Have you ever questioned the teachings of a famous Christian pastor/author/celebrity and received an angry response-maybe even got called a "hater?" Or maybe you've said some of these things yourself:
“You’re just being negative and critical! Don’t you have anything good to say? I can’t believe you’re criticizing (insert popular Christian leader). At least they’re trying to help-at least they’re doing something! Why can’t you be more positive? I only listen to positive Christians-not haters!”
Here are some thoughts to consider:
Calling someone a "hater" is really a useless thing to do. Think about it: it's a huge contradiction. It's "hateful" to call someone a "hater" if you apply the same vague definition of "hate." Instead of accusing someone of having a particular emotional state, we should, instead, be considering the ideas being discussed. When we disagree as Christians, we should compare a person's thoughts and ideas to the teachings of God's Word-not simply call them a "hater."
Christianity is a specific set of beliefs that is based on one holy book: The Bible. “Sola Scriptura” is the Latin phrase meaning “Scripture Alone.” This principle was first established in the first three centuries of the church, and then further established during the Protestant Reformation in contrast to the Roman Catholic Church, which claimed that church authority was equal to scriptural authority.
Because we believe the Bible is God’s Word, we must also believe that some ideas are incompatible with the Bible and must be rejected as false. While it’s true that Christians should not be primarily negative and critical people, we should be willing to say negative and critical things about false teachings, because bad doctrine is very harmful-it leads people away from God.
The painful reality is that false teachers are great manipulators and they know exactly what to say in order to keep your trust (and keep their money pouring in), so sometimes it’s necessary to say negative and critical things to confront them and their teachings. The Old Testament prophets, Jesus and all the Apostles did this.
Lastly, we should not be primarily thinking of “positive versus negative;” instead, we should be thinking of “true versus false.” After all, the Bible itself is not always “positive,” because it contains the truth that we need to hear; so it has to mention our sinful condition, which is very "negative" by modern standards. We humans are like disobedient children who need correction from our Heavenly Father, who loves us enough to tell us the truth. But, most importantly, He also loves us enough to send His Son to die for our sins and rescue us from the punishment we deserve. That very positive Good News-or Gospel-only makes sense once we really grasp the cost of our sin.
In Matthew 23:27 Jesus says “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.” Gee whiz, Jesus, that’s not very nice; at least the Pharisees were trying to do something…
Another very common version of this "hater" issue is the idea that no one can publicly question a pastor/teacher unless they've had a private meeting first; basically, we should never criticize false teachers and just keep our mouths shut. Here's a great 90 second video that addresses that (very) bad idea: Correcting False Teachers? By Name?? WWUTT
Just for fun, here's Steven Furtick's "Hey Haters!" spoken word video (with all the hip coolness removed to expose the contradictory nature of the content): Hey Haters! (Max Holiday Dub)
(This is article is based on point #1 in the larger article called Defusing Demonic Dirty Bombs)
Steven Kozar started The Messed Up Church; he is an artist, musician, blogger and stuff.