20 Reasons Why the Christian Right & the Christian Left Won’t Adopt Me

Why the Christian Right Won’t Adopt Me

  1. Like F.F. Bruce, I believe words like “plenary” and “inerrant” are unnecessary when speaking about the truthfulness of Scripture.
  2. I don’t believe the Bible clearly addresses the question of the eternal destiny of those who have never heard or understood the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  3. I don’t believe Scripture answers every question posed to it. And there are many questions, including theological ones, which are shrouded in mystery.
  4. I believe that racism and sexism are serious problems in the USA and shouldn’t be viewed as “lesser” than other moral evils.
  5. I believe that slander, hatred, greed, and fits of rage are just as sinful as fornication and stealing (so did Paul – 1 Corinthians 6:10-11; Galatians 5:19-21).
  6. I don’t know whether to whistle or wind my watch, to laugh or cry at The American Patriot’s Bible.
  7. I believe that God loves the poor and taking care of them should be just as high a priority as other social issues, if not more.
  8. While I don’t believe the theory of evolution with respect to human origins is air-tight, many genuine and devout Christians (past and present) believe it to be fact (“theistic evolution”). And because Christ has received them, so do I.
  9. I believe a narrative approach to the Bible is a far superior way to understand Scripture than a systematical approach.
  10. While I disagree with him on many things, I find some of what Brian McLaren teaches to be valuable.

Why the Christian Left Won’t Adopt Me

  1. I believe the Bible – all of it – is divinely inspired, completely true, fully authoritative, and wholly reliable.
  2. I believe that when Jesus said He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and no man comes to the Father but by Him, He wasn’t lying. Nor was He being narrow minded. (And I believe Jesus of Nazareth actually uttered those words.)
  3. Though I possess neither, I don’t believe it is a sin to own a Cadillac Escalade or a private jet.
  4. I believe that accusing people of racism and sexism when they aren’t racist or sexist is just as wrong as racism and sexism.
  5. I sometimes think that there is too much talk about rights and not enough talk about taking responsibility.
  6. I believe that Paul’s words in 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 still hold true today.
  7. Postmodern deconstructionism, while helpful in discounting modernity (whose fundamental tenents challenge Christianity), is inadequate for bringing one to the Truth, who is Christ.
  8. I believe there is a big difference between the world system and the ekklesia, and the former is God’s enemy (1 John 2:15-17).
  9. There are still many first-rate scholars who argue that there are sound historical and scientific reasons for believing that Adam was a real, historical person. And it is wrong to ridicule and scorn them.
  10. While I disagree with him on many things, I find some of what John MacArthur teaches to be valuable.

The Family to Which I Belong

Note that I could easily lengthen the list and expand each point. But this is a blog post, not a book.

Of course, not everyone who aligns themselves with the Christian Right affirms each point I’ve listed above. Yet many do. The same is true for those who align themselves with the Christian Left. Yet many do.

And just for good measure, I don’t believe in making a fetish out of political or theological centrism.

That said, it’s okay if the Christian Left and the Christian Right movements won’t adopt me. You see, I belong to the Family of God, which is made up of all who have the Lord’s life within them. And that includes my sisters and brothers in Christ who are on the left and the right.

It may surprise some that I have close friends and family members who are on the far right on the political and theological spectrum, and they are intensely and passionately involved in the political process.

I also have close friends and family members who are on the far left on the political and theological spectrum, and they are intensely and passionately involved in the political process.

I’m glad that they are following their vision, conscience, and passion as I believe all believers should.

Let me say two things parenthetically at this point:

(1) It’s fascinating to me that people who are part of the Christian Left and the Christian Right routinely accuse one another of accommodating the culture and supporting Caesar and Empire.

(2) As a generality, the Left believes in speaking to “power.” However, when it does, it’s usually in the areas of contra racism, alleviating poverty, protesting against unjust war, etc. In general, the Right also believes in speaking to “power.” However, when it does, it’s usually in the areas of the fight against abortion, pornography, etc.

Very rarely do we see leaders or movements today in the spirit of Joseph Cardinal Bernardine who advocated “the seamless garment,” protesting against abortion as well as the causes which produce poverty and unjust war. To Bernardine, to fight against abortion, war, poverty, and the death penalty was to be consistently pro-life.

Let me add a postscript: Being a liberal Democrat doesn’t make one “cool” any more than being a conservative Republican makes one “moral.” So it seems to me anyway.

End of parenthetical statement.

