Monday, October 16, 2006

"Middle Evangelical"

I've been reading through the book of John and the following quotes from Jesus struck me:

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. - John 5:39-40

If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. - John 7:17

In Mapping Postmodernism, Greer "concludes" that there is a necessary shift from seeing "turth" as an abstraction unto seeing it as a Person. So with that somewhere in my mind, I am reading these passages (in context) and finding that Jesus sees two things greater than the Scriptures: 1) Himself and (2) obedience.

I'm not sure any deep follower of Jesus would think that Jesus is great and that obedience is a great idea! But to force them to be in competion with the Scripture . . .

So here I find myself somewhat Evangelical and somewhat "middle." I hold to deep moral convictions that I believe are more than just good ideas, they are necessary. I believe that there is a source of Truth outside of my own/cultural rationale (and that it is most easily found in the Bible). Put those two together and source them in Jesus and I find myself "Evangelical." But that's about where it ends.

I find myself "middle" because I don't buy the far right abstraction of all human problems nor the far left "fix the problems but keep the seperation of Morals and State." I find myself in the middle. But to vaguely quote some journalist I heard the other day, "The middle is not a balance of left and right, it's a set of convictions on its own." The 'middle' is a third option, not a synthesis.

So here's what I understand "the middle" to be: actually wanting to make a difference in the world both today and tomorrow. Wanting to deal directly with the problems being faced - without regard for whether an idea comes from the left, the right, or somewhere else. Wanting to deal with issues of poverty/corruption, racism, eco-destruction, unbridled consumerism. Looking ahead and wanting to prevent social decay or destruction in issues like 2-party America, homosexuality, immigration, unbridled stupidity in the name of "science," and many more.

So I am making up a label (and hoping a political party will form so that I can at least have some other option at the polls): Middle Evangelical. Obeying the Scriptures because they are the Words of/from God, the Jesus who is my King, my Friend, my Spouse, my Lord.

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