Church vs. Church: The danger of harsh criticism

One day I popped onto facebook to find a friend saying harsh words about our church.  And what was worse, there were about 6 other people jumping on the band wagon, tearing it apart, saying how they should go to THEIR church cause it’s better for reasons x, y, and z.  I got weirdly defensive and a little angry.

That church is where I found Jesus.  That church answered the prayer that lead to my surrender.  That church gave me God’s response to my life-changing prayer that was a catalyst to the radical change in my soul, character, future, everything!

I decided not to respond at that moment, because I knew my response would probably sound silly and emotional.  Like an “I know you are but what am I?” kind of response.  Probably a little childish and not one that would make God proud.

As I carried on my day, I was chewing on why I got so defensive.  Why did I get so angry so quickly?  What is the bigger issue here that God is trying to show me?

So I worked at the root of my negative emotions. There is a major soft spot in my heart for my church because of the salvation I found there.  That church has done wonders for me.  I realized how everybody’s harsh criticisms will probably stop other friends/family from trying out a service there.  That’s when I realized the lesson, one that God wanted to teach me (I realized I was a culprit with this as well), and one that He wants me to share:

We should NEVER publicly insult ANY church, when THAT church could lead a lost person to Jesus.  It could save them from death and bring them to life.  A life where they can finally leave their burdens and sins behind and finally find God’s peace and purpose for them.  A life soon to be on fire for Jesus that will bring glory to God’s kingdom and spread His joy further!

We have to be so careful when talking about other churches, even other denominations.    God speaks to people a lot of ways.  Some prefer traditional church with hymns, some prefer off-beat churches with loud bands.  Some like small churches, some like “mega” churches.  And that’s GREAT!  Celebrate the differences because each one appeals to one of God’s beloved babies in the way it was intended!

I know their are some crooked people out there, maybe even running crooked churches, but to publicly label them as such when you could be so far from God’s opinion about them… that’s dangerous.  It could be detrimental to somebody’s purpose, it could be detrimental to somebody’s life, it could be detrimental to God’s kingdom.

Let God pick out the bad ones and shut them down Himself.  Let God guide people to the perfect church for THEM.  Keep cutting words and negative thoughts on a tight leash.  Don’t let that competitive edge get the better of you when it comes churches.

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