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Answering Critics

September 29, 2009

“Copied from Dr.VanHetloo’s Cogitations 1207 Sept 10 blood”

Visit Dr Van’s site here

Every pastor who is accomplishing anything of any significance for the Lord is faced from time to time not only with opposition but with implied or actual accusations of lying or other such violations.  Many years ago I heard Howard Sugden mention this phenomenon in a Bible Conference sermon.  He likened getting involved in defensiveness, etc., with a runner nearing the finish line and well ahead in a race who hears someone criticize his style of running.  He stops running, goes over to the fence to straighten out his critic and in the process, loses the race.  Sugden summed up his brief reference with this statement, “You simply can’t afford to take the time or make the effort to answer your critics.”

After hearing Dr. Sugden, I gave the matter a great deal of thought, and I came to the conclusion that I would not answer my critics, especially the liars among them, with three exceptions.  I would answer any accusation or charges that related to fiscal integrity, moral purity or doctrinal deviation.  Those three issues are absolutely critical to the success – and, sometimes, even to the continuation of a ministry.  Most of the rest of the criticisms, accusations, etc., really dwell on things hardly worth noting.

If you are lied about (except in the areas mentioned above), you likely don’t know all that was said.  If you answer what you have heard but haven’t heard all that has been said, people may assume that what you didn’t answer was true.  Just don’t waste your time on the critics and complainers.  It’s good to take note of complaints and even register criticisms, but if you are sure that what you are doing is the will of God, don’t stop running to try to answer someone you’re not going to satisfy anyhow no matter what you do or say.

Learn to live, move and breathe in the will of God.  If you have been wrong, admit it and do what you can to make it right.  If you are sure you are right in the eyes of God, press on with what He has given you to do.  It is highly unlikely that He has sent people to cause you trouble as you seek to do what you are sure is His will.  Am I suggesting anything?  Yes!   If you are sure you are doing His will in His way, the opposition has some other source than Him.  You can make a pretty good guess just where it comes from.   –  Chuck Wood

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