John Ashmen, the president of Association of Gospel Rescue Missions, gets it right in his short post, "The Riddle of the Middle." Here is a taste:
Baptist minister and sociologist Tony Campolo was arguably the first
to send shock waves through the ranks of the religious right two decades
ago when he responded to a question about his political
leaning—Democrat or Republican? His reply: “It depends on the issue.”
Fundamentalists scorned him, calling him an apostate, but his
assertion gave a new generation of evangelicals permission to scrutinize
political platforms and move to the middle. The middle seemed to make
more sense to younger followers of Jesus who were hearing and heeding
calls to humanitarian causes at home and abroad.
Today, the majority of white evangelicals are still on the right, and
the bulk of black evangelicals are still on the left. Leaders on both
sides are doing their best to hold them there with dire warnings about
the spiritual and social consequences of compromised ideology. In the
middle, however, are a growing number of new evangelicals—people of all
races who have sold their political birthrights and have become
activists who address issues Jesus regularly raised.
But being in the middle can be problematic.
New evangelicals in the middle have had to accept isolation. In the
middle, there is no “Hooray for our side.” Middle is not a side. (But
maybe it will become one someday.)
The right is sure that those in the middle have “lost their
salvation.” Followers of the fundamentals do not move toward a side that
choses choice over life. The left is sure that those in the middle have
allowed blind orthodoxy to recalibrate their compassion compass. Social
justice champions do not forsake the hopes and dreams of the poor and
Read the rest here.