One of the most heinous things a believer in Jesus can do is publicly ridicule and condemn a fellow brother or sister in Messiah, when only knowing part of their story and only seeing part of their more public fruit. Such ridicule and condemnation actually tarnishes you, while also spreading gossip (murder with the tongue). Judgement based on partial information is always faulty and causes you to be ruled by Messiah’s words found in Matthew 7:1 1″Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”
Judgement from a distance is not something even the Jerusalem Church in Acts 21 allowed themselves to do. They heard that Paul was teaching against the Law and asked him to do something visibly to prove that he wasn’t teaching that. Most of us today in our human condition think ourselves more spiritual than the Jerusalem Church and pass judgment from afar without giving an opportunity for truth to reveal itself through a similar act of contrition.
Shame on us.
One of the more profound things I’ve heard a pastor say from the stage is: I am your pastor and at some point I am going to teach something wrong. I am just as human and prone to mistakes as you are. You need to give me permission both to be wrong and to be lovingly corrected so that I can learn from my mistakes, grow, and be a better pastor. Would you please give me permission to be wrong? (Romans 5:20)
James 4:11:”‘Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another…”