MESA, AZ - If you meet Philip Torres, you might be tempted to think of him as a "Christian pastor." But as Torres told reporters Friday, he is actually not a Christian pastor at all - he is a pastor who happens to be Christian.
"People like to stick labels on me. They like to think of me as a 'Christian pastor' because it helps them fit me nicely inside a box of preconceived notions," he declared. "I'm a Christian, yes. I'm a pastor, yes. But don't box me in by calling me a 'Christian pastor.'"
Stressing that he hates having to deal with all the baggage that comes from being branded a "Christian pastor," Torres expressed confusion at why so many people want to hem him in and limit his identity.
"Why don't people call Stephen Curry a 'Christian basketball player?'" he asked. "Or Bubba Watson - is he a 'Christian golfer?'"
When pressed to consider that maybe the source of confusion is that fact that he leads a Christian church, he scoffed and corrected the reporter. "No no, we're not a Christian church - we're a church that happens to be Christian."