Wednesday, November 15, 2006

labels - who am i?

One of the things which attracted me to Brian McLaren's book 'Generous Orthodoxy' was the subtitle 'Why I Am a Missional, Evangelical, Post/Protestant, Liberal/Conservative, Mystical/Poetic, Biblical, Charismatic/Contemplative, Fundamentalist/Calvinist, Anabaptist/Anglican, Methodist, Catholic, Green, Incarnational, Depressed-yet-hopeful, Emergent, Unfinished Christian'

I have had various times in my life when taking on a label (Charismatic, fundamentalist, Evangelical, Liberal, Catholic etc etc) was a way of giving myself an identity, usually expressed by what i wanted to disassociate myself from rather than what i actually believed. On the whole, though, my choice of labels has been a divisive action rather than a uniting one, an exclusive rather than an inclusive act. These days there is one label i won't compromise on, Christian, and the rest don't matter. If someone wants to know about what i mean when i say i am a Christian i won't resort to labels, i'll tell them about Jesus, and tell them something of my story and what it means to follow Jesus - or at least what it has meant and means for me.

I don't mind being called a Christian, or a disciple of Jesus, or a follower of Christ, or a Jesus Freak - in fact i love it. All the other stuff is pretty much superflous.

Though i would pretty much share Brian McLaren's labels, if you must know - though i may mean different things when i use them (another problem with labels).

1 comment:

moog said...

i'll have to try and read this, I enjoyed the ideas in the new kind of christian books, though i found the writing style a tad cheesy.