Again, I’ve always encouraged Christians to follow their vision, conscience, and passion regarding what they believe God’s will is for the world. And I applaud believers who are laboring in the trenches with respect to God’s Kingdom work. As I’ve written and spoken elsewhere, such work is important to me, and it’s something in which I’m actively engaged myself.

For that reason, while I may disagree with my friends and family members on various theological, social, and political points, we love, respect, and support one another. Especially in the work of helping those who are needy and suffering, both on the justice side and on the mercy side.

And our differences have never affected our relationship.

So even if the Right and Left movements won’t adopt me, I happily declare that I am kin to all genuine followers of Jesus, regardless of their political or theological bent. :-)

And they will know we are Christians by our love for one another.

“They drew a circle that shut me out — a heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. But love and I had the wit to win. We drew a circle that took them in” (Edwin Markham).

Rick Warren and N.T. Wright

In closing, I really appreciate what Rick Warren said recently in an interview with ABC News:

“The coarsening of our culture and the loss of civility in our civilization is one of the things that concerns me most about our nation. We don’t know how to disagree without being disagreeable. The fact is, you can — you can walk hand-in-hand without seeing eye-to-eye.  And what we need in our country is unity, not uniformity. There are major differences, politically, religiously, economically in our nation. We have many different streams in our nation . . . What is solvable is how we treat each other with our differences . . . In fact, the Bible tells me in I Peter, show respect to everyone, even people I totally disagree with. So I’m coming from that viewpoint in that we must return civility to our civilization in order to get on. But the reason I do that is because of the deeper reason, there’s a spiritual root to my reason for civility.”

This post fits nicely with my Beyond Evangelical (short for beyond evangelicalism) series. So I’ll be making it one of the chapters in the upcoming book by the same name.

On a related note, not long after I wrote this post (it’s been in the queue for over a month), I learned that N.T. Wright just wrote a piece that lists how both the “left wing” and the “right wing” (his words) misread the Bible. His approach is “beyond evangelical,” and it serves as a great companion essay to this post.

See also, Christianity in Crisis: A Response to Andrew Sullivan’s Newsweek Article

Related:

Specific Ways to Engage the Culture and Express the Kingdom

Four Aspects of the Church’s Mission in the World

Rethinking Women in Ministry

Exclusive Interview with N.T. Wright & Other Such Things

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Comments

  1. John Teeling says

    Great post, Frank. I don’t want to be adopted by the religious right or left. I am thankful and very glad to be adopted into the family of God through Christ. I like the idea of civility and respect in the conversations with people that we disagree with – Christian or other.

    I particularly like the quotes in the post from Markham and Warren.

    “They drew a circle that shut me out — a heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. But love and I had the wit to win. We drew a circle that took them in” (Edwin Markham).

    “The coarsening of our culture and the loss of civility in our civilization is one of the things that concerns me most about our nation. We don’t know how to disagree without being disagreeable. The fact is, you can — you can walk hand-in-hand without seeing eye-to-eye.  And what we need in our country is unity, not uniformity. There are major differences, politically, religiously, economically in our nation. We have many different streams in our nation . . . What is solvable is how we treat each other with our differences . . . In fact, the Bible tells me in I Peter, show respect to everyone, even people I totally disagree with. So I’m coming from that viewpoint in that we must return civility to our civilization in order to get on. But the reason I do that is because of the deeper reason, there’s a spiritual root to my reason for civility.” (Rick Warren)

  2. Rob Pineda says

    I have been at “odds” with many in my church due to me not being so political. I see myself as FIRST, a citizen of the Kingdom. All this world system is inferior. It’s tough out there…in the Church!

  3. Guy says

    Well said, Frank. However, the issue splintering the left and right today is the place of gays (LGBT) in the church. Any thoughts?

  4. Shet Yachov says

    As far as both right or left leanings in the politics, which I believe politics are are both governmental and “church”, I see failed systems made by men. Neither advance the Kingdom of God, but follow the patterns of the ruler of this world. So how we can lean either way is beyond me anymore. Having been rescued from the right in which I grew up my heart grieves for them and their enslavements they endure. As to the left I grieve for their enslavement as well while it is different. Neither bring freedom and curse reversal. Only Jesus does this. Like Derek Webb wrote in a song there is no savior on Capital Hill. No purely earthly man will rescue this earth on the One of heaven and Earth brings Liberty, which is what exousia means, ans we are in Him.

  5. Alice Spicer says

    This is probably the best post I have read on your blog yet (I’ve been a regular reader since you started your blogging again a while back and an occasional reader prior to that). It reminds me of an often overlooked scripture that has become one of my favorites over the last few years – “Test everything, hold on to what is good.” This, along with ‘love God and love others’ is an excellent way to live a life of contentment.

  6. says

    Wow, what a relevant and important message, I’ve had many conversations on his topic and it is increasingly a frustrating point of contention that people get offended that you are not on “their side.” I want to see he power of resurrection take hold and genuinely change someone, I don’t want their point of view, or political leaning to be altered, I want to see their lives transformed. Who you vote for and your stance on gun control is a circumstantial product of your intellect and reasoning. Where your faith lies and how you treat people you claim to care about those are spiritual matters. i can disagree with you on one but we must come to a central point of application somewhere on the other.

    Oh and i’m stinkin loving his blog.

  7. Marcus says

    Once again a great post Frank, I will admit I had to read points #2 on both lists a few times to truly understand what your conveying and I completely agree with both points as well.

  8. Angela says

    Frank, Amen and Amen brother.

    I am astonished that you wrote this that long ago and chose to post it today, as there’s quite the controversy on Facebook about this stuff. I appreciate the back-up, brother :)

    I have come to all the same conclusions mostly independently of you, although after diving into the same streams that you have, and definitely refined them as a result of you resolutely pointing us to Christ in all things. Great confirmation. Oh that the different sides would listen to each other and grow!

  9. Tamara Buchan says

    Thank you, Frank, for a very thoughtful blog. I am in agreement with you. I believe unity is not having the same opinion, but it is believing the others have good intentions, speaking positively about one another, and remembering we come from the same Father!

  10. Nick Mackison says

    This is helpful. I see in myself this great desire to adopt a label and become part of a body or movement (either left or right). Yet the only body I need to belong to is Christ’s! God bless.

  11. Chris Lovie-Tyler says

    I love this post, Frank. I get tired of the labels that divide us. None of us, even in politics, are simply “left” or “right”.

  12. karen says

    You seem to read my mind, Frank. I find myself somewhere in the middle…too conservative for the liberals and too liberal for the conservatives, as I say. Rick Warren is my pastor and I love that he keeps things in perspective, not majoring in the minors as so many folks do. I have been on all ends of the spectrum throughout my life, have spent hours in the past debating predestination (exhausting!) and matters of eternal destiny and then veering over to the “all we need is love side” from there. Seeing as that I’m only 35, I’m sure I may expand my views as I get older, but for now, I rest in the fact that so much of God and even the Bible is a mystery..that if we had all the answers and everything figured out, we wouldn’t have much of a need for him. Thanks for the post!

    • Nick says

      Hey Karen. I’m right there with you though I don’t think Frank is suggesting a middle position as much as one that transcends both systems. His ‘beyond evangelical’ series is great on this. I’m in my 30′s too and I think most of the people who read this blog are too with 20′s as well.

  13. RobS says

    Do #2 on each list butt heads against each other? If Romans 3:23 is true, then no one is innocent of falling short against the holy character of God.

    I don’t pose these topics to condemn those people — rather to encourage those with the Gospel to continue to carry it out to the corners of the earth with fervor & energy.

    I’d like to say all those people get a free pass, but that seems contrary to Jesus giving the Great Commission. Why tell people if ignorance gets you a free pass? The worst thing someone could do is hear the Gospel in that case (because they could reject it). So it should be a motivating driver to reach the nations.

    • says

      You will find a great deal in Scripture that “butts heads” and is paradoxical and even contradictory (according to human logical, that is). If you don’t, you’re not reading carefully enough. The Bible wasn’t written in Aristotelian logic and whenever we try to compress it into that mold, we bend other texts to make them fit. This is a topic for a whole ‘nother blog post . . . or really, book.

      • RobS says

        Frank — agreed many things can.

        One item though is a direct quote from Scripture from the words of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The other is a described situation where the person admits they “do not know” which is good that they are humble in this.

        But… for the other pieces of evidence and comments that we can directly read, it would seem that we should be reaching the world with the news of the Gospel. I’m sure you don’t disagree, while at the same time, the Bible doesn’t share a lot of information about “everything going great” for not taking the message of the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

        And absolutely, it’s another post, series, or book..!

