Saw something interesting the other day. Folks, meet Mr Nicholas Barbon. Or, as the Mr and Mrs Barebone called him, Nicholas If-Jesus-Christ-Had-Not-Died-For-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned Barebone.
Appropriately, he was one of the pioneers for the fire insurance business. Nothing like selling fire insurance along with hell-fire insurance, eh?
Now giving names of this sort wasn’t too out of the ordinary back in puritan days, so, although it’s mildly hilarious, it’s not news – just something I’d forgotten was a thing. My first (completely serious) reaction though, upon seeing the message his parents were trying to send to their child and others, was “Hmph. If you really wanted to be a witness you’d have made that his first name. What are ya, ashamed of Jesus? Don’t go hiding your light under a bushel, now! Lord wants all of us, not just a little piece tucked away!”
Now that whole reaction is absurd, yes. But this highlights something for me: don’t we do this already? Haven’t many churches, church folks, and communities done this, bluntly or subtly?