Google is an excellent source of criticism on anything. You can look up articles and videos criticizing every kind of person, including Christian missionaries. You can also find Christians criticizing their critics… but is this the way it’s supposed to be?
How well do you believe you know your Bible? How much do you know about other religions? How fluent are you in other languages? How aware are you of world news? How disciplined are you? How often do you pray? How often do you fast? How much do you give?
Regardless of what you will do, you will never be able to satisfy everyone’s expectations. Even if you could, though, do you think that satisfying their expectations is what will lead them to Christ? It may help, but what I feel differentiates a good Christian witness from a bad one is if that Christian is abounding in the love of God. The witness may be the most undisciplined, ignorant, and unaware buffoon ever, but if he has the love of God flowing through him, if he is spilling over with the love of God for the lost and broken world, then surely he will make an impression.
We have one thing that the world doesn’t have: the presence of God and the resulting love of God flowing out from his presence.
And if we don’t have that love, if we don’t have the love of God, if we don’t have the love of God, if we don’t have the love of God, then we have nothing that will make us any different than the world and its pile of shattered solutions to evil.
The media, the Muslims, the academic society, the religious, and non-religious will continue to criticize Christians for their lack of knowledge, their lack of zeal, their lack of discipline, their lack of concern, or their lack of integrity. So what are we to do in response to their criticism? I for one cannot find it right to join them in criticizing the Body. Neither can I find it right to criticize the world back, especially in light of Christ’s example given to us on the cross.
Consider 1 Peter 2:22-23 which, I feel, encapsulates how we should respond when criticized, mocked, or made fun of.
“He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. (NIV)
1 Sam. 24:17,
Rom. 12:14, 21,
1 Cor. 4:12-13,
2 Cor. 12:10,
2 Tim. 2:24-25,
1 Pet. 3:9, 15-16.