About Me

My photo

I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio

DEALING BIBLICALLY WITH CRITICISM
PT ONE
Footnote:
I went to dictionary. com and found there were 228 results for criticism
  • "Criticism in general terms means democratic judgment over the suitability of a subject for the intended purposes, as opposed to the authoritarian command, which is meant as an absolute realization of the authority's will, thus not open for debate."
  • "Constructive criticism is the process of offering valid and well-reasoned opinions about the work of others with the intention of helping the reader or the artist, rather than creating an oppositional attitude"

  • You could use these words as well: interpretation, judgment, notice, observation, opinion.

People in the public eye will face criticism. Andpeople will deal with criticism differently.

My friend Bruce Traeger from Cedarville College: on how people deal with "disagreements."

  • "For some, disagreement is the enemy of their soul and therefore, those who think differently from them are to be opposed at all costs. For theirs is a life of certain knowledge which can only be instructedfurther by those who already think like them. "

I've encountered it quite frequently as a pastor, and a few times as a blogger. I'm sure that those who have analyzed one of my sermons, or made a suggestion regarding one of my threads , think that I have callously or arrogantly brushed it aside without a thought if I don't fully and instantly embrace their view. I understand that thinking; however, this is seldom (if ever) the case. (Except when DeWayne Prosser makes his judgments, and then I listen 99% of the time.)

.Evaluating and responding to criticism is a very thin narrow wire, I think; and I think you'll agree, if you think it through with me

Hugh "Squish" Hewitt likes to quote a proverb, "When everyone tells you you're drunk, sit down." There's clearly wisdom in those words: if you keep hearing the same thing from person after person after person, the odds are good to excellent that they're seeing something. And you're a fool if you shrug it off without a thought. The proverb has wisdom, I say, but not all wisdom. The answer to the rhetorical question, "Can [however many] Frenchmen be wrong?" is "Of course they can." Think of it Biblically. Consider this:

  • "When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the LORD. 11 They said to Moses, "Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: 'Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians'? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness." (Exodus 14:10-12)


It’s clear here in this story. These are the people of God! They'd just prayed (v. 10), so what they said had religious framework! They said in one accord that Moses had brought them all out to die in the wilderness! They said they knew it all along!And they were all wrong!Then think of the spies' report in Numbers 13. Twelve spies sent, twelve came back, ten of the twelve - a landslide! - said that there was no way they could take the land. And they were dead wrong.But they did influence most of the people, and most of the people took their counsel and performed on it. And they were dead wrong.

Think of Israel at Jesus' time. "Crucify! Crucify!" Religious people, all united and fervent in their opinion; all dead wrong. For that matter, think of Israel today, the vast majority of whom still are stubbornly and hard-heartedly in a state of Deuteronomy 18:19.So the Christian must know that it is possible for the vast majority of any body of devout to be absolutely certain, enthusiastic, heartily and specifically condemning, and utterly, completely, dead wrong.

But it isn't merely a political phenomenon, for scores of pastors and writers are little different. They preach topically, so as to avoid unpopular truths. In interviews or private conversations, they may insist that they hold these truths. "Hold them" they may; "hold them high" they do not.So we should disregard all criticism, right?Well, of course not. And here we must turn about, lean over and examine the other side of this narrow ridge on which a Christian leader must stand, with its equally disastrous drop off.

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant and Proof Read by Charity Whisnant