shut-up-fool

Sometimes a story really gets under my skin. In the last couple days I’ve come across three separate news stories about powerful men seeking to silence critics.

The first story that caught my eye was about Dave Ramsey.

The second story was about Mars Hill and Pastor Mark Driscoll.

The third story was about Peoria mayor Jim Ardis.

Powerful people have a way of silencing critics. It is tragic when people use power, influence, and wealth to mute those who raise valid concerns and criticisms. This is nothing new, but that doesn’t make it any less tragic…

Or wrong.

I can’t speak to Jim Ardis, I know very little about him, but I do know a bit about Mark Driscoll and Dave Ramsey. Both are Christian men, leaders of their community. Yet the way they are handling things goes against a biblical view of leadership.

But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28)

The idea that a leader would try forcibly to silence critics and maintain an iron grip on all under him doesn’t seem to fit the general direction Jesus is trying to take his disciples.

I understand that there are always two sides to every story. I understand that a news article may not give the whole picture. I hope and pray that these situations are not as bad as they appear to be. My concern is that they are just as bad, if not worse.

Everyone who does anything is going to receive criticism. Shoot, I get criticized for things I haven’t even done! (ask me about the latest rumor sometime and we’ll laugh together – or cry?)… And, while we cannot control what others say, we can control how we respond.

These men have responded poorly.

As Christians we can do better. We NEED to do better.