Chasing Contentment

Thursday, September 22

Yesterday, I had a wonderful email conversation with a pastor friend of ours. He was telling me - passionately! - about why he is so convinced his particular denomination is the one for him. I admire those who have such strong feelings of loyalty toward one denomination or another, mainly because I don't.

We currently attend a church in the denomination in which Mike and I were both reared. For me, the choice was based more on habit than conviction. To be perfectly honest, I probably could not adequately articulate the historical views of this denomination, though I am fairly well-versed in their current views. What I know for sure (thanks to Oprah for that particular phrase of modern language), though, is what I believe myself.

I heard an analogy once that described Christianity as a series of concentric circles. The smallest, inner circle held the fundamental tenants of the faith... those things that all Christians must agree on in order to be Christians... and the succession of larger circles held other beliefs - worship styles, preferances, etc., - that we could disagree upon but still be Christian. I love that illustration! It fits my way of thinking.

I read a blog recently that asked questions about what people would know about bloggers simply by reading their blogs. It posed a series of questions about faith and politics and love. I try very hard on this blog to not identify myself with any particular religious or political group because I don't want to be labeled in one way or another.

I simply want to be seen - and by extension have this blog be seen - as Christian. May people know me from my love rather than by my labels or affiliations. Because in my experience, labels have more to do with my surroundings than with me. Depending upon where I am and who I am with, I can be a conservative Christian, an artist, a mother, a working mother, a liberal Christian, a social conservative, and all manner of other things within a day's time. But I didn't change. The situations around me changed, and thus, gave people different opinions of me.

I don't want labels... on my person or my blog. I want to proclaim that I am a Christian, and I want to be known by how I love.

[  posted by Chel on Thursday, September 22, 2005  ]


Just to be difficult...

Isn't "Christian" a label?

Sorry, I couldn't help myself. One day I may get back to writing in my own blog again and you'll be able to shoot snide remarks my way.

Anyway... You may not remember, but you and I had a conversation similar to this years ago, and we're still on the same page. It boggles my mind sometimes how the four of us have a "musical chairs" thing about which two of us are most alike in various ways. Guess that's what makes us such good friends.

By Blogger Joshua, at 9:56 AM  

Josh makes an interesting - if argumentative :) - point. I suppose that I view 'Christian' as something other than a label. It isn't a word that describes me. It is a belief that defines me.

By Blogger Chel, at 11:51 AM  

It was all in jest, honestly. The way I think, it *was* my first reaction. Then I thought, "I know Mike will probably think the same thing." So, I had to say to say it. Then I got into the meat of your post and forgot about the connection with Mike and focused on our connection.

I do understand what you're saying, though. Corn flakes are corn flakes are corn flakes are corn flakes. But with labels they become Kellog's Corn Flakes, Post Cork Flakes, Great Value Corn Flakes, etc. In other words, it bring's new meaning to the cliche "it's not who you are but whose you are." The latter refers to a Christian being God's "possession." Thus, you are no longer a "who" but a "what" - just like the corn flakes.

I guess what it boils down to is that whether Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, undecided or whatever ... we're all a bunch of flakes.

; )

By Blogger Joshua, at 1:08 PM  

It's a good thing you like my little bunch of flakes... depending upon how Rita hits us, we may be staying in one another's house this weekend... whoever has power or a roof. :)

By Blogger Chel, at 1:33 PM  

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