Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 15, 1949

A "Clear Name For Our Church"

Cled E. Wallace

The Living Church which furnishes "a weekly record of the news, the work, and the thought of the Episcopal Church," makes some editorial suggestions about a "clear name for our Church." The language employed throughout the editorial illustrates what is wrong with modern institutional thinking and practice.

Here Is An Example.

"On the other hand, the Methodist union also leaves us with an unchallenged claim to the word `Episcopal', which really does accurately describe our Church. Why should we not stick to this simple, accurate, and clear name for our Church?

We have a suggestion to make. Instead of going to elaborate lengths to adopt an entirely new legal title, let us simply add to the title page of the Prayer Book, below the long legal title, the words: "Commonly called The Episcopal Church." The same words could be added to the title page of the Constitution and Canons. Thus no legal complications affecting property would be raised, and gradually the use "Episcopal Church" would come to have such common acceptance that the longer, cumbersome ten-word title would be found only in parochial deeds and other legal documents.

Why not initiate this simple change at the General Convention of 1949 ?

If any Living Church is interested in something simple and clear and accurate to "stick to" I would like to introduce it to the New Testament. It makes good reading on everything that pertains to the church. It has quite a bit to say about the church of God, the church of the Lord, churches of God, churches of Christ, the body of Christ, the church which is his body, or simply the church, churches, etc. Jesus had something interesting to say about "my church," but I do not recall that either he or the apostles had anything to say about "our Church" which the editor is threshing around to find an "accurate, and clear name for." Paul was deeply interested in the church sticking to "the simplicity that is in Christ" and he made some suggestions along that line. He did not "have a suggestion to make" about anything "Commonly called The Episcopal Church" and as for "the Prayer Book," if he had ever heard about it, he did not mention it, The Living Church has a habit of saying a lot about the Prayer Book and very little to say about the New Testament. It is deeply concerned about "the Methodist union," "the Prayer Book," "The Episcopal Church," "the Constitution and Canons" and "the General Convention." It does not speak as "the oracles of God" but in the language of AshdodInitiating a few simple changes at the General Convention cannot make these hierarchal religious set-ups even resemble "the simplicity that is in Christ". It will require going to more elaborate lengths than merely adding something to the title page of the Prayer Book. We would like to know just what advantage the Prayer Book has over the New Testament anyway?