Campbell’s Tomato Soup

There are tens of thousands of denominations in Christianity.  There are an estimated twenty-odd major religions in the world, many of which have or likely have several (if not hundreds or thousands) of branches, break-offs, streams of thought, denominations, sub-groups, or whatever you want to call them.  For the sake of simplicity, I’ll just use sub-group here.

When it comes to non-religious groups, I only recently discovered that
a) there are more than just atheists and agnostics and
b) even atheists and agnostics have sub-groups.

I had always thought you either didn’t believe in any gods or you didn’t know if any really existed, and that was the extent of it.  How do you find the “right” label for yourself?  And are these labels even important?  They always kind of bugged me….maybe because I didn’t know how to label myself.  I always said I was a Christian.  “Yeah…but what kind?”

“Independent fundamental, Bible-believing, Bible-beggin’, foot-stompin’, soul-winnin’, door-knockin’, pew-jumpin’, sin-hatin’, devil-chasin’, King James Version ONLY Baptist!” —Mark Lowry (the only place on the net I could find this quote is here)

My family on both sides is several generation Pentecostal.  From the age of 10 until in my teens when my family stopped attending church, we went to a Baptist church.  So was I a Pentecostal?  Was I a Baptist?  I didn’t really know and figured it shouldn’t matter.  I was a Christian!  That’s all that mattered!  I remember catching a ride somewhere with my great-aunt and uncle and a couple of friends of theirs.  My aunt and uncle are, of course, Pentecostal, as were their friends.  Conversation revolved around God and church, and my aunt suddenly warned her friends “Be careful what you say!  We have a little Baptist in the car!”  I thought about that warning many times over the years, which lead to my belief that denominations don’t matter.  Or labels.

And yet…being label-less in regards to my belief system…I catch myself looking for one.  I feel more vulnerable and lost without one.  I think “If I had a label, I would know what I believe and I’d have an answer for people when they ask me.”  There’s comfort in that.  Security.  I don’t like not having an answer.

GOD I miss the days when I knew what I believed!


5 thoughts on “Campbell’s Tomato Soup

  1. There is some sort of comfort, some apparent clarification attached to labels. Like knowing not only that a friend had a baby, but which gender. But do any of us fit nicely into any group/label? Somewhere the label doesn’t fit. So whether you think you find an appropriate label or not, you’ll likely soon find an itch somewhere.

  2. i always say bad catholic when people ask. ive never had anyone ask me why i say im a bad catholic though. so it fits me well enough and people seem ok with it. i knew catholic didnt fit me correctly. i had an itch =o) so i added in the bad part. made one up. seems to work

  3. I label myself a Christian. But in today’s world, that can mean so many different things. That’s not what matters though, because that label doesn’t define me. My actions and the way I live my life is what defines me. Actions speak much louder than words. That is what separates true Christians from those who simply wear the label.

  4. It’s OK to not have a label. When you have a label you feel the need to defend it so it restricts your thinking. So my advice is to try to remain label-less — or “label-free” — a while longer.

    After a time you’ll probably have re-defined that part of yourself but maybe it won’t be in a way you now recognize.

    As long as you’re content and doing some good, all that doesn’t matter.

    In the meantime I’m sure you can think up something clever to tell the people who insist on hearing some label.

    P.S. I like Campbell’s Golden Mushroom soup.

    • Thanks for the encouragement, ttch. For the time being, I’m mostly just refraining from making comments and whatnot that will lead to my having to explain what I am or am not. Mostly because it’s still confusing to me and so I can’t properly explain to others. =)

      P.S. Mushroom soup is of the devil. =P LOL!

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