Let’s start with an honest comment from Furtick:
When I make comments about refusing to let critics upset me, it’s usually b/c a critic has just upset me.
I appreciate Steven’s honesty. I have often wondered why the Turnstile pastors spend so much time talking about, blogging about, tweeting about, how much they don’t care about what their critics say. Perry Noble even took the time to develop a well-reasoned apologetic for his critics: SCOREBOARD. If you follow these guys on any given week, you will notice that it is extremely rare for them to make it a few days without addressing critics in some way. Why do these guys think they are above criticism? Perhaps the idea comes from Purpose Driven mentor Rick Warren, who made this statement in his book The Purpose Driven Church:
Do not criticize what God is blessing.
This is one of those weird statements that seems OK upon first glance, but might require a little more digging. What is Warren really saying here?
- How do we know what God is blessing? Is it because of a large congregation? Financially prosperous? Large number of converts?
- What about the false prophets Jesus warned against in Matthew 7:15 ? Wouldn’t it be possible that these false prophets looked like they were being blessed by God?
- 1 Thessalonians 5:21 tells us to test everything. That would seem to imply that we should even test things that which God is blessing. Perhaps, if God is truly behind it, it will hold up to criticism.
I think it is fairly obvious that what Warren really meant was:
Do not criticize what Rick Warren thinks God is blessing.
I have a slightly different concept: Criticize everything. I think this holds up pretty well in light of 1 Thes. 5:21 . God will not be offended if you test His work against scripture. Nor will God’s work ever fail that test. Not all criticism will be helpful. Not all will be scriptural. This is what the passage means by holding on to the good, and discarding the evil.
A question we routinely get here is, “How would you feel if people were criticizing you?”
I welcome it.
You may have noticed that we leave the comments open for you, and as long as you are civil, you are allowed to say what you think. Furthermore, if your criticism is well founded and based in Scripture, I may actually benefit from hearing it. So, I encourage you to criticize all that I say. If what I say does not line up with Scripture, discard it and correct me.
However, if you find that what I say does line up with Scripture, that may require action on your end.