Labels? Doctrines? Do we need them?

And we all have labels. I’m a teacher, more specifically, a physics teacher. Fiancé, brother, nephew, son, friend, mentor, sinner, American, Connecticut resident, mammal, homo sapien, primate, etc. Labels are absolutely fine though they can become bad like anything else. They are just statements about who we are that provide information and context for our lives and beliefs. It’s not about wanting. Our labels are kind of who we are— at least who we understand ourselves to be and who others see us as (correctly or incorrectly).

Ive also never been a fan of the “I have a relationship not a religion” line many other Christians are fond of. That relationship is a religion by definition. I don’t see religion as a bad thing. Many of the Christians who say in my experience anyways, have anti-Catholic sentiment built into their “religious beliefs.”


Good luck having a label on your head then . They are as srupid as anyone who is doctrinal. People like these cant see besides their doctrine. But kf course you defend. So not very openminded are you?

Good luck having a bjnch of orthodox people trying to convince you that kissing icoms amd veneraratimg saints its alright and if yku say otherwise yku are wrong. Yeah not doctrinal at all

The incarnation is doctrine.
To be Christian is to have a label.

Your view on this appears analogous to me to “Red” being upset someone called it a color.

1 Like

No? Also not a christian. More like agnostic to this point. Not even that. I dont want to label myself

Umm no?

So you are considered an orthodox Christian though you state you aren’t a Christian? I’m confuzzled. By whom? Or do you mean you were considered Orthodox?

This basically

To accept a label is to accept some shred of responsibility. Even being agnostic comes with some responsibility assuming you want to have genuine relationships with others where you get to know them and allow them to know you.


Why are you so aggressive?

1 Like

There is a good deal of discussion and various views are presented within Orthodoxy (as I think is found in other branches of Christianity). I suspect dogma and liturgical practices may be areas that may not undergo significant changes - tradition in the Church is also highly regarded.

1 Like

A better question, perhaps, is ‘What happened to you?’.


Im not actually. I domt have a reason to be. I dont know how you can understand online how can someone be aggressive or not. Sorry if i come out as aggressive though

1 Like

It can be challenging online to tell when someone is being aggressive versus someone being confrontational versus someone being bluntly open. One thing I struggle with is coming across kind online. I never feel I’m being mean but I often hear I’m exhaustingly confrontational and opinionated and in my mind I always felt I was being kind and simply engaging in a conversation where I would sacrifice my own free time to respond to everything directed at me. All we can do is listen to how others perceive and try to change our response even if we feel there was nothing wrong with it to begin with.

We can also be blind to how brass we are being especially when we are unknowingly triggered by something that traumatized and angered us and changed our lives.

1 Like

That’s okay. Sorry for the misunderstanding!

1 Like

Yeah, I suffer with this too. I can be needlessly snarky.

Doctrine is a good thing, if it is true. Cars and submarines come with operators’ manuals full of doctrine. Getting them right are matters of life and death, not to mention equipment longevity.


Well here’s to my first egregious failure of word.

Talking of which therefore:

Operators’ manuals > doctrine

A belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a Church, political party, or other group.
A stated principle of government policy, mainly in foreign or military affairs >

user instructions

1 Like

Thats in science

In phillosophy and generally in religion even in politics or anywhere that it doesnt require standard physics laws to actually build upon its bad.

Doctrine in the above fields create only fanaticism and close-mindness leaving no room for other ideas and interpetations

Ive seen it in myself when i argued before with universalists and some others here as well.

This idea of responsibility really got me thinking, Mark. Humans are not silos, we live in a complex social matrix of roles and relationships. I think labels are necessary to make the links in those relationships meaningful and make sense and allow for mutual understanding and respect. Take ‘employer’ and ‘employee’ for example, both come with rights and responsibilities, some are the same, some are different. The terms ‘employee’ and ‘employee’ help to communicate that without having to explain or the little nuances every time. So Labels help provide a social shorthand, a shared language to within a group to quickly communicate what a particular role involves.

Granted some labels are used as tools of power to oppress, manipulate and/or dominate others. But there I think those of us who accept the label ‘citizen’ or ‘human’ have a responsibility to call that out and collectively seek to erase that label and see it replaced with one that affirms value and promote flourishing.

Edit: some light changes for sense making


Admittedly though the label of Christian has got to be a bit heavier to carry. Not to say everyone who claims it shoulders it equally well. But it is a noble ambition to care for others and look out for the forgotten.


I appreciate the sentiment here, Nick, especially as you are trying to work stuff out. However, Human’s are pattern recognition machines, we like to put things in boxes and categories and sets and then stick a label on it. It is how we make sense of the world, and perhaps how are ancestors worked out what was dangerous and what was safe.

My fear is that if you don’t give yourself a label those in your social webs and those you encounter will do it for you. And you might not like the one they give, nor may it be that is for you to replace it when you decide which one fits best.

But some labels like “Christian” or “Agnostic” are big enough tents that you can find safety in numbers as you work out what best describes you and what you believe.

Just something to think about.

1 Like

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.