Carping Critics

Cecil Willis

Sir Winston Churchill, in his magnificent four volume history of World War II (which he preferred to call "The Unnecessary War"), stated that as he wrote afterward, "I have adhered to my rule of never criticizing any measure of war or policy after the event unless I had before expressed publicly or formally my opinion or warning about it."

This would be a good guiding principle for many of the carping critics in local churches. If you see where a tragic mistake is about to be made, sound a warning. But it does little good to assume the role of the armchair quarterback, a "Mr. Know-it-all," after the fact. All of us have 20-20 vision when checked on hind-sight, but none of us has such foresight. Thus we all, even elders of a church in making decisions, err. Usually the elders do not need any chronic griper to tell them they have made a mistake. By then, they know it too. But if you have such remarkable foresight and wisdom, give your advice beforehand.

February 11, 1971