I frequently get complaints that I'm too critical of the church. I find this interesting because when we have people critiquing, say, politics, nothing is said about those critics being too negative.
The main reason, I believe, that some people are uncomfortable with critiquing the church is because they believe I am touching something sacred and holy.
The church, above all, must submit itself to criticism and judgment. I am a firm believer in that. There is so much abuse, manipulation, coercion and other inhumane behavior that goes unquestioned. Someone must speak up.
I don't know how many times I've been warned, "Thou shalt not touch God's anointed!" This has often been used as a way to allow authority and power and leadership to continue unchecked while good people suffer.
I personally know the cost of opening my mouth to question authority in the church.
I encourage people to open their mouths and speak the truth when they feel they are being manipulated, controlled, coerced or abused. For God's sake and yours, say something! The rest will take care of itself.
But do you know what is more difficult than this? Getting some people to actually notice and recognize that they are in fact suffering these things. That's always the hardest step but the most important first one: admitting it is happening. For many it is just impossible for them to admit because the church is the last place on earth where they would expect this to occur. It is plain and simply denial.
Would I do anything differently? Not at all. I have my freedom. I may be as messed up as Israel was wandering in the wilderness after years of bondage in Egypt.
But at least I'm free! And you can be too.