The following is an editorial opinion that was aired over WRCG in Columbus, GA. WRCG is truly one of a kind station. Though WRCG is not a "Christian Radio Station", it has a high standard of journalism and programing. IMARC wants to thank Mr. Chuck McClure, former owner of WRCG, for giving us the privilege of posting this editorial. Once again he tells the truth. Thanks WRCG and Mr. McClure.

     My wife and I went to Maine this past fall to see the leaves. Sunday came and we went to the first Church we found. There was no sign denoting its denomination. We listened to a good sermon, met some nice people, and found that we were in a Baptist Church.
     A recent "associated press" story indicated that this is a trend. It seems that many protestant Churches are concealing their denominational affiliation from potential parishioners in an effort to place more bodies into the pews.
     In Austin, Texas, the Trinity Baptist Church changed its name a year ago to the Fellowship of Forest Creek, and has since seen its membership rise by 240. Pastor Roddy Clyde explains that to the unchurched the term "Baptist" has a "negative connotation." Pastor Clyde says, "I'm not ashamed to be a Baptist, but a brand name can be a hinderance. Some people mistakenly associate the Baptist name with an angry, judgmental brand of fundamentalism." At the same time pastor Clyde assures everyone that his Church is still a member in good standing of the Southern Baptist Convention and does not deviate from Baptist doctrine in any way.
     To which I reply, it's a good thing for pastor Clyde that Churches aren't covered by the "Truth in Labeling" law. If his Church has really put on a non-denominational facade, only to fill new parishioners with Baptist doctrine, that Church is guilty of the old "bait-and-switch" routine. But what's more likely in the long run is that this Church will cater to newcomers by watering down its Baptist doctrine while still remaining affiliated with the national denomination. But isn't that false advertising too?
     Pastors of name changing Churches would doubtedly recoil at being accused of duplicity. They would reply that they are merely employing a good business pratice in a consumer oriented society. That may be true, but it's not what this Christian believes a Church should do.
     This has been Chuck McClure for Emphasis '99.