In the past week, it has come to my attention how terrified many people are to express their opinions, or discuss ideas, if they come across as even the slightest bit controversial. Much of this realization comes in light of the recent election result.
I woke up on Friday morning, unashamedly disappointed with the result. It was the first election I voted it, and it was just as if my little markings on the ballot paper meant nothing, lost in a sea of other little markings, making virtually no difference to the outcome.
The run up to the election was a time filled with thinking, researching, and a lot of praying. My university CU even had a Christian charity come in to tell us the importance of Christians voting in the election. I had so many experienced, older Christians suggesting websites, or books to read, and they encouraged me to pray through my decision on who to vote for. It was as if the Church family was really getting involved.
Then came the 8th of May, when the result was announced.
Suddenly, I found many of these experienced Christians claiming to have virtually no opinion on the result. The people that had been so involved in encouraging me to vote retreated from their prior activism and began saying how 'unity' was the most important thing to focus on.
Whilst yes, unity is an extremely important thing, unity does not consist of passively accepting something you believe is wrong. Unity is standing together, working together, being actively involved in society, not standing at the sidelines allowing for issues to drift past us.
When I got back to uni, I found, once again, a large proportion of my Christian friends expressed a passivity towards the election result.
Now, I'm not saying everyone should be fervently exclaiming their personal views on politics (if they even have any), but with this passivity comes a silence that shuts the door on important discussions.
I have noticed this trend not only with the topic of the election, but also other issues that I think deserve (and need) to be talked about.
Backing away from controversial discussions does not encourage unity. In my mind, to back away from entering these discussions creates a rift between us. Mature discussions, without it turning in to an argument are possible, which is something a lot of us seem to forget. We focus so much on not wanting to squabble and fight, that we dismiss talking about so many serious issues.
Discussion of controversial topics, and engaging with other viewpoints, encourages learning and unity between us. If we take the time to consider something we may disagree with, or not know much about, this shows maturity and an openness to connect with various types of people. Through these discussions, progress and change can occur.
As Christians, we are already living radically. Let's not back away when we can arouse some real change for the better.
P.S well, that was controversial. To cool off, take a look at this picture of some delicious cakes I baked the other day...