I have been very open about my struggle with criticism on this site and how I have dealt with it; however, I have had quite a few people e-mail me with this question lately, “WHY are some people so critical in blog world? Seriously, why do people I don’t even know hate me?” I think that is a great question and, after thinking about it for a while, I want to offer four reasons.
#1 - Because You Have An Opinion About Something!
Pastor, church leader—understand something…if you have an opinion about something, whether it has to do with theology or methodology, and you openly share it with passion and conviction—SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE is going to get ticked.
Please understand this…most people do not have the guts to share their core convictions about what they believe. That is one of the things that bothers me the most about the “Christian” watchdog sites, they never spend any time developing their own ideas—nope—all they do is spend all of their time attacking others.
Look around and you will discover that a leader with a backbone to declare “thus saith the Lord” is ALWAYS a target of those who are surrounded by a cloud of ambiguity when it comes to their own belief system.
#2 - Because People Are Insecure
One of the BIGGEST problems in Christian circles today is, “If you don’t believe the EXACT same way that I do about every issue then I must attack you and tear you down through blogs and anonymous e-mails until you see it my way.” The reason for this—insecurity.
I came to the conclusion several years ago that there are some godly men and women on this planet who I do not share every core conviction with—but I still love and respect them and believe with all my heart that they love Jesus.
Something that pastors of growing churches have all told me is that a lot of criticism comes from other pastors in their own town. Think about it—that is insecurity to the max—AND, also think about the fact that if God were doing something significant in their church then they would not have the time to be focused on yours.
#3 - Because There Is No Accountability
The internet has made the second part of Proverbs 6:19, something that God HATES according to the verses preceding, a very easy thing to do because people can hide behind a computer screen and never be taken to task in a face to face conversation because of what they have said.
I have seen people say things on websites and send things through fake e-mail addresses that they would never say to my face—ever. I once heard Rob Bell say, “The internet is a place for cowards,” and I have discovered that to be true.
It is VERY easy to lob accusations and point out problems when you are sitting in your underwear in your mothers basement behind a computer screen…it is a much different thing to actually go to someone face to face, IN LOVE, and have an actual conversation about the issue at hand.
#4 - Because Of A Superiority Complex
Finally—the ONLY reason a person would criticize you and/or your church without knowing you OR your situation is because, for some reason, they feel somewhat superior to you. Uh…the last time I checked that is pride, which, as Mark Driscoll says got satan kicked out of heaven and will earn you a cut in the line to hell! (I love Driscoll!)
I have heard people say that all criticism should be listened to because there is an element of truth in it—and I strongly disagree. If I would have listened to all of my critics since day one of NewSpring then we would be a church of about 50, all Christians, who really could care less about the people around us that are a heartbeat away from hell.
The Bible says that Proverbs 27:6 that wounds from a friend CAN BE TRUSTED! So who do I listen to? Those who know and love me…and those I respect and admire. But when some random person who has a blog that 17 of his buddies read decides to tell me that I am a stupid moron who is going to hell…uh…for some reason I just do not feel compelled to listen to him. He is not a friend and therefore cannot be trusted.
Those are just my thoughts—hope that helps.