Christian BoyLove Forum #63777
There's a widespread unwritten belief that if we are Christians we won't disagree, and that being loving is to never challenge. The moment you actually write this down, you realise how untrue it is! Five minutes in the New Testament will reveal that the disciples and the early church had any number of vigorously expressed arguments; the aim must be to show proper respect for the person and their actual viewpoint, and to attack the viewpoint, NOT the person. Unfortunately one of the challenges of this board - along with all communication that is not face to face - is that we are not getting the whole picture of what the other is saying because in the real world non-verbal communication is a major element of how humans interact. As a result we have to be extra careful to express ourselves in ways that minimise the possibility of misinterpretation. And when responding to something we need to try to ensure we are clear about what we are responding to.
I'm not sure if I achieved these ideals in the recent exchange. However we need to clear that we are here to be honest with each other - for many of us this is the only place where we get close to being - and that means we need to be free to say what we think. The problem is that some of us who enjoy robust debate find it hard to allow for those who are more affected by the tone of such occasions. And a good rule is to try and assume the best about everybody until they have demonstrated that they really mean the worst interpretation of what they said, and not actually a better one.