Critics in the Church come and go like the cycles of ocean tides. They run up on the beach of the Church to make their claim and then recede, leaving behind the hissing foam of their declaration of judgment. Over the years, I have noticed several areas where critics are especially drawn.
Scripture – Critics typically have a narrow field of acceptable Bible translations. They find a few sections of a particular translation they view as objectionable and discount the entirety of that translation. They begin to lump entire groups of people into their judgment and dismiss longtime friends and relationships on a quest for biblical purity – a purity not available in any translation.
Worship – Critics in the area of worship resemble someone kicking down the bedroom door of a married couple, catching them in an intimate moment, and criticizing their lovemaking. These critics have a preferred form of worship. They believe one size of worship fits all and anything outside that understanding is heresy and worthy of their judgment and condemnation.
Sin – Critics like to focus on the sins of other people, not their own. Unrepented sin does need to be addressed, but only within the parameters laid out in a biblical process. That process is filled with mercy and offers of restoration over time. Sin critics like to use public forums to shout out the sins of other people to gain a following of fellow sin-critics. Social media has made this dark ministry viral, like a virus that infects all who come in contact with its sickness.
Be careful taking on the assignment to be a critic of anything in the Lord’s Church. Use discernment in all things. Be wise and compassionate in how you apply that discernment. Only the Spirit can convict someone of their sin in any meaningful way. Above all, everything we do must be done in love, or it will produce the fruit of another kingdom, a fruit that is bitter and filled with sorrow.