The right to be wrong?

perspectiveWe love reader feedback. We welcome and encourage it. Our readers reflect the diversity that makes up South Florida, viewing issues from varying perspectives. Having lived in a few places and traveled to many more before settling down in Fort Lauderdale, I really love living here and experiencing the diversity of its people. It’s never boring!

We all have one

Over the last several months we’ve received so much great feedback on recent articles. But, not surprisingly, it often comes from two different opinions sometimes contrasting dramatically on the same article. Everyone has their own perspectives, ideas and opinions; that’s great. How do we know who is right and who is wrong? That is the million dollar question. Of course there is truth, but let’s just focus on perspective and opinion for now.

To see or not to see

When the movie “Noah” came out, it raised great controversy. We ran an article about it several months ago because it was newsworthy and about a biblical story. Yes it should be in the Good News. It’s a biblical story produced by secular people. Some people said, “thanks for the heads up” and “great perspective.” Others were upset we would run an article about it, giving it any publicity. There were Facebook posts debating, “Should Christians go see/support the movie or not?” My perspective was, “If we don’t see the movie and someone has questions about it, how are we going to be able to respond intelligently?”

Many years ago when we wrote an article about the movie “The Passion of the Christ” by Mel Gibson, there were varying opinions from around the world because it was rated R. I recently watched “The Passion of the Christ” on Easter and could barely get through it. In my view it was done really well and evokes emotion and feeling about the death of Jesus Christ like nothing else I have experienced.

This goes to show that everyone has a perspective, and that perspective is based on the reality of their own belief and conviction.

Did you read it

Sometimes when we get input from our readers, it needs a bit of clarification. Sometimes perspectives arise from the headline alone before people even read the articles.
One of the most common responses I give when I get a phone call or email about a topic is “Did you read the article?”

We are a culture of people who jump to conclusions. We formulate opinions before we have all the information, establish our perspective first and ask questions later. Proverbs 18:13 states, “Spouting off before listening to the facts is both foolish and shameful” (NLT). We are all guilty of that. I often have to sharpen my listening skills during a conversation where I think I have lots to say and keep an open perspective. When I do, I usually learn much more and become less of a fool than if I had jumped to an opinion.

Last month we finally developed an article about Christian marketing strategies that asked “Do we go too far?” The article was posing the question “How far is far enough in getting people to go to church?” There have been so many billboards, postcards, newspaper ads and stunts locally crafted by churches. For the record, I personally love most of the creativity and uniqueness of these efforts to bring people in who wouldn’t normally go to church. We had several people comment that it was a good article and some jumped straight to a less favorable opinion based on the church graphic that illustrated it. But that is OK. We each have our own ideas and opinions of what is too far. The article didn’t say if it was right or wrong; it simply posed a question and informed.

As a newspaper it is our job to inform and challenge our readers to think about their opinions, show the perspective of others, tell a story, share a viewpoint and prayerfully engage our readers to respond. If what we do causes people to start something, support something, understand something or simply to be enlightened about something then we have done our job.

Please post comments regarding this article online at goodnewsfl.org or email me [email protected]

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