I remember reading a story about the infamous evangelist / teacher R.A Torry who was well known for his sound Bible teaching. R.A was on holidays with his son, and they had spent a number of weeks in a rural area, spending time together, walking, climbing, bird watching and in general enjoying a break.
His son, recounts the story where they visited a rural church and during what his son considered a very poor sermon, and borderline suspicious in matters of doctrine – he watched his father scribble a number of notes in his pocket book. Thinking his father was going to take the minister to task as he greeted them out the door – he was instead surprised to see his father thank the minister for his sermon.
As they walked home, he spoke to his father about it. R.A Torry said, “It’s easy to be critical of others. It’s easy to critique and find fault with what others are preaching.” He continued, But, its my experience that doing so, robs me of my own joy of walking with the Lord. I have made it a habit to dig deep for nuggets of gold in every sermon I hear – