When Our Labels Fail: The End of 'Pro-Choice'
It's important to understand that some categories are not manmade; they are part of the created order, and their existence is affirmed in the Bible: night/day, light/darkness, good/evil, heaven/earth, and male/female, for example.
But most of the binary categories we operate by in modern society are cultural constructs, not God-ordained. They are often helpful means for creating order out of chaos and for understanding reality within our finite human understanding.
We should recognize that categories that are not from God are limited. Even if useful and good for a time, that usefulness and goodness may be passing. We must be careful not to so distort the reach of any God-ordained category to the point of heresy or idolatry.
Let's consider some other terms that falsely force issues into two polar sides that are inadequate for the complexities of the issues.
· Liberal/Conservative: What do these terms even mean anymore? One could be conservative fiscally, but liberal on social issues (or vice versa); another might be fiscally and socially conservative but culturally liberal (as I am); or someone might be in the middle in all these areas.
· Republican/Democrat: Last year more people identified as "independent" in a Gallup poll than with either of the two major parties. As for me, I know how I tend to vote when choosing the least among many evils, but as far as identifying with either party, most days I'd rather call myself a cat within a pack of hungry dogs than a Republican or a Democrat.
· Black/White: The Bible says God created us as male and female, not black and white (or any color in between). I'm not advocating for any pretentions of colorblindness or ignoring cultural and racial history and heritage, but let's remember that racial categories are the result of humanity's fall, not God's creation.
· Mainstream/Countercultural: A Christian organization where I worked once prohibited "countercultural" hairstyles. This confused me because I thought Christians were supposed to be "countercultural." And now that "countercultural" is mainstream, it's really confusing.
· Heterosexual/Homosexual: This topic is a minefield, I know. But suffice it to say here that while certain behavior might be categorized as same-sex or opposite-sex, the movement that began in the nineteenth century to classify people according to these two identities has, arguably, been more destructive than not.
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