Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Everyone's a Critic

It's funny... here I am, back in the saddle and I was hoping to write all about my escapades at the Maze SU Camp last week. However it didn't quite work out like that.

I've been feeling pretty low since getting back... and it hasn't been helped by some of the things people have said. I totally accept that one of my gifts (and curses) is the fact that people will always bounce off of me. They relieve their anxieties by lightheartedly mocking my eccentricities. Normally I'm fine with this... so long as I get a reasonable amount of encouragement... but I've skirted dangerously close to the limits of my toleration recently and yesterday I hit the bottom.

I knew that I had abandoned my Bible studies in favour of the passages and prayer I was involved in at the Maze. So I sat down tonight and caught up with my readings - 3 chapters of Nehemiah to be precise. It's a good book, I recommend reading it.

Whilst I was doing so, my mind was led to posting something else entirely separate to what I wanted to write and so I share it with you now.

Recently I've had a couple of hits on my blog searching for information on various missionaries in the context of them being fraudulent.

This is not a new phenomenon.

Many times I have researched preachers from the past and have been grieved by stumbling into fierce character attacks by people (maybe I should say super apostles), who are quick to denounce different preachers... and it is usually based on circumstantial argument and not spiritual discernment.

I don't for one moment assume that every preacher out there is on the level... and I don't take the word of any mere man as gospel.

However, neither will I condemn a man or woman as readily as some of the folk who are out there do.
My message is for them... and it is quite simple:
Be wary of impulsive criticism. Do not grieve the Spirit, do not anger God. Do not call what God has made holy, unholy.

When I was a boy I struggled with a passage in Matthew's gospel concerning blasphemy against the Spirit. Gradually as I grew in wisdom, I learned that this was actually about hardness of heart - namely continually attributing God's goodness to the evil works of the Devil.

I don't particularly care who you personally have taken issue with. In my experience, I have heard people denounce Brother Yun, Smith Wigglesworth and C.S. Lewis - yes that's right... even the 20th century apologist isn't safe! Who's next in line? Spurgeon? The Wesleys? Billy Graham? Names are irrelevant though - this is just as applicable to Pastor Paul or Reverend Rod as it is to the "big guns". I ask you to consider your thoughts,words and motives. Most of all I ask you to examine your hearts in the light of scripture.

Do you speak out of jealousy, a desire to be controversial.... or merely to be heard? Or are you just being sheepish and following the "critical crowd"?

I guess what I'm challenging you to do is to give serious thought to everything you hear. Why is it we so easily swallow rubbish... but when good food comes along we turn our noses up? Do not treat spiritual food in the same manner that children resist proper nourishment.

If something comes from God recognise it as such... I do not say this merely to turn you away from a dark path... but rather in the hope that you find good spiritual food.

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

Ephesians 4:29-32

1 comment:

  1. Loved it! I have greatly enjoyed coming to your blog to read what you have to say. I have been struggling with my christianity and where I am suppose to be in my life. When you start to feel down just remember that what you write does touch some of us out here.


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