Should we always keep controversial opinions/beliefs to ourselves?
Paul would seem to say as much when he advises, as there had been a dispute about food/drink (if memory serves), folks to keep their opinions (their knowledge?) to themselves on the subject. As I recall, he does state that knowledge puffs up before he advises this, so some might argue that here he only means to shut those up who are stating their knowledge arrogantly. However, he does not qualify his statement basically for them to keep their mouths shut by saying anything like that. He does not say that, if they are doing it arrogantly, to keep their mouths shut but, if they are doing so with (apparrently?) legitimate motives such as to correct someone whom they legitimately think is wrong or misguided either unintentionally or rebelliously/maliciously. Indeed, I would think the latter would be proper justification for making your opinions known to others, even if they were controversial, fi you’ve strong conviction about them. Of course, if the other person responds (and continues to do so no matter what you do) negatively to such statements, it would be advisable simply to stop with them, not only because it doesn’t make sense to persist but because it may rupture friendship/unity.
The first part of my questions on this matter deal primarily with folks inside the Church. The next part of my questions will deal with folks outside.
Then, what about outside the Church? If I held this or that controversial belief/opinion – a belief/opinion that the Church has not spokien one way or the other on – and a non-Catholic/Christian held the opposite opinion/belief (even ifit is a so-called “secular” and not necessarily a directly spiritual or doctrinal issue), should I completely keep my mouth shut about it to him/her merely because he/she might think that the whole of the Church holds this view? Indeed, such an issue just might (especially if it hits on a moral question) cause the other person not to convert to Christianity/Catholicism because, again, they might (erroneously) think that the Church definitely holds the view I do. they might even fail to ask me about it and just assume and tacitly decide not to convert. So, in a case like this, would God require that I simply keep my mouth shut on the issue even if my convictions are strong and I wish to correct the view of of the other person and not to be arrogant about it or anything? Is the possibility of that person not converting suffciient grounds to keep my controversial opinions to myself, if that other person might assume that the entire Church holds the same view and I don’t have a chance to correct them/any misconceptions they may have about either the Church’s view or my own on the subject?
So, both inside and outside the Church, when is it OK to express controversial opinions and when is it required that we keep our mouths shut, even if we believe our opinions/beleifs to be true?