I love labelling………

Oh how we love our labels! In Matthew we see Jesus labelled as a drunkard, in Corinthians we hear of the followers of Paul or Apollos and so forth and so on. The lists are endless, we love labelling people and in doing so, it may just be possible, that we are missing out on the rich tapestry of God because we are so busy labelling folk that we lose out on the breadth that they offer.
It appears that we have lost some of the Calvin V Arminius debates but have fallen headlong into the ‘Alpha V Christianity Explored’, or the ‘Charismatic V Conservative’ (just when we thought it was buried!) debates but at what cost? What damage do these arguments do, within the church and also outside of it? Is the cost worth it?
For some people these arguments can seem distant, for others very real. In the last 10 days, I have been described as ‘Charismatic’ (because of the church I am now attending) and just a day later as a ‘Reformed Conservative Evangelical’ (because of the place that I work) – the context of these labels were important because of the meetings that I was attending and in one situation spent a short while having to defend myself because of the label assigned to me. It can be frustrating.
There are occasions when labels can be useful but it is my contention that we must be very careful in how, when and with whom we choose to use them. These things matter.
As an idealist, I long for the day when we live in the reality spoken of by the Apostle Paul when he said;
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
What a great day that will be, I am looking forward to it, because on that day we will enjoy the richness of God’s tapestry in the lives of His people.