In response to a number of articles dealing with understanding conservative evangelicals, I wrote this response. I work with a UCC/Disciples campus ministry and doing the basic outreach had a chance to talk with a Southern Baptist campus minister. Now here's two ministries which are on different ends of the spectrum. One of the wierdest aspects of this conversation was this:
He kept on assuming values that I do not hold to such as relativism. Why? Because our campus ministry is open to gay and lesbians. But it seemed beyond the imagination to believe that such a stance was not based on the refusal to make moral judgments...rather they were in fact expressions of moral evaluation. He was shocked to learn that college students actually attend our ministry, because he believed that no college student could be liberal and still go to church. He wasn't aware of our doctrine, but homosexuality was enough of a divide to insure that he would never work with us in the future.
I learned some things, and certainly learning needs to go happen for those of us on the left end of things, but I suppose because we lost the election all the articles (and confessions) are about *our* lack of understanding. But in my experience it cuts both ways. Many evangelicals do not understand liberal protestants, don't particularily care to actually. Don't understand gay and lesbians. If this was a call for mutual understanding, great. But one sided calls are not likely to get the same reception.