  14. Dona says

    My grandmother/mentor used to end many of our discussions by pointing out the hard life I was going to face as, according to her, I was “neither fish nor fowl”. SO many times she repeated this! And although it’s proven true I didn’t mind very much until it started to apply to my life WITHIN the Body of Christ. And now, so much more, since this whole Christian Right and Left stuff has grown into such a divisive issue. (So sad.) And like Frank, and the others who have posted here, I fit into neither of these groups. The fact is that ALL of us in the Body of Christ are neither fish nor fowl, but all are New Creatures. This should be all that matters. I look forward to when it is so in all our minds, hearts and lives.

  15. says

    “I believe the Bible – all of it – is divinely inspired, completely true, fully authoritative, and wholly reliable.”

    I’m curious how you deal with contradictions in the bible. For example, I just happened upon this recently in my readings where Jesus seems to be saying opposite things in different versions of the story.

  16. Mick Smith says

    Good post Frank, although I have to say that I don’t actually agree with all your beliefs on either of your list (I am British so I don’t know whether that makes a difference!!!). Having said that I do agree totally that we should not fellowship on the basis of our differences (we will always have different opinions about something or other) but, as you say, all genuine followers of Jesus are part of my family and I accept and love them as such. That is the basis of our fellowshipping together. Be blessed.

    • says

      I’m not sure I will agree with all of them either 10 years from now. Ask me then. ;-) btw/ Britain had the best musicians and the best scholars, so yes, you guys are far ahead . . . :-)

  17. says

    Beloved brother Frank Viola,

    While I agree with many of the things you have written above, I simply must disagree with your second point under “Right Wing;” and my verse for that is the same you paralleled in the second point under “Left Wing.”

    You said, “I don’t believe the Bible clearly addresses the question of the eternal destiny of those who have never heard or understood the gospel of Jesus Christ.” However, I believe (as a fallible child) that it does. Here is why:

    The Scripture makes it clear that, first of all, we all deserve the just wrath of God (Rom 3:10-12,23; thus Nahum 1:2-3) without exception; for in Adam, *all* die (1 Cor 15:22, Rom 5:12,14). Yet Christ drank that wrath of God (Ps 75); bearing the sin of many (Isa 53:12); for His sheep alone does He give away His life (Jn 10:15).

    Here is where I disagree, on one hand. For those who die without being washed in that all-precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, who (although having a mind sufficient enough to understand the glory of God as revealed in the heavens, and thus being without excuse as per. Rom 1:18-20), they will end up in the same place I deserve to go: under the furious, abiding, eternal wrath of God (Mt 25:46, Jer 30:23-24, Rev 14:10-11). This is because Jesus is the Only Way, and if they do not walk on that path (never hearing the gospel, although seeing the Glory of God proclaimed across the Heavens, as per Psa 8:1 and 19:1-3), they will not go “to the Father”, because they did not come by way of Jesus. If they did, then they would be saved not by the regenerating, fruit-giving blood of Christ, but they would be saved by ignorance.

    Here is where I disagree, on the other hand. You said, “I don’t believe the Bible clearly addresses the question of the eternal destiny of those who have never… *understood* the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Let me offer suggestions of people who would never understand the gospel of Christ: babes and children under a certain age (which God alone knows – called by some the “age of accountability”) and people with mental deficiencies like major Down’s syndrome and alike. I would not group people who have the ability to clearly perceive the glory of God across creation, supress this truth (ie. Rom 1:18 through chp. 2), yet die without having someone preach to them. They belong in the above category.

    Christ says that “the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these [little children]” (Mt 19:14), and that one can’t even ENTER Heaven unless they receive the kingdom like a child (Mt 18:3, Mk 10:15, Lk 18:17). This leads me to think that children (be it physically and mentally, as babes and infants and young toddlers, or merely mentally, as those with Down’s Syndrome) will enter the kingdom of God; not because they are young, but because Christ died for them (thus Jn 14:6 and the above verses).

    So, I believe the Bible makes the eternal destiny of both groups of people quite clear.

    I am but a child, and if anyone spies any mistakes in here, please do not hesitate to point them out. Thank you for your patience.

    May God bless you all with double the spirit of Elijah.

    • says

      Thank you for sharing your personal opinion. I’m familiar with these texts and they aren’t clear on that question as you state (to many of us, like C.S. Lewis, etc.). You even make exceptions at the end, which makes my point. :-)

    • Steve says

      You actually made Frank’s point. First you argued that everyone is a sinner and deserving of wrath which just about everyone agrees with, but then you selected a few groups of people who you think will be saved without hearing or understanding the gospel. The Bible doesn’t talk about people with mental disorders or babies in reference to eternal life and Romans 2 isn’t exactly clear. That’s Frank’s point. The Bible doesn’t address the question in an obvious way.

