As the Church which I’m rooted in gets stronger, bigger, and more prominent in the region, there will be people who go around criticising everything that is done within the church.
First, critics call the church a for-profit enterprise as believers are encouraged to “pay a tax of 10%”, aka Tithe. (Lev 27:30-33) Also, the fact that the Church has the ability to accept a wide range of payment methods, i.e. cheque, credit-card, internet transactions, cash makes it business orientated? Sounds strange to me.
Second, critics equate secular to worldly and criticise the Church for engaging culture and the marketplace. That is, to dress too fashionably, being too prosperous, etc. Making the critics themselves sound pharisaical and religious. Yet, they fail to see the justification nor understand the meaning of secular (activities outside Church, yet doesn’t not conflict with God’s standard, or decalogue) and secularism (activities which contradict God’s standard). Culture building (Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it) is mandated even before sin came into the picture, Gen 1:26-28.
Third, critics announce their misconceptions and the lack of knowledge really loudly, with misquotes and misunderstandings, to people around them, non-belivers and believers alike. People who have no idea would easily misunderstand.
Really ironically, they are able to quote verses from the bible to support their critique without taking note of the context!
With respect to the second point, I’ve read a writing that claims that Jesus disdains money and quotes, “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” (Ma 19:23-24). What he fails to quote are two verses before where Jesus was actually referring to the LOVE for money rather than money itself (v. 22-23). Not to mention, the famous “Money is Evil” misquote.
That’s one of the reasons why whenever I see non-believers ranting about how a Church operates, I really feel sad for him/her. Gain understanding if nothing. It’s like watching a professional artist criticising the content of what a scientist writes in his research paper.
So far, 100% of all critiques of churches so far that I’ve read shows a severe lack of understanding in terms of theology, is completely one sided, and if is/was a believer, a severe lack of spiritual maturity.
Then, it’ll lead to the inability to prove that God exists or otherwise. *yawn* In short approximately, it’s similar to Gödel’s incompleteness theorems.