Col 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
What does it mean to do everything “in the name of the Lord Jesus?” A simple Google search confirms that many people in churches of Christ understand that phrase to mean “with the authority of the Lord Jesus.” In other words, they hold that we cannot do anything which God has not specifically authorized in the scriptures. Therefore, if the scriptures are silent about a practice, it would be forbidden. This is a key passage used to support their belief that the silence of the scriptures is prohibitive.It is evident that “in the name of the Lord” can mean “with His authority” in certain contexts. Throughout Acts, we read of Peter and Paul preaching “in the name of the Lord.” In those contexts it does seem that the phrase carries the idea of authority from God. Certainly, in our teaching we must not claim to speak with the authority of Christ unless our teaching comes directly from scripture.
But in other contexts it is clear that “in the name of Jesus” did not necessarily imply by His authority.
Read the rest of this great post at Alan Rouse’s web site – Christian Unity