How to deal with critics? Destroy them. 18

NewSpring’s creative pastor, Shane Duffey, advises pastors from other churches on how to deal with critics.

Don’t swerve for animals (critics (in & out) will try to get you off the road… just run them over)

I believe him.

18 thoughts on “How to deal with critics? Destroy them.

  1. Paul Oct 7, 2009 12:22 pm

    such a stark difference from Jesus who confronted his critics.

  2. Corner Coffee Oct 7, 2009 12:53 pm

    This is yet another example bias causing you to miss the point.

    Poorly worded, maybe. But I doubt very seriously this guy is actually advocating running a critic over (or “destry(ing) them” as you paraphrased it). It’s called a “metaphor”, and we end up making ourselves look foolish when we fail to recognize it in action. But if it needs an explanation, then here you go:

    My father once told me that when a small animal runs across the road that I wasn’t supposed to try to miss them. It’s dangerous for me to try to avoid an animal … I might run off the road, get into an accident, etc. Just stay on track and let the animal worry about avoiding me. He told me this for my own good, for my own safety.

    His point in the metaphor was for us to ignore critics, and stay the course that God has plotted for us. If they try to get you off course, it’s THEIR responsibility to get out of YOUR way, not the other way around.

  3. James Downing Oct 7, 2009 1:10 pm

    So go ahead and decipher the part that says “run them over”.

  4. keitho Oct 7, 2009 1:15 pm


    Your father was wise. However, we are talking about humans here, and because we are, we easily delude ourselves into thinking our causes, paths, and directions are just, even up to and including “God told me to” (and you can finish the sentence with whatever).

    So now when your wife becomes your critic, and you just ignore her, let me know how that works for you. Not all critics will be ignored, nor should they be.

  5. Paul Oct 7, 2009 1:39 pm

    Corner Coffee…

    it is the attitude that is the problem. obviously i would no think this guy would actually kill his critic. his attitude reflects an arrogance where he is above criticism. many modern evangelicals are falling into this trap. instead of ignorning, perhaps we should be listening to waht is being said, and then test it by the Scriptures. we might actually learn something, and even more importantly, be steered away from error.

  6. James Duncan Oct 7, 2009 2:09 pm


    Let’s see. I quote the guy accurately and say I believe him, and that’s reason for you to disagree with me.

    And you think I’m the one with the bias problem?

  7. Corner Coffee Oct 7, 2009 3:17 pm

    when people who know and love me provide me with unsolicited criticism, I listen. If I’m smart, I will actively seek counsel and criticism from better men/women than me. If churches with a high profile entertained every criticism they received, they’d have no time left over for ministry. It’s best to keep your eyes on the road, and if any squirrels meander onto the road, “run them over”.

    No one is above criticism. But being discriminating of what critics we listen to, and who we “run over”, is just common sense.

    You didn’t just quote someone. Your commentary was what showed your bias. No one confuses the message with the metaphor unless he means to.

    In the context of the section of the document you linked to, I would think you would be able to do so yourself. It’s REALLY easy. Paul and keitho made head/tails of it pretty easily.

    • James Duncan Oct 7, 2009 3:53 pm


      What commentary? The title is a paraphrase, the first sentence provides context, and the last sentence is an affirmation.

      What’s not to like?

  8. Corner Coffee Oct 7, 2009 4:56 pm

    You commentary was this:

    1. The title. A “paraphrase” that confused the message with the metaphor.
    2. You “I believe him” remark, which (again) showed that you attempted (humorously, I admit) to conflate what the man was trying to say with the metaphor he was using to say it.
    3. The utter lack of context with with you quoted him, aside from a link to an 8 page document which took me several minutes to even locate the quote you pulled.

  9. James Duncan Oct 7, 2009 5:22 pm

    Not to beat a dead horse (see, I can use metaphors too),

    Nothing I said (however briefly) is inconsistent with interpreting his message as metaphorical. I didn’t actually think he runs over bloggers with his car. “Run them over,” however, is metaphorically different than “pay them no attention.”

    As to the appeal to context, Duffey didn’t offer this within any wider context. It was his special closing nugget of wisdom offered by itself. If you wanted to see what it came after, I provided you the link. Should I have quoted all eight pages first?

  10. Ron Oct 7, 2009 7:57 pm

    The Duffy quote seems, I think, to be somewhat reflective of the insular culture of NS’s leadership: Shane on Perry’s critics – “Oh, just to be clear… I don’t mean that the scoffers don’t know Perry… I’m afraid they don’t know Jesus. My fear is that their hate toward a man they don’t know is just evidence that they don’t know a Man they can know.”

