In discussion with several people this past week I realized a few things. There are many people in the general church membership, on church committees, or in lay leadership roles that are afraid to voice their opinion for fear of upsetting others. Remember, everyone’s opinion is important when voiced in a positive and non-accusatory manner.
I enjoy listening to opposing opinions. They force me to reexamine my own beliefs. Do I know what I believe? Are my beliefs supported by facts or are they emotional. Am I rearranging the facts to support my beliefs. Is the opposing opinion fact based? Am I wrong?
Certainly, voicing opposing opinions can cause friction and divisiveness. Unfortunately, failing to voice opposing opinions can be taken as having no opinion or supporting the current discussion. If you feel strongly about an issue and have a particular opinion do not be afraid to speak up.
Hopefully the various emails and articles being circulated about the United Methodist Church provide information allowing each of us to become more informed about our beliefs. Information that will prepare each of us to voice an opinion supported by facts, not emotions.
It is not easy to speak up, but how can we possibly spread God’s message about salvation, grace, and the forgiveness of sins if we are unwilling to speak up when hearing a viewpoint we disagree with.