out of our systems. And we should not join the world in wiping out the name of Jesus. This might appear farfetched but this is the reality. We have removed ‘Christ’ from Christmas and replaced it with an ‘X’. We don’t even say Merry Christmas or Happy Easter again, we now say Happy Holidays. Soon, we could have an abbreviated bible, one in which Jesus Christ is shortened as J. C. Our songs on the screens in our mega churches might just have a G or J to represent God or Jesus respectively because we are in the ‘microwave era’. You might think I am going too far and things will not get that bad. But I guess people who lived 200 years ago never imagined that one day we would have publicly professed gay pastors as we have today or that any Christian leader will say masturbation ain’t no sin! Well this is the reality we live with today.
If in spite of our busy schedule and the urge to do things as quickly as possible, we can still be patient with certain details, then I don’t think it is too much to write out our Saviour’s name in full whenever we have that golden opportunity.
I believe the fundamentals should remain no matter the tide of change we are surfing on or very soon, we might have a generation that would not know who Jesus Christ is because all they hear is J. C.
I believe it is a mark of respect for God to call or write His name with honour.
I believe we are acknowledging the Son before all by writing His name in full rather than in a shortened form.
I believe I am clear on whom I stand for or with, when I can patiently spell out the name Jesus when I have to.
I believe we are clear on who or what we are referring to when we write ‘in Jesus name’ and not IJN – before someone starts wondering if it is a short code or a chat slang.
Don’t think I am being religious, I am just contending earnestly for the faith delivered to the saints. This very name was the reason the early church was persecuted. In the New Testament (Acts 4:18; 5:28, 40) you read about the Sadducees forbidding the apostles from speaking or teaching in the name of Jesus. Today, they might not carry guns and knives to get you to keep that name as silent as possible; it’s the little, seemingly harmless moves that the enemy would use to get his job done. And this is the new face of persecution the church has to grapple with.

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