Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Let's Play The Label Game

When is the last time you played the label game? Many of us play it practically everyday of our lives. This is when we label an entire segment of people with one description even though everyone who is part of that group doesn’t share the same characteristic. For example, contrary to cultural thinking,

· Not all blondes are dizzy!
· Not all jocks are stupid!
· Not all democrats are liberal heathens!
· Not all republicans are Christian good guys!
· Not all people with tattoos are rebellious!
· Not all overweight people are lazy!

Unfortunately, we do the same thing with religious labels as well. I’m not just talking about denominational labels. There are countless other labels that we use under the umbrella of Christendom. For example, here are just a few labels:

· Fundamentalist
· Evangelical
· Calvinist
· Armenian
· Seeker Friendly
· Purpose Driven
· Emergent
· Charismatic

The problem is that we tend to lump anyone that even comes close to any of these labels with the same characteristics. Unfortunately, labels are not as neat and tidy as many people try to make them out to be. Believe it or not:

· Not all fundamentalists are extremists!
· Not all charismatics roll in the aisles and handle snakes!
· Not all in the emergent movement deny Jesus is the only way to heaven!
· Not all seeker friendly churches preach a watered down Gospel!
· Not all purpose driven churches are motivated solely by numbers!
· Not all Calvinists are against personal evangelism!
· Not all Armenians are theologically unsound!
· Not all evangelicals are sound in doctrine!

I’m not against distinctions. I have chosen to be Grace Brethren (Grace Church is part of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches). I like the distinctives that go with that label. Yet sometimes I think we have become way too good at playing “the label game”!

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