A Word About Labels


I’m agin’ ’em. Against them, that is, if you’re not from the South. My word about labels is “against.”

Especially labels used within the church of our Lord. “Conservative,” “progressive,” “liberal” — they’re all just designed to facilitate the process of choosing up sides and smelling armpits, as my colorful late uncle Gene Ellmore used to say.

They’re not accurate. There are some who would have you believe that Restoration Movement churches — or at least Churches of Christ — are divided into two warring camps, conservatives and progressives. The more accurate picture of our fellowship is that of a sneeze. You can’t bisect it because it’s all over the place and moving farther apart with every microsecond.

I haven’t said anything about ongoing findings that attendance and membership is shrinking, but I will acknowledge it as researched fact. It is not, of course, just our fellowship but the entire body of believers at large. Labeling each other, calling names, accusing and villifying and pillorying each other is not going to help to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

So I will not use the labels. I will discourage their use. They’re inaccurate and divisive.

(And don’t go quoting “Nicolaitans” at me until you have definite proof who they were and what their beliefs/works were and that they did not call themselves by this name in order to provoke division. Its use in the Revelation is not a license to divide and hate. And by the way, it is the “practices” or “deeds” of the Nicolaitans and what they teach that is hated there.)

There is one body; one church.

We would do well to remember that.

2 thoughts on “A Word About Labels

  1. Well Keith seems you have put your finger on the problem, and the eventual result, but what caused it, and what is your solution to save the church?

    I have my thoughts, but I am sure you would not accept them, so gimme yours.

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