Are our Reformed churches drifting into heresy?

Are our Reformed churches drifting into heresy?
Photo by Nycholas Benaia / Unsplash
Jonathan Bayes
Jonathan Bayes Pastor of Stanton Lees Chapel.
11 April, 2023 4 min read

I’m becoming increasingly troubled by a trend which is appearing in churches, particularly independent congregations which claim to adhere to the Reformed faith. It’s manifested in two different but related ways.

In your name, amen

The first is the tendency to finish prayers addressed to God the Father with words like, ‘we pray in your name’. As far as I can see, there is no biblical legitimacy for this whatsoever. On seven occasions in the New Testament the pattern is laid down that we pray to the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The only thing which we are permitted to do in the name of the Father (along with the Son and the Holy Spirit) is to be baptised.

In the Old Testament, three relevant phrases appear: ‘in the name of the Lord’ (meaning there the Lord Jehovah), ‘in his name’, and ‘in my name’, where God himself is speaking. These occur a total of 45 times, and they are linked with things like serving, speaking, blessing, prophesying in his name (and a few other things).

However, never once does the Old Testament speak of praying in the name of the Lord. Surely, therefore, we need seriously to consider whether we have the right to invent a new formula which has no Scriptural authority whatsoever.

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