I am really concerned about something I see in the church overall – it's the habit of believing the worst in people. It's where we watch a person or ministry and just wait for them to get out of step so we can pounce on them all in the name of "discernment". There has to be a better way.
– If someone teaches something we don't like, then they must be a heretic.
– If someone differs from us in an area of theology, they they're probably not really Christians.
– If someone tries a new approach, they're probably "straying from the faith".
Then, we make judgments without ever talking to the person. The thing that bugs me the most is that we reward this kind of behavior by saying they are "contending for the faith" (Jude 3). Give me a break. I'm all for healthy debate and discussion. But does it have to be as mean-spirited and petty as it has become. It's getting ridiculous.
Here's one of my core values: believe the best. I'm saddened when people the worst in others. If I'm wrong. I want to err on the side of grace. That's what my Pastor taught me and that's how I've sought to minister and live as a believer.
I'm not saying we should throw discernment out of the window. Instead, we should be discerning, but let's get all the facts before we start burning people at the stake.
"If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other." (Galatians 5:15)