My heart is heavy over the amount of criticism that can be found on the Internet in the name of "ministry." There are countless web sites devoted to naming names of people, also "in ministry," who are "in error." I have read many scathing reports against people who have written books, have "ministries," sell tapes and videos, and are on television.
Many of these people may well be in error, but is it really necessary to publish their names for millions to see?
What kind of a witness is this to the "unsaved" when "ministries" attack other "ministries?"
Where is the faith in a God Who is big enough to reach into the heart of man and change him into His own image?
This web site (ekklesia4Him) is devoted to pointing out error that has invaded the realm of "Christianity," but I cannot bring myself to the point of naming names of those in error. It is my belief, if Jesus said we should not judge lest we be judged, that we have the right and responsibility to judge the message - not the messenger. The Bible also says that we should avoid those in error. We can separate ourselves from the error, but should we be the judge of the person we perceive to be in error? I do not believe that is the will of God.
We can trust the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth, because He is indeed the Spirit of Truth, just as Jesus said.
If our "ministries" can have a worldwide influence through the use of the Internet, why cannot our prayers for those in error have influence through a God Who is bigger than the whole universe? God’s Grace, which is the work of His Spirit, can touch every individual on earth. He does not need man to criticize others in the public arena such as the Internet.
Are "hits" on our web sites of such value that we must stoop to judging others in order to draw traffic to our sites with juicy, "fact-filled," tidbits aimed at satisfying the flesh-based "hunger" of those who feast on gossip?
Let’s focus on exposing error that is against the Word of God, if the Holy Spirit has revealed it to us, and leave the hearts of others in the hands of God. He may have a work that He is doing in an individual, and when His work is complete and the person turns from the error of his way, God may make him/her a minister of Truth. Who is man that he should have the right to forever judge one who was once in error, but God has transformed?
So much of the criticism that is out there comes from a lack of understanding of where others are in their walk with God. We all have our own beliefs, which are a carry over from our past and the belief system in which we were taught, depending on our church affiliation. If we do not fully understand where a person is in his relationship with God, do we really have a right to name that person's name publicly and cause others to judge? God will hold us accountable for our judgment. Jesus said that we will be judged with the same measure with which we judge others. That is a sobering thought. If the Holy Spirit has revealed error to us, let’s leave the personality to God the Creator, and Re-Creator. Let’s point out error, according to the Spirit of Truth, and judge only the message without naming the messenger.
The heart of God the Father must be grieved over what "Christians" are doing to one another. Thank you for allowing me to share with you what I believe comes from His heart. He has been prompting me for many days to share this here on my web site. I can only pray that there will be those who will take the time to read it and hear the voice of the Spirit - if He brings a witness with your spirit.
By Stella Paterson
Here is some feedback that I have received on "Why Criticize?":
I think what you have shared is a timely message. First of all "ministry" is an act of service. Most people view it as a noun, but it denotes action. So there is no need for us to name a name, but call out the action. I believe God will hold us very much accountable for damage we do by naming a person, and bruising their reputation.
If a brother or sister is at fault, we who are spiritual should pray. Paul named a name of someone, but it was because they left the Gospel. They were no longer in the body. I can't think of the scripture and name at this time.
If a person still says they are in the body of Christ, our obligation is to pray. I believe God has enough grace, mercy and love to change an individual's mind, and cause them to retract an error.
- from a regular visitor to ekklesia4Him