October 2018 Viewpoint
At the dedication of the new Apostolic Faith world headquarters office on July 4, the eyes of visitors entering the building were quickly drawn to a water fountain that featured our logo. Our logo is part of our brand—part of the distinguishing traits that communicate who we are to others. The logo contains a phrase that has been with the Apostolic Faith since its inception: “Jesus the Light of the World.” From the beginning of our work, a determination existed to point souls to Jesus. Our logo continues to elevate and magnify His name. Our hope is that the Apostolic Faith brand—not just our logo but also our literature, church services, and the lives of church members—will be one that encourages souls to come to know the light of Jesus.
When I was a high school student and member of the Roseburg, Oregon, chapter of Future Farmers of America, I helped tag sheep. Tagging is a form of animal branding, without the red-hot iron. The color of the tag affixed to the ear of a sheep identifies it as being owned by a specific farmer. It is noteworthy that if someone purchases an animal and it turns out to be of poor quality, he will not blame the animal, but the farmer. In that sense, the farmer is also branded—by the quality of his product.
When we claim to be Christians, we are taking the name of Christ; it is as though we are applying His tag to our lives. Consequently, our lives brand Christianity, either favorably or unfavorably.
Though not tagged or the recipients of a hot-iron marking, we all carry a brand, and thereby brand whatever or whomever we represent. Our brand is who we are, and it is communicated through our character and actions. Some individuals are known as irresponsible, unreliable, or careless. Others are honest, diligent, and conscientious. When we claim to be Christians, we are taking the name of Christ; it is as though we are applying His tag to our lives. Consequently, our lives brand Christianity, either favorably or unfavorably. While a sheep is not responsible for the quality of its meat or wool, we are responsible for our manner of living, and God’s name is marked by our decisions.
The Bible declares that believers are ambassadors for Christ; we are epistles, known and read of all men (see 2 Corinthians 5:20 and 3:2). There is a reason the disciples at Antioch were labeled as “Christians”—their manner of living, and even dying, served as reminders of the way Christ lived and died. We want our lives to do the same.
From Bible times until now, some have worn the brand of Christ favorably and others unfavorably. At the Apostolic Faith, we want to be known by the world as an excellent brand, because we are not just representing a church but Christ himself. May the content of this magazine, which is a by-product of our church services, challenge us to walk worthy of the Name of Jesus. If we do, those who hunger for the spiritual victory and inner peace offered by the Light of the Gospel will more likely find it.