“Are you Arminian or Reformed?” The man’s question surprised me. He seemed sincere, and my answer was apparently important to him, but it perplexed me. Besides, I just met the guy.
“I don’t know.” And I didn’t care. I’m sure he thought me as evasive or dismissive or pagan or perhaps all three, but I was just being honest. Knowing the answer never merited my time.
He tried again. “What’s tulip mean?”
Oh, I’ve heard this one. “Um, it’s an acronym…” If I knew the answer, he’d label me Reformed. If I didn’t, would that make me Arminian? “…but I don’t remember what it stands for.” Again, honesty prevailed.
Snorting, he tipped his head back and rolled his eyes. He stared for a moment, shook his head, and then stomped off.
I’ve also had people try to pigeonhole me into one of the three main streams of Christianity: Mainline/liberal/traditional, evangelical/fundamental, or Pentecostal/charismatic. How about none of the above? While I identify with parts of all three groups, each has elements I decry.
Then there are those who align with certain preachers or theologians. I respect some, but that doesn’t cause me to follow them. (Consider 1 Corinthians 1:12). I disagree with others, but that doesn’t cause me to reject them. After all, I might be wrong.
For me, my theology comes from the Bible and my commitment is to Jesus. Nothing else matters, so stop calling me names.