    I think Shane is probably a very nice guy and I admire, on one level,his defense of his friend and leader, Perry. Shane often has good things to say on his blog, too. But for him to infer critics of Perry may not be Christian because they do not know Perry is just a bit over the top…that along with his metaphor of not swerving to avoid critics. So, unless I personally know Perry, I cannot criticize him for to do so infers I am probably a ‘hater’ and not a Christian. I think that if NS and fellow travelers would maybe sometimes maybe once address honest concerns from critics…..oh….I forgot…..Scoreboard.

  11. Corner Coffee Oct 7, 2009 8:34 pm

    I think you bring up a good point. Ideally, occasionally addressing a critic would be a great thing. In fact, many of the leaders that are criticized on this blog (and others) have done that very thing, and I love it when it happens.

    There’s a problem with that (I’ve seen it personally):

    Critic A has a valid critique of the church. The church answers Critic A. Perhaps they come to some sort of agreement, perhaps not. But the fact that the church addressed them spawns a mob of new critics, each with their own critiques. Some don’t like the music. Some don’t like the way people dress. Some don’t like the message preached last Sunday. Some don’t like the color paint used in the kids area. Some might think the church should speak in tongues more. Some might think the church hasn’t been tough enough on people who think it’s good to speak in tongues. On and on it goes …

    You can see, addressing unknown critics can get out of hand very quickly if the church is large. You can’t just address one or some and ignore the others. You’d spend hundreds of man-hours per week just sorting through the complaints to find the legitimate ones.

    What you guys are asking for (basically an acknowledgment and rebuttal to your complaints) is next to impossible. A man would drive himself insane doing that. It can’t be done.

    So, does it now make more sense why these guys would much rather just ignore every single letter of complaint they get, and just focus on people they love and trust to point out when they go wrong?

  12. James Duncan Oct 7, 2009 10:54 pm


    You and Duffey offer a false dichotomy. It’s not between running over your critics or being stopped by them. It seems that commentators here have suggested three responses to criticism.

    1) Engage them.

    2) Ignore them.

    3) Destroy them.

    NS does not do #1. It does not do #2. Which leaves us with the Duffey approach.

    Perry Noble does not ignore his critics. You may have noticed that he talks about them all the time, usually to pat himself on the back about how big and brave he is for ignoring them. (This is old ground on PP, but we don’t write for PN or SF.)

    When Noble isn’t telling us how good he is to ignore critics, he’s telling everyone that we’re not saved.

    So, again, I believe Duffey accurately describes the NS approach to criticism.

  13. Corner Coffee Oct 8, 2009 12:00 am

    I’m personally not comfortable with people questioning other people’s status with Christ without knowing them personally. I don’t like it at all.

    Point conceded.

    However, saying that you are going to ignore critics is not the same thing as destroying them.

    Given the amount of criticism that Noble and others receive on the net (and in their back yard), I’d probably have to remind myself to ignore them too, if it were me.

  14. James Downing Oct 8, 2009 12:29 am

    I, for one, care nothing about a personal interaction with Noble or any of the others. My comments are generally pointed towards causing others to think. I just don’t see alot of encouragemnet from that camp for their followers to think about what is going on and wonder about how it holds up to scripture. If I can just get someone to look deeper at what is happening (regardless of if they ever agree with me or not) then I feel like I’ve done my job.

    I don’t expect NS or PN to ever interact with critics, though he certainly should respond to concerns from his own members. Still, the wise thing to do is not ignore what is being said, or fight to silnce what is being said. Do what the Bible says to do. Test all things. If a critique is legitimate, then take care of it. If not, discard it.
    Pretty simple really. Th only thing that gets in the way is pride.

  15. Ben Oct 8, 2009 8:04 am

    Downing, are you sitting down? I agree with you! Your comments do cause me to examine and think. So far the results of that have been to only confirm my faith in Christ and the church. There are times that maybe a church should respond to a critic but that all goes back to the intentions of the critic in the first place and I know we don’t want to rehash that. I’ve NEVER not asked a question that wasn’t answered by my church. Three different instances come to mind. Two answers I agreed with and one I didn’t but they were all answered.

    If a critique is legitimate, then take care of it. If not, discard it.

  16. Tommy F Oct 13, 2009 8:11 pm

    Just curious, JDuncan: why do you end with “I believe him”?

    • James Duncan Oct 13, 2009 10:43 pm

      Why not?

      I keep getting accused of twisting their words, so I’m trying your empathy protocols and believing that they actually mean what they say.

      Mainly, it’s just to throw JT a change up.

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