Are Labels Helpful?

“Once you label me, you negate me.”-Soren Kierkegaard

Conservative, liberal, progressive, traditionalist, Republican, Democrat, Protestant, Catholic, the list goes on and on.

Are labels helpful?

Is being a (pick your labeling adjective) the word you decide to describe your eternal subjective self?

People will never arrive at any form of wisdom, or social transformation when they live in this either/or frame of thinking. People will only be able to separate and divide under labels. I understand that labels are good to help us define ourselves when we are young, but if we as Christians are serious about loving our enemies, then how can we live in either/or thinking?

Jesus doesn’t just live in such dualistic mindset with others, he teaches us how God wants us to live, “For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike” God doesn’t live in labels, he gives to both evil and good, just and unjust. God isn’t Republican, nor a democrat. He isn’t American, or any other nationality. God is neither Protestant, nor Catholic. God transcends and includes. God is for all of humanity, not just the side we have to decided to join.

 

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2 thoughts on “Are Labels Helpful?

  1. I recently read Insurrection by Peter Rollins and he made a similar point – that by identifying ourselves as “christian,” we are not adding another label to our list of labels or another point on which we can be different from or similar to others. Rather, by identifying as Christians, we are required to, at the same moment, disregard that label and all others that are used to categorize ourselves and others and see all people only as children dearly loved by God.

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