Has anyone ever run across a title for an organization or periodical that makes them slightly uncomfortable, or puts them off a little bit?
I've run across not a few groups or periodicals of this kind in the last lifetime, all of which fall under the general heading of the small-c church, and their names all bug me. I can easily see interpretations of them that aren't actually insulting, but I get the feeling that in striving to emphasize what they believe to be their missions, I think that these entities might be more polarizing of their theological not-totally-in-agreement comrades than they want to be.
1. Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, which is a more liberal Catholic organization that focuses on justice and sometimes comes under fire for not talking enough about abortion. But are non-member Catholics not seeking the common good, or have they just not taken that crucial extra step of putting themselves in alliance with CACG.
2. Priests for Life, an organization of Catholic priests dedicated to a pro-life ethos. But are non-member priests, then, the 'Priests for Choice,' or 'Priests Indifferent to Life'?
3. Relevant magazine, which is some mixture of hip non-denominational Christianity and the emerging church, with some good pop culture satire. But are those people irrelevant who don't buy into the seeker-sensitive movement to a substantial degree?
4. The Remnant magazine, which is an orthodox Traditionalist-movement paper in Catholicism. The big question here is "the remnant of what?"
5. Focus on the Family. Is my vision of the family blurred if I disagree with, say, Dr. Dobson's views on corporal punishment?
Please feel free to chime in if you can think of other organizations that have interesting names like this. Also, if you have a decent way of interpreting the group's name charitably, please tell me.
Also, as I said, I am simply raising questions about how we name our groups. I realize that in varying degree each of these has a fairly obvious solution to how its name is to be interpreted, that doesn't do violence to charity by assuming ill-will or a grudge towards those who choose not to join the group or adhere to the ideals of the publication. But in trying to express what we do emphasize do we wind up denigrating people who aren't particularly wrong, but just don't emphasize the same thing as us. All of that said, if you have some further insight on what an organization might've been thinking in giving its name, or another organization's name that you don't see on the list, please do share! I realize I'm poking some fun at these names in even including them on such a list, and there's a point to that, which is to say that maybe we should be more careful in the implications of how we label ourselves. But please avoid needless degradation of the missions of these organizations: Every one of them has meaningful truths to emphasize to the church and the Church, and to simply shut them down is to ignore problems their emphases might point to in our own theological constructs, spiritual practices and personal lives.