Time to listen as well as speak

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I find politics very interesting. I love to read articles and watch reports and commentaries related to all things politics. I have strong personal political beliefs. That being said, this post is not about my personal political beliefs nor is it about advocating for any particular position or group within a debate.

As a nation we have an issue with guns. There are many people in this nation who hold their second amendment rights dear, many who are advocates of responsible firearm ownership for hunting and protection, many who believe that guns are a privilege and a right that should not be taken away. There are many people in this nation as well who believe that the second amendment is abused, many that believe firearm ownership is out of control, many that believe some or all weapons create an unnecessary danger in homes and communities.

We live in a diverse nation filled with people full of different ideas and backgrounds. We live in a nation that is founded upon the principle that all people can, and do, have a voice and that together those voices direct and guide this nation. We live in a nation that is built upon free speech.

Speaking is importantbut an important part of speech is listening and it seems as though we just don’t listen to one another anymore. People in favor of guns seem to only hear “restrictions” or “rights abuse” and people opposed to guns seem to only hear “more guns” or “no restrictions”. Our nation has stopped listening to one another and in doing so we are unable to lift our voices together to come to compromise and understanding in the wake of a national tragedy.

What is this doing on a church website? The church is not political which is exactly why I will not advocate for a pro-gun or anti-gun position. I am posting this here because while we are a church we are also the people of this nation and we need to carry the lessons of our faith, the hope of our faith, out into the nation which we all share. We are all children of God, no distinction between any of us, Greek or Jew, slave or free, male or female. We are all children of God, equal and loved in the eyes of God regardless of whether we are Republican or Democrat, pro-gun or anti-gun. We are all created the same, loved and forgiven the same, valued the same in the eyes of God.

We don’t all have to agree on every issue but maybe if we can remember that we are all loved by God, no matter what our position on a given issue is, then maybe we can begin listening to one another. If we can listen to one another than maybe we can find compromise so that we can all move forward together as beloved children of God.

In the wake of the tragedy, horror, and sorrow that occurred in Orlando it is time that we begin listening to one another. We need to hear the fears of one another. We need to hear the voices of our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community. We need to hear the voices of those who are in favor of gun ownership. We need to hear the voices of those who are opposed to gun ownership. We need to hear the voices of all, share our own voices, and move together as one community, one people, all loved and equal in the sight of God. It’s not about winning the argument for your side, it’s about speaking AND listening, seeing that we are all God’s children, and moving together.

Your fellow servant in Christ,

Pastor Suloff

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