Disagreeing well during Lent – two podcasters discuss their reflections


Learning to listen to those you disagree with can often be a fraught task, but faith can enable deep connections to form despite difference, according to Christian podcasters.
A man's hands are shown gesticulating at a laptop screen. He may be having an argument or simply working from home - an anonymous woman is in the background passively sitting at the desk

The co-hosts of With All Due Respect are two Christians with differing views on life and faith. 

Megan and Michael agree, however, their faith can help them. 

Michael explained: “Our society has really lost the ability to disagree well. But of all people, I think Christians have a chance to do this better.” 

Megan added: “If we trust in God then we don’t have to fight all the battles right here, right now, by ourselves. We are actually freed to act graciously, to act sacrificially.”

One example of conflict includes ordained ministry for women.

Yet both acknowledge their friendship does not depend on the resolution of their areas of disagreement or on abandoning their convictions. 

Nor does it depend on avoiding differences and focusing only on what they have in common. It depends on a commitment to having a relationship. It is this commitment that enables them sometimes to explore the more painful topics together – knowing that agreement is unlikely.

Both Megan and Michael’s actions have prompted wider discussion. The “counter-cultural” act of disagreeing well can prove inspiring. Megan said: “Suddenly we’re both no longer as much in our echo chambers.”

These issues can be explored in The Difference Course an five-session course which equips participants with the skills to disagree well. 

In each session, the course applies three "habits" that help us encounter others well, cross divides and see society transformed. These are “be curious”, “be present”, and “reimagine”.

The Church of England’s theme for Lent 2022 is Embracing Justice, with daily reflections linked to a weekly topic. 

The third week of Lent’s topic is “Justice as Encounter” with a suggested action to “try to speak to someone you would not normally speak with – someone you disagree with.”

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