• John G. Stackhouse, Jr.

Pray First, Criticize Second

In the target-rich environment that is the Trump Presidency, and as the honeymoon with our charming Prime Minister fades, it is easy to lapse into a posture of constant criticism. There is so much to be upset about!

Meanwhile, the Christian world has its own controversies and scandals, of course—most recently, the removal of the senior administrators at a leading Christian college in Chicago. There is so much to be upset about!

The Bible doesn’t discourage criticism, particularly of leaders. In fact, much of the Old Testament is devoted to prophetic warnings to political and religious leaders of God’s people to shape up or face certain and awful judgment. The sins of such leaders are listed and denounced both specifically and graphically. There is so much to be upset about!

I have offered here earlier a defense of my own public criticism of others, and particularly of fellow Christians. Naming things for what they are is part of telling the truth. And telling the truth to power, and about power, is a deeply Biblical thing to do.

But so is love.

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