Tuesday, March 13, 2012

On Criticizing Your Church...

Excellent post from Jared Wilson:


That voice in your head that keeps rehearsing the disappointments and flaws of your church is not from the Lord. It is the accuser, helping you get to the “I have no need of you” forbidden in 1 Corinthians 12:21. We may have legitimate concerns about our church’s maturity, its repentance, its effectiveness, or its “personality,” and there is certainly a place for sharing concerns and criticisms, a biblical call to honest appraisal, and plenty of space for exhortation and rebuke, but many claiming to do these things have shifted to a legal measuring none of us really has the authority for...

In 1 Peter 5:2, Peter exhorts pastors to shepherd the flock that is among them. I think we could apply this fairly reasonably to non-pastors as well. Love the church that is actually “among you,” not the one you wish was there. God in his wisdom has not placed you there to be a busybody or malcontent. Ask yourself these questions:

1. Am I disappointed my church isn’t more like Jesus, or that it isn’t more like me? In the diversity of the body is a diversity of callings and passions. It is not fair, nor gracious, to expect the other members of a body to carry the same individual callings or passions as others. If the problem is disobedience to a clear biblical command, that is one thing. If the problem is disinterest in your interest, that is
another.

2. Is the problem a matter for church discipline? Is it an issue of gospel-denial? Rebukes are for sin, not for disappointment. If your church affirms the gospel but denies emphasis on your area of concern, don’t make a federal case out of it.

3. Can you rehearse the blessings and benefits of your local body as easily as their flaws and failings? If you are constantly unhappy there and cannot shake envy for the wish-dream, it is better for you to leave in peace than to stay and grumble.

4. Do you see others’ faults more readily than your own? The answer to this question, for nearly all of us, is yes. So it is with great caution and great desire for grace that we ought to make the faults of others our business. Your church has a long, long way to go, no doubt. Every church does. But so do you.

Let’s not be our church’s accuser. Someone has already taken that position. And let’s not keep constantly taking our church’s temperature. Let’s love and serve and submit and, yes, exhort and rebuke, and then let’s love and serve and submit more and more, believing that the Spirit is at work many times in ways we are blind to. God will be faithful to finish the good work he’s begun in us, and he doesn’t need you walking around with your hall monitor sash, handing out demerits.
Read the whole post HERE.

5 comments:

Jim said...

Todd -

Love your blog. Just a general comment. Could you have the links open in new pages so I never have to retrace to get back to where I was on your blog?

Thanks

Todd Pruitt said...

Jim,
Thanks.

I must admit that I am one of the most technilogically inept people I know. So if someone could help me understand your request and show me how to do it I would be happy to help.

threegirldad said...

Todd,

You can do what Jim is asking for by adding the string target="new" in between the link itself (be sure there's a space character) and the 'greater than' symbol in front of 'HERE'. Ironically, I can't show you an example because Blogger doesn't allow the use of the 'target' tag in comments. :-)

Some people consider this poor etiquette on the part of a webmaster/blog owner. The alternative is for readers to right-click on the link and choose to open it in a new window or tab via the context menu.

Sean said...

Todd,

If you can't figure out the instructions above, email me, I can lend a hand.

-Sean (same one who helps with your sermon logos)

Harley A. said...

Amen! We are all guilty of this. Great article.