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Jordan Evangelical Lutheran Church

 

OUR NAME 

Our first name or given name is Jordan. This name we received from our forefathers and founders of the congregation. Today Honey Creek, which meanders through West Allis, is an insignificant stream, because late years have seen it disappear into a tunnel that hides it from public view. In the days of our forefathers when cars were still a dream, riders of horses, buggies and wagons forded this stream at advantageous places. It was at this time that the organizing pastor, Dr.Thiele of the theological faculty in Wauwatosa, while driving his horse and buggy to West Allis and fording Honey Creek was forcibly reminded of the Jordan River in Israel. When the time arrived to choose a name for our fledgling congregation he suggested to its founders that the name Jordan would be an appropriate designation. This suggestion was adopted - hence the designation.

"What is in a name?" Between the name Wisconsin and the name Lutheran there stands in our official church title the glorious name: Evangelical. This gives us the distinction of royalty. It is the name which we so unfortunately tend to abbreviate as though it were the name we could most easily do without. It is the name, however, we so absolutely need. If we were not an Evangelical church, we are not the church. If we are not a fellowship that lives in the proclaiming of the Gospel, we are not the kings and priests of God. We certainly do recognize that to tell the good news of the Gospel is our reason-for-being. We greatly desire to be God's royal priesthood of believers "to show forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into light." Our churches, our schools and our homes are determined to teach this evangelical truth: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." Our hearts, our words and our works are dominated by the Evangel and express the Evangel. That is good. May we always be willingly and correctly identified as Evangelical.

The third name in our official church title is a family name; one we pronounce with boldness and pride. And why not? Does the name Luther not connote boldness in bringing the Word of God back to the people in a language they understood? Does the name Luther not connote joy in the knowledge of salvation, because our Heavenly Father proclaims it? This name still denotes people who stand for the inviolability of the Scriptures and dare to let the world know how they feel about the Scriptures. Luther's historic defiance to Scripture's critics at Worms "Here I stand!" echoes down through the ages and we claim it for our own. There just is no alternative to grace alone, faith alone and Scripture alone. The world branded such Christians with the name Lutheran - Luther never sought it. We use and apply the name Lutheran because it stands for something that is solid and spiritual.

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