Thoughts on the Way Home

Friday, December 09, 2011

The Subtle Snare of Anonymous Criticism


A good reminder of why anonymous criticism should be avoided among the family of God.

Jared Wilson elaborates:
For the laymen out there, "some people are upset/concerned" is maddening. Use it only when anonymity is absolutely necessary, as it will cripple your pastor's confidence. "Some people" might as well be "all people." Because if we don't know who's mad, we are ill at ease with everyone. It leads us to be timid, suspicious, distrusting. (eg. Can we tell this person about our fears and struggles, or is this person the one who thinks I'm doing a terrible job?) There are times when vulnerable people lack the confidence to bring concerns directly, but most other times the biblical mandate to take an offense to someone directly, not to someone anonymously through someone else, is more necessary. 
I learned a good line from Andy Stanley in his "Life Rules" series: "Never say something about someone you wouldn't say to them." I'd add this rule of thumb: If you can let an offense go, do it. If you can't, take it to the offender, not to others.