When Frank Schaeffer came out with his latest article on Huffington Post, I was encouraged. Not exactly known for being the most diplomatic communicator when speaking of his evangelical past, he confessed he had erred in his tendency to "burn evangelicals" in his writing. "Instead of damning each other, maybe we can learn to show mercy to those with whom we disagree, taking our cue from a teacher who said that love of enemy — not correct theology or politics — is all that can make us whole," he wrote. Wise words indeed.
I commented on his post and told him I'm glad he has made this turn, but hope he doesn't lose his prophetic edge. There's a difference between condemning the other and offering loving constructive criticism. I can only hope that my writing has done the latter. If I have crossed the line and condemned, I was wrong and wish to join a more compassionate approach.
Then I saw this on Patheos (What do you want to see in the future for Evangelical Christianity? ). At Wild Goose East, three young evangelicals sat down with Frank to talk about the issues that matter to both of them. "Many conservatives would have wanted to lay into Mr. Schaeffer for his “heresy” and the “evil” he is spreading with his liberal message. But after spending a week witnessing Mr. Frank’s love and Christ-like character, I was convinced that despite our major theological differences that he was a brother in Christ and I wanted to get to hear his story."
Thank you Brandon Robertson for sharing your story. What struck me was Brandon's heart as much as Frank's. "I just wanted to publicly commend Mr. Frank Schaeffer as a young, conservative evangelical Christian who believes that liberals, moderates, and conservatives can all work together to see God’s Kingdom come and will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
Yes, the day has come, when divergent Christians have this attitude and can actually work together (despite their wide differences in theological/ideological views). Brandon calls Frank "liberal," and emphatically includes "liberals" in his list. I'm encouraged that a wing of the conservative Christian movement has take a huge step toward unity and someone like Frank Schaeffer has done the same. I commend both Brandon and Frank. If liberals, progressives, moderates, and conservatives can learn to agree to disagree, agreeably, and in respect and love, and not demonize the other, we just might get a slice of what Brandon Robertson desires: the Reign of God come and God's will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Let it be.