Don’t Believe All the Criticisms
Since the Garden, God’s work of redemption has been under attack. There’s nothing new under the sun, so that attack continues to this day (Eccl 1:9). Christians must be aware of these attacks to discern the enemy’s lies. This attack often goes like this: “The church isn’t loving. Christians are judgmental. The church is too exclusive. The church needs to change its message!” What are we to make of these criticisms?
Certainly, there is truth in these statements. The church is not a gathering of perfect people—never has been, never will be. We are all sinners, so we must seek the Lord’s grace and healing. Even the best of men are men at best! We acknowledge our faults, but we also acknowledge that the ways of God offend the natural man. Part of the devil’s schemes is to lead Christians to believe that the world’s criticisms of the church are true. Listen to these criticisms but remember this key fact.
At the end of the day, regardless of how kind, gracious, merciful, compassionate, and winsome Christians are, the world will hate us. Our Lord and Savior tells us, “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:19). This means that we can’t believe every criticism we hear. Yes, the church has faults. Yes, we are sinners. Yes, we fall short. But also, yes, to, “Don’t be surprised that the world hates you” (1 John 3:13).