What is the purpose of a “label” within today’s church? Within our conservative circles, there seems to be a debate raging regarding the need to label ourselves. If you do not have the right label, you are “snubbed”. Students that attend FBTS are told that for a church to be approved, it must carry the label “baptist”. Our culture today (call it post-modern or whatever label 🙂 you like) has sought to remove these labels. Often, the removal of these labels from our churches is met with fierce criticism by our fundamentalist brothers. One wonders, though, if this fierce opposition is rooted, not in the text itself, but in the modernistic reality of their previous culture. Modernism, with its insistence upon scientific reality, seemed to attract labels to itself. The modernist liked to define and label things (whether they be world views, or historical categories). Is the same true of our “older” fundamental/evangelical movement? Did the “older fundamentalist” buy into this aspect of culture, enjoying labeling and being labeled? Now, they react to the removal of these labels, not due to the biblical mandate to label (if there is one?), but based on a reliance upon their cultural bias (being raised and taught within a modernistic culture). The follow up question is then obvious. . . what is the purpose of a label? . . . and what label are important (fundamentalist, baptist, evangelical, reformed, new-fundamentalist)? Love to hear your thoughts!

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