Here is a convenient way to decide who is “in” and who is “out,” who we will love, and who we will hate (or disregard.) Stick a label on them.

We have liberals, conservatives, progressives, Calvinists, Hyper-Calvinists, moderate-Calvinists, pre-tribulationalists, post-tribulationalists, mid-tribulationalists, Armenians, fundamentalists, denominationalists, Methodists, Baptists (Southern, General, Regular, Independent, and Free Will) Catholics, Presbyterians, Anglicans, Lutherans, Christian Church, Church of Christ, Pentecostal, Assemblies of God, and independents (there are scores of labels within most of these categories.) Everyone holds their label of “rightness” as though it were some sort of badge of honor, because they are “right.” The attempts to publicize their rightness with the names of various groups is really quite humorous.

A lot of these groups shun the others like the plague, as though they feel they might be corrupted by their theological error.But wait, there’s more! There are the ethnic slurs, and the social economic ones, like “trailer trash” and “welfare queen.”

Mexican, black, liberal, progressive, conservative, and libertarian, are all loaded terms in our sensitive times. Their mere mention often brings a stereotype to our minds.

Once you categorize people, you can ignore them. You don’t need to think about them anymore, except for the reminder that they are wrong, misguided, devalued, lost. You don’t need to get to know anyone from you personal “blacklist” of groups as individuals, because you already have the whole group pegged.

And, so, we have successfully devalued the most important thing in the universe, the most important thing to God: a person.

Our role on earth, as I understand it, is to love God and people, not to categorize (judge) them.


About Glenn

Glenn Hager is a blogger, former newspaper columnist, and author of two books, An Irreligious Faith and Free Range Faith.
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