There seems to be a lot of mud slinging in the online (so-called) Christian world. Based on the feedback I see on some of the Christian leaders I follow on twitter and facebook, they seem to get a lot of flack from believers who think they are too wishy washy. I see major flaws in this ...
1. What would Jesus do?: Jesus didn't walk the earth picking out heretics. His main mission was to serve and lay down his life for humanity. He taught his disciples and the crowds and his sermons didn't usually include heretic-hunting or finger-pointing. He did pick out the religious leaders of His day, but for totally excluding Him, not for improper exegesis, issues with His Biblical translation or being too watered down.
2. Here-say is not a good basis for pointing out heresy: Before we pick on someone, we should really know who they are. It is wrong to base our blame game on here-say. If we are going to challenge a leader to be more of this or more of that, we should be good enough to take the time to read their books, listen to their sermons and get to know who they actually are and what they actually believe.
3. Who's problem is it anyways?: We should stop wasting time picking out flaws of other leaders and start looking inward at our own problems. James tells us "we all stumble in many ways."
4. Talk about a major sideline distraction: We should stop wasting time picking out the flaws of leaders and start focusing on our mission as a Church, and that's to serve the world and share the great news of grace!
5. Some of these ranters are off their rockers: I remember working on an outreach, and a man called our hotline claiming to be a prophet. He ranted on the phone with a co-worker for 20 minutes (my co-worker couldn't get a word in) only for us to discover this so-called prophet didn't even attend a local church. Yea. None of them were good enough. Someone needs to give a prophetic rant to that guy - "do not give up meeting together as some are in a habit of doing." (Hebrews 12).
6. The great the platform God gives a leader, the more they will deal with head-hunters: Jesus, the Apostles, the prophets ... yep, pretty much most of our heroes from the Scriptures were wrongly blamed, wrongly accused, wrongly attacked - many times by religious nuts. How sad. But it happens.
7. Many of these leaders are heroes of the faith: So many of those I see getting wrongly accused are heroes and godly examples of the faith. We should be "imitating them as they imitate Christ," not trying to nitpick their flaws and broadcast them to the world. We miss out on a huge spiritual blessing when we dishonor those God wants us to honor.
8. How does this represent Christ?: I see a place to judge those inside the Church when they are negating the core doctrines of the Church (ie - the Apostle's creed laid down for us by the earliest Church leaders). But even when we approach a leader to correct them, aren't we supposed to follow the Scriptural pattern to do so? Paul guides us to avoid making a mockery of our Christian brothers and sisters in front of non-believers. Disunity can be a huge turn-off to those seeking to know more about this Jesus we serve.
9. Prayer is Often a Better Way: How much better would God's Kingdom be if we prayed for people instead of criticized them? If we privately sought God's grace for their flaws instead of tore them down in public.