Making room for those we don’t agree with

At the moment I’m up in Belgrave Heights (in the hills east of Melbourne) for SURRENDER’s Melbourne conference. The focus of SURRENDER is calling Christians to the margins of society. Some of us would say that Christian discipleship is essentiaqlly moving toward the margins.

One of the main things I’ve been doing this year is setting up a space for people to acknowledge where they are at with regards to sexual orientation and gender identity. In Christian circles it is still often a struggle for us to get space to talk about this. Normally when we do get space to talk about this there is often only one acceptable perspective, which tends to be the more conservative one.

I think we still need to allow space for the people who disagree. I don’t expect all of my comrades will share this perspective with me. But I think that squashing discussion means none of us go anywhere. People with the unacceptable perspective just shut up about what they think. I don’t think that arguing often gets us anywhere either. When we argue we just become more defensive of our own position.

So this weekend I’m hoping we can share space with each other. Or at least hear each other’s stories as we pass each other heading in different directions.

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