In Name Only

A Missouri sunset of magenta, white and purple clouds, Unaltered image.

Many people show a disdain for those they feel have betrayed the core principles of ideology. We see it in every area of life, and those offenders are often seen as living their principles in name only.

Of RINOs and DINOs

I’ve dabbled in politics over the years and I make no apologies for being a conservative Christian. I consider myself to be reasonable, and I try to see the merit of an opposing view. However, while I can try to find the middle ground on nearly all issues there are certain principles which I believe are off the table. Many of my fellow conservatives feel the same way. When someone seems to wander too far from the political right they are often labeled as a RINO; Republican in name only.

I’ve run across folks from ‘the other side of the aisle’ who feel the same way. Many of the core principles espoused are considered untouchable. As a result, when one of their cadre seems to break from the group they are quickly defamed as a DINO; Democrat in name only.

Compromise (by either right or left) is often viewed as an enemy, but the greater offense is the perception that someone ‘sold out’ for something lesser.

The Bad Doctor

What happens when a physician violates the Hippocratic Oath? What if they perform unnecessary surgeries, or bill for services never performed? How about if they prescribe medications which are sold and the doctor pockets the money? They are labeled as a quack, a scammer, a charlatan. They receive such harsh treatment because they have violated an oath to serve humanity over self. They have ‘sold out’ for something lesser.

In Name Only

When I gave my heart and life to the Lord I took on a new name, His name. When I took His name I also took, as mine, everything that name stands for. I became associated with everything He is; truth, righteousness, love, justice, and much more.

I’m to reach out to those who don’t know Him, just as He did.

I’m supposed to feel compassion for others, just as He did.

I’m meant to love justice and mercy, just as He did.

I’m commanded, as much as possible, to reach common ground with others. This, however, is often the point where people get into trouble.

When does compromise become offensive? When does my willingness to concede violate the name which I am called by? It’s when I disrespect His Word. It happens when I condone things which He has clearly rejected. It’s when I ‘sell out’ just to get along with others.

The reality is that there are certain Christian concepts and principles which are inviolate. What I mean is that there is truth which must not be violated by compromise. The virgin birth. The inerrancy of Scripture. The brotherhood of believers. The righteous judgment of God.

If I compromise truth I risk becoming a CINO – Christian in name only.


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