Read 1 Corinthians 12:18-19
18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! (NLT)
It is so easy to reduce people to categories. It not only happens in wider society (left wing, right wing, moralist, socialist etc.) but also in the church. We are fond of classifying fellow Christians. They may be high church, low church, liberal, fundamentalist, charismatic, reformed, evangelical, catholic. Or any combination of the above!
The problem with such labelling is not that the labels are necessarily false. We do think and speak and meet differently within the Christian church. We have our varying emphases and divergent traditions. The problem arises when we simplistically put people in such pigeonholes without due regard for understanding their individuality. As our text reminds us, God made us different and we serve him differently. But we do so not as broad categories or classifications. We serve him as unique individuals.
Many of us reject church tribalism. We don’t want to be seen to be the flag-bearer for any specific branch of the Christian church. We may have our preferences and may choose to meet within one particular tradition. But it is not this tradition which defines us. We may borrow liberally from other perspectives, other churches. In one sense we don’t belong to any one ‘tribe’. In another sense we belong to all of them.
We are, in the end, mere Christians as C. S. Lewis once put it. We celebrate both our unity and individuality. We reject dismissive categorisation. We reckon pigeonholes are for the birds.