Writings: Critics

"It is clear that we face two kinds of critics today. There are many loving critics who care deeply, seek ways to support us, and yearn for growth and vitality. They find themselves in dissent from some of our positions, finding in the Bible and the church's tradition differing understandings of how we are to view contemporary social and moral issues. We need to listen with care, humility and deep respect to these loving critics, assuring them of their honored place, finding ways for them to support those aspects of our ministries that they can fully embrace. We need to be open to the truth that they have spiritual insights to nurture, even challenge us toward greater faithfulness.
"It's also the case that there are critics who do not love, who seek to disrupt, distract, diminish, even destroy our life. These critics, within and beyond, encourage people to withhold financial support of our wider ministries, offer advice and counsel to others on how to leave us, and regularly disseminate deliberately misleading or false information about us. Those who love the church, and cherish its legacy, need to be clear in saying no to this form of critique which falls outside the bounds of acceptable Christian behavior.

Discerning between these two types of critics is one of the great challenges of leadership today. It requires a deep humility to embrace the loving critics, no matter how uncomfortable their critique may be, never saying, "I have no need of you." But it also requires the courage to name those whose actions are out of bounds, saying to those who would disrupt, distract, even destroy, "I will not let you damage what is precious or diminish a vocation that is a critical dimension of the Gospel witness." Such discernment is not easy. May God grant us the wisdom required for it, and the discipline to do it." by Mr. Thomas

Do you agree with the statements above? Which do you agree and which do you disagree with?