Saturday, June 21, 2014

Criticism, America's new favorite past time

It seems that with every new technology of communication we create, there comes with it a surge of griping, complaining, and criticism. From the printing press, to the CB radio, to the internet, if it allows our voice to be heard, somebody uses it to tear down others rather than for creation. It seems as if people love and enjoy the acts of complaining and criticism. A tendency that even some in the church follow. The question is should the church follow the world's lead on this one when dealing with contrary ideas? Well what if I told you that complaining and criticism is a product of the sinful nature of the flesh? In Galatians 5, Paul lists 15 different products of the fleshly sin nature, and just over half can be tied to criticism and complaining. (They are all listed and asterisked below) Even the sexual sin, that the church is so quick to condemn does not have that many asterisks. Not that I'm trying to marginalize sexual sin in any way, just put things in perspective. If sexual sin is serious, then complaining and criticism should be thought of as just as serious, if not more.  

1. Sexual immorality
2. Impurity 
3. Debauchery
4. Idolatry
5. Witchcraft 
6. Hatred*
7. Discord*
8. Jealousy*
9. Fits of rage*
10. Selfish ambition*
11. Dissensions*
12. Factions*
13. Envy*
14. Drunkenness
15. Orgies 

Hatred, criticism and complaining often manifests itself as hate. 
Discord, or disagreements often comes with criticism and complaining. 
Jealousy, those who are jealous often use complains and criticism to get even with those for whom their jealousy is directed.
Fits of rage, often contain rants of criticism and complaints.    
Selfish ambition, can lead one to use destructive force to eliminate the competition, including criticism and complaints. 
Dissensions, typically involve complaints and criticism.
Factions, frequently revolve around peoples complaints and criticisms of one another.
Envy, Do you know what the difference between jealousy and envy is? Jealousy wants what the other has for themselves. Envy want to destroy what the other has so that nobody can have it. Even if it's only done with words. 

Well it's no wonder people love to complain and criticize so much, it's potentially more seductive than sex. Yet even some in the church have heinously rationalized this particular sin. It's no wonder Jesus wanted us to correct in love rather than judgment, to do otherwise is just plain evil. Yet there are ministry's (Which I will not name) that seem to revolve around criticizing opposing view points in an unloving way, including other ministries. It's very had to reveal the good news of the gospel, when we are constantly casting it in such a negative light.   

If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. 
-Galatians 5:15

2 people criticizing one another
a common tactic used by the aggressive and the passive aggressive 

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