Criticism is a valuable tool.
When it’s done right it can, and has, changed hearts and minds.
Martin Luther did it with his 95 Theses. Martin Luther King Jr. did it with his I Have a Dream speech. Long before both of them, Jesus did it with the Sermon On the Mount.
Criticism done well can be a powerful tool for change in culture, politics and the church. When done poorly, it debases everyone and often hurts the criticizer more the one being criticized.
The church needs better critics.
As Christians – especially Christian leaders – our criticism should elevate the conversation, not debase it. We need to offer valid criticisms of the church and the culture without becoming part of the mess.
Here are 9 principles I try to remember whenever I offer a criticism in writing or speaking: