Is Publicly Criticizing Other Christians Okay?


I have pondered this question for a long time, but I’m still searching for the answer.  In this new age of technology, you see constant criticisms of ministers on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.  In fact, you don’t have to even turn on a computer; we hear it from the pulpit or in conversations with friends.  But, is it okay?
I admit I’m a little discouraged at seeing other Christians tear apart other Christians on the internet.  Most criticisms stem from not agreeing with their theology, so we criticize them.  I’ve even seen many go so far as to call them false prophets and the anti-Christ.  Will we always agree with every minister?  No.  Should we?  Absolutely not!  But, for the sake of the Church, do we publicly slaughter them?

When I read comments and articles, it doesn’t come from one denomination or another.  I see attacks on all sides of the aisle.  I realize that we may disagree with the teachings of the pastor, but does that give grounds to slaughter them with our words?  The issue that is the most challenging is…we don’t criticize them for not believing the foundations of the Christian faith; instead, we don’t like the emphasis of their ministry.  We debate about whether the focus should be social justice or personal relationship, word of faith or downward mobility, hymns or holy hip hop. 

Is it possible that these people are true Christians and truly love Jesus?  Is it possible that they are called by God, but some of their teachings seem a little sketchy to us?  It is possible that some of our theology is wrong?  Is it possible that we are all wrong about something we believe in the scripture?  I’ve met so many people who I would consider true believers who interpret a scripture differently than me.  Should I write that person off?  Should I shun them?  Should I publicly humiliate them?  Is it Christ-like?  Didn’t Christ say that whoever is not against us is for us?  Mark 9:40

I could be wrong, but didn’t Jesus say that all men would know that we are his disciples because of our love for one another.  John 13:35  I know it’s challenging, but isn’t God love?  We allow so many things to separate us.  Would you join me in focusing on what we do agree on?  Let’s try to disagree without being disagreeable.  Let’s us love each other despite our differences.  Let us not allow minor disagreements to continue to divide the church!

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