They are useful – but sometimes too confining.
If I tell you I’m a Baptist (and you aren’t - or maybe you are) that might conjure up all kinds of other baggage that you (and I) might not think too favorable. And quite honestly, I’m probably not all those things that come to mind. I do believe that Jesus Christ came to earth to die for our sins. And that I must personally accept him; trust in him to receive salvation. Additionally I believe that once a person has received Christ he or she will want to be baptized as an outward symbol of proclamation of that. That is about the extent of what I mean to describe about myself by saying I’m Baptist. But in America saying I’m Baptist can connote a bunch of political beliefs as well. Being a christian affects what I believe, but it doesn't mean I am following a particular political agenda.
Please don’t put me in that box.