Livid with Labels

January 28, 2006

I struggle with labels. I don’t know what label I even want put on me. There are certainly many labels that I would immediately reject, but no label is definitively specific.

In a conversation with some new (Christian) friends, the history of my vocation was discussed in which I told them that I was most recently on staff at a Baptist church. They quickly (without shame) responded to this with, “Oh, you’re one of those.” What was I to do, I was on the defensive now. I did not want to stand in support of what every person who labeled themselves a “Baptist” had done, nor did I want to disregard the many godly, compassionate, freedom-loving Baptists that I have been in fellowship with. Not to mention the fact that I do align most closely with Baptistic theology.
On another post this week, I made reference to “Community” churches and the lottery that is inherent in visiting one of these. You really never know what to expect.

Finally, I have had a few use the term “emergent” when referring to me. This has become a very loose term, and a label I do not currently wish to wear. The positions of those who would consider themselves emergent vary in drastic ways. If I were to be tied to someone in that movement, I would choose Mark Driscoll over Brian McLaren (although Mark probably does not use the emergent term in relation to himself, there are certainly many that have used the term of him.).

All of this thought today was prompted by an excellent and humorous response to McLaren by Driscoll on Christianity Today’s blog. Enjoy.


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