If you cut yourself, then you put on a Band-Aid. If your nose is running, then you use a Kleenex. If you have a headache, then you take a Tylenol. If you work in an office and you need to make copies, then you use the Xerox machine.
All of the above sound like common-sense things that we all do; however, many of us who cut ourselves may use an adhesive bandage that is not the Band-Aid brand and therefore does not have the Band-Aid name on it. Our tissue box may or may not have the Kleenex name on it. We may keep generic ibuprofen in our medicine cabinet rather than the official Tylenol brand. And, of course, there are many brands of copy machines that do not carry the Xerox name.
If you were to have a problem with any of the products that have different names, then you couldn’t very well go to the companies named above as they have no responsibility for products that don’t carry their name.
There was a Xerox commercial years ago that played up this same theme. In the commercial, a copy machine salesman ends his pitch by saying, “It’s just as good as a Xerox” while the potential customer just nods his head. A second salesman does the same thing. As the third salesman ends his pitch, he says, “It’s…” and the customer cuts him off and says, “I know, it’s just as good as a Xerox.” The salesman says, “No, it is a Xerox,” and the customer shakes his hand, signifying they have a deal.
In Mosiah 5, King Benjamin urges all the people who agreed that they would serve God to take upon themselves the name of Christ. As he explains to them — and us — this will make all the difference when they (we) stand before God:
“Whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ” (Mosiah 5:9)
“Whosoever shall not take upon him the name of Christ must be called by some other name; therefore, he findeth himself on the left hand of God” (Mosiah 5:10)
So, trying to tell God that we’re just as good as a follower of Christ is not going to work. We need to be a follower of Christ — baptized in His name, praying in His name, and living our lives as if we have His name emblazoned across our foreheads.
Carrying the right name is so important to us that our church is named The Church of Jesus Christ. Being active in the church that bears His name is an important part of lifting up that name in this life. Some might offer you some “off brand” alternatives:
- Come to this church where you can believe whatever you want. Believe in Christ or don’t. Follow His teachings or don’t. It’s just as good as The Church of Jesus Christ.
- Don’t bother going to church at all. Just live a good life and be good to people. It’s just as good as belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ.
- My offer to you — Come to a church where the name of Christ is held high and we follow His teachings, even when unpopular in the world. It’s…
As I complete my offer, you say, “I know, it’s just as good as The Church of Jesus Christ.” My response: “No, it is The Church of Jesus Christ.” (You can shake my hand now.)
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.