UMNS photo by Mike DuBose
"The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people's trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body's growth in building itself up in love." -- Ephesians 4:11-16 (NRSV*)
Forget any thoughts that you might identify with labels such as "Liberal," "Conservative," "Fundamentalism," "Progressive," "Literalism," "Pentecostal," "Adventist" ...
Forget the labels, for in the long run of things they are just that: labels.
There's not one single person on the face of this planet who can identify themselves with one of these labels and be consistent. For, in the long run of things, each of us is way too complex to be any one of those things, or any other label you might come with, unless it is the label "Dead" or "Alive." And then I'm not always sure who is "dead" or "alive." Some people are more alive than dead. Some people are more dead than alive!
So, put the labels aside because in the long and short of it, they don't work.
None of us, no one is purely one or the other. And no one can be "all that!" We can be some of "all that" but not "all that!" If we think we are "all that" we deceive ourselves. We are egotists. We think we can do it all, for all, be all. It's a lie.
Just take a look at the regimes that have fallen over the past thousands of years.
Are Pharaohs around? They tried to be all that, then and there and beyond. They're dead!
Is Hitler around? He tried to be all that!
Is King Henry VIII around? A survivor. He's quite dead, as is his thinking!
Even, some people in the Bible who tried to be "all that." Are they around? Are they listened to? Is everything they preached and taught and lived followed?