      • says

        Brother beloved by God,

        You said, “First you argued that everyone is a sinner and deserving of wrath which just about everyone agrees with…”

        Yes, I pointed out from scripture that everyone is a sinner and God cannot unjustly leave their sins unpunished, as Solomon said: “These also are sayings of the wise: To show partiality in judging is not good: Whoever says to the guilty, “You are innocent” – peoples will curse him and nations denounce him.” (Prv 24:23-24)

        You said, ” then you selected a few groups of people who you think will be saved without hearing or understanding the gospel.”

        I did, drawing from Scripture. Lest I be hypocritical, I tried to carefully point out that there is no “exception,” no “gap” in the mercy of God as some think (C.S. Lewis, that godly man, is an example of this: see the salvation of Emeth and the perdition of Susan in The Final Battle – but that is neither here nor now).

        What I mean is that if anyone goes to Heaven, it’s only by the blood of Christ. Faith and Repentance are gifts from God and unlock the promise of salvation, but salvation does not spring from them in and of itself. So if babies go to Heaven, it is because Christ died for them. If they go to Hell (I believe the scripture testifies that this will not occur), it is because they were born in sin. If any man who has not had a given evangelist come and share with Him the gospel of Christ is given, nonetheless, a revelation of Him by God and trusts in His blood, of course He will be with us in Heaven.

        Jesus is the eternal unchanging One (Heb 13:8), and if He says He’s the way (Jn 14:6) “that means there ain’t no one else.” (Lecrae)

        “The Bible doesn’t talk about people with mental disorders or babies in reference to eternal life and Romans 2 isn’t exactly clear.”

        I somewhat agree with your first clause: the Bible does not directly say “babies will be saved.” Nor does the Bible directly say “God is triune.” But if we draw on clear, biblical principles, we will arrive at the conclusion that He is triune. Likewise I believe that if we draw from Biblical principles in terms of the salvation of those whom God has created to be unable of understanding the gospel, we will understand that God has ordained that they be saved by the blood of Christ. For example, after preaching on judgment, Christ says that His Father has revealed these things to little children (Mt 11:24), that little children were rejoicing in Christ (Mt 21:16 w/ “babes” in Psa 8:2), that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to little children (Mt 19:14), and that no one but those receiving the Kingdom like children (hence those with a childlike mind) will enter into Glory (Mt 18:3, Mk 10:15, Lk 18:17).

        You may disagree with me, but I think it would be a shame to brush these things away without meditating on it.

        I am convinced that this is so, yet we all know that doesn’t mean it is. I ask your forgiveness if I have been rude at all.

        May you seek the promises of God, Amen.

    • Angela says

      A very good response and lots of us agree with your reasoning, but again the point is it takes a long chain of possibly fallible study and thought to come to these conclusions so we need to remain humble and remember we could be wrong, and can’t say the Bible is perfectly clear. We do know that the Judge of all the earth will do Right.

      Since you have obviously thought alot about this, I would encourage you to consider some other points. That Christ died for all and has reconciled the whole world to God, and utterly defeated sin and death. And that faith in the Creator God was saving faith for Abraham. Then you might enjoy reading Eternity in their Hearts by Don Richardson about how every culture understands that there is a creator, has a promise of reconciliation from God, and thus has enough knowledge to look to him for deliverance, although they do not yet know the Plan–i.e. the Lord Jesus Christ. I don’t think universalism is correct, but do think those who haven’t heard the name of Christ can have what we like to call saving faith. I believe some of them do. They are still only saved through Jesus’ redemption of them on the cross. Just some food for thought.

    • Jim Patterson says

      Your logic is inconsistent. If everyone has to repent and believe, then so do babies and so do mentally ill people and so do people who have never heard the preached word. Frank holds the line against universalism by saying that no one can come to the Father but by Jesus, but he’s right that the Bible doesn’t address the question of those who have never heard including the groups you mentioned. We can only speculate.

    • says

      Very simply: I don’t think God has revealed to us His plans for those that have never heard. But, being God, I think He’s quite able to handle the situation.

  18. Nicole Cottrell says

    Frank,
    Thank you for writing this because as a believer who neither identifies herself with the left or the right, I find great encouragement in your message here.

    I found myself nodding my head in agreement with so much of what you stated. I am a bi-racial (half black, half white), tattooed, homeschooling, organic church believing, recycling, pro-life woman. Neither side has any idea what to do with me based on those points, let alone where I stand theologically (much of my theology mirrors your own, in fact).

    So again, thank you, because my identity lies in Christ and not a label. I belong to His family and that is where I am ever-grateful to reside.

  19. Gioia Morris says

    “They drew a circle that shut me out — a heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. But love and I had the wit to win. We drew a circle that took them in” (Edwin Markham). WOW!!! What a refreshing way to start my day :):) thanks once again Frank!!

  20. Bill says

    I think this post is excellent and timely and it needs to be said in the detail you said it in, even though it’s not very long.

  21. Bob Romanelli says

    Thank God. This is so on target and so uplifting. The Lord always has a witness to each generation. Praise our Blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  22. Adam Ericksen says

    I especially liked your point about being consistently pro-life. Joseph Cardinal Bernardine is indeed very helpful here. I would only question the emphasis on encouraging Christians to follow “their” vision, conscious, and passion. I don’t think our interpretive principle should be “us” but the crucified and resurrected Jesus. We see this on the road to Emmaus, where Jesus interprets all of Scripture to Cleopas and his friend. Jesus interprets Scripture as the Victim of human violence who forgives. Left alone, we on the Left and Right interpret Scripture to justify a spirit of violence, whereas Jesus interprets Scripture to transform us into the spirit of forgiveness.

    • says

      Adam. Thanks for the comment. I assume you’re new to the blog as my qualification regarding “vision” was unnecessary as I’ve made that point countless times here and in books that it’s old hat. Nonetheless, “conscience” was included with vision which relates to how the Lord leads us. But of course, not our vision, but HIS always as informed by conscience. How we come to God’s will is another discussion altogether, which has been treated elsewhere. Hope you won’t be a stranger here. Appreciate the comment.

      • Adam Ericksen says

        Ahh … Thank you Frank. I hesitated b/c I figured that was probably the case. Thank you for your gracious response.

  23. says

    This is so good! I resonate with almost all of these statements. People have a hard time believing that one person could believe the statements in both of these lists. But being able to believe both lists is a result of trying to read the bible without our cultural glasses on instead of just being parrots of Christian culture. I love this!

  24. Gayla says

    I have had this quote pinned up on the wall on a laminated note card since 1999. “They drew a circle that shut me out — a heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. But love and I had the wit to win. We drew a circle that took them in” (Edwin Markham).

    I totally agree with Cathy above this post hits “… the eye of the needle!” for me. Thanks.

  25. Cathy says

    Frank you have lifted yourself above the noise with a call to the ecclesia…this way through the eye of the needle! We have ears to hear. Thank you.

  26. GeorgiaAna says

    Love the Markham quote: poetry often captures the essentials, cutting to the quick, without laboring all the points that weight a discussion. When one is seriously about (1) embracing a quick and loving obedience to the revealed will and soft-strong Voice of God, and (2) obeying the command to accept others exactly as one has been accepted in the Beloved … well, there’s not a lot of time left to worry about who has left one out. Thanks for sharing this.

  27. says

    Excellent and very well put. When I was in America, I saw for the first time how it was possible to be on the political right, but with care and compassion make it work. It still didn’t change my leftist leanings though. At least by seeing it in action I could appreciate the stance more. I have found, however, that I must be quite offensive to others by not taking their political standpoint, which is sad. There are those who just can’t tolerate an alternative world view, but I have been asking myself whether I can be less offensive to those of different political persuasions somehow. Is it possible to challenge without offending? Or are people so entrenched in their ways at times they cannot take a challenge? Is there a way of putting forward ideas without being seen as confrontational?

  28. says

    This helps me to further clarify my own thoughts on the matter. Currently they are just sort of dancing around in my head with nothing that is really concrete, yet. It’s been difficult for me to put into words up to this point. I hope at some point to write about it and when I do this will definitely be a reference for me.

  29. says

    As a military chaplain, I carry a small rucksack everywhere with an patch on it reading, “Infidel.” Some wrongly see it as anti-Islamic, when in fact I bought it as a label from those on both the Christian left and right. Coincidentally, before reading your post, I was making a list in my head this morning of the reasons for that patch…many of them you already captured! Thought-provoking post, thank you.

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