so, after reading a few blogs this evening and reflecting on some recent conversations with friends, i'm finding myself so frustrated with the assumptions that go with labels we use to categorize people.
i know we need some ways to group people and to identify ourselves with groups but i'm frustrated with the frequent easiness we assume the worst about people based on their labels. i'm as guilty of it as anyone, but i'm finding myself to be more sensitive to it lately.
emergent people frequently blog & comment about the ills of the evangelicals. evangelicals frequently blog & comment about the evils of emergents. both claim the other side has perverted the gospel. i have friends who've eschewed the use of the word 'christian' and prefer jesus-follower or something similar. i know there are lots of people who've used the word 'christian' in ways that are more political than related to the meaning i learned for the word 'christ-like'. and i also recognize that there are people who do very un-christ-like things while calling themselves christian.
the fact is that it doesn't matter how you label yourself or others, if you don't extend to others the love and grace that christ has extended to you, you don't bring him glory--you just pervert a whole new set of labels and create for the community of faith that chooses jesus more bad publicity.
for myself, i'm going to try to not judge others by their labels. i'm going to try to take people on an individual basis. i'm going to assume that regardless of the group people choose in trying to figure out their relationship to christ that they are trying their best in the ways they know how.
i don't expect myself to be perfect at this, or even good at it consistently. but i am going to try to assume the best about people. by trying to assume the best first i hope to be a little less suspicious and cynical.