Henry Ward Beecher said at the Lord’s supper: “Let me speak the language of heaven and call you simply Christians.”
In his debate with John Eck in 1517, Martin Luther said: “I pray you leave my name alone, and do not call yourselves Lutherans but Christians. Who is Luther? My doctrine is not mine. I have not been crucified for anyone. Paul would not let any call themselves after Paul, nor of Peter but of Christ. How then, does it befit me, a miserable bag of dust and ashes, to give my name to the children of God: Cease my dear friends, to cling to these party names and distinctions: away with all; and let us call ourselves only Christians after him from whom our doctrine comes” (Stork, The Life of Luther, p. 289).
John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church, in the preface of his New Testament with Notes (1754, p. 5), wrote: “Would to God that all the party names and unscriptural phrases and forms, which have divided the Christian world were forgotten, and that we might all agree to sit down together as humble loving disciples at the feet of our common Master, to hear His words and imbibe His Spirit and to transform His life into our own.”
Bishop Anderson, an Episcopalian of the Diocese of Chicago, in an address before the Commission on Faith and Order, said: “God never made protestant Episcopalians, nor Presbyterians, nor Congregationalists, nor any other sectarian names. He made Christians and they chose to call themselves by less lovely names.”
Charles Spurgeon, one of the most recognized Baptist preachers who ever lived, wrote: “I say of the Baptist name, let it perish, but let Christ’s name last forever. I look forward with pleasure to the day when there will not be a Baptist living. I hope they will soon be gone. I hope the Baptist name will soon perish; but let Christ’s name endure forever” (Spurgeon’s Memorial Library, Vol. I, p. 168).
P. S. Henson, in an address at Cleveland, Ohio, during the general convention of the Baptist churches, said: “I sometimes feel sorry that the word ‘Baptist’ which was flung at us by our enemies and stuck, should be our name for often its accent of an act obscures to others our great mission to the world. Perhaps yet we will go back to the name Christian.”
Albert Barnes, great Methodist commentator: “These divisions should be merged into the holy name Christian.”
The apostle Paul: “Now, this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Corinthians 1:12–13).
Luke: “And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26).
The apostle Peter: “Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf” (1 Peter 4:16).