Okay, I have reached a point of exasperation with certain people. Christians who think there is literally never a time to critique, point to a false teaching, call attention to a problem (etc) – whether it be in the church or society.
“I don’t believe in tearing people down, I believe in building people up.”
“We must focus on praiseworthy things!”
Certainly we should not be critiquing others all the time. We don’t want to have a critical spirit. Yet there is a time to speak hard truths.
I have already blogged on this, taking various approaches. Such as:
Improper use of Philippians 4:8. Always praiseworthy? Many people in the Scripture spoke hard truths, refuted false teachings, condemned disobedience.
A note to the discerning…Discerning people do need to be careful. Concern for truth can deteriorate into carping criticism and heresy hunting.
Judge not? Like not ever? There IS a time to judge, but there are cautions and we need to consider our motives.
You’ll see I encourage a balanced view. Know the time. Humbly consider your motives. There is a time to tear down and a time to build up. There is a time to judge and a time to refrain from judgment. There is a time to be praiseworthy and a time to speak hard words of truth.
Different individuals may fall on one side or the other of this tendency, and need to re-balance themselves. A Christian should also be more severe in their judgment of themselves, and more lenient in their judgment of others.
But I am more often encountering Christians who improperly use Philippines 4:8. They truly, literally think we must only and always say positive and praiseworthy things. We must not critique or judge, ever.
And with that I direct you to a true-life case from history that shows how ludicrous, foolish, and dangerous it can be to ALWAYS be praiseworthy.
“As late as 1935, the Moody Monthly was willing to publish letters to the editor in praise of Hitler. Read these words. Think about the ways people justified Hitler’s actions. There is much we can learn from this. Moody Monthly, October 1935.”