Roman Catholics say they’re Catholics; the word fairly rolls off the tongue. We immediately know who they are. But what will these former WCG people call themselves? Graces? Communions? Internationals? GCI? Grace Communion sounds Catholic, and Saving Grace sounds more like a TV show than religion.
Seventh Day Adventists or SDAs have a nice hook in their name; we immediately know who they are. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints can be called Mormons, but they prefer Latter Day Saints or LDS. That works, and Mormon seems here to stay too. We know who they are from what they call themselves.
There are Jehovah’s Witnesses or JWs, and Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Church of England/Anglicans, and even the Shakers. The distinctions show in the names. But how does Grace Communion International create its own niche among established church monikers? Is a Communion founded on Grace in any way unique?
To my way of thinking, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God,” should apply to everyone who accepts Romans as holy writ, including the Grace Communion Fellowship. This leads me to think that the name could be taken as a gentle hint to the present constituency that GCI offers little if anything new, and that its members should feel quite at home wherever grace is a pillar of belief — unless grace will have unique emphasis in this fellowship. Otherwise one might surmise that the ultimate goal of the name, and of its creators, perhaps even subliminally, is the dissolution and dispersion of GCF into existing denominations where grace is already a mainstay.
But then who am I, and what would I know?
–An anonymous poster on Gavin Rumney’s Ambassador Watch blog just giving his two cents on the name change of Worldwide Church of God to Grace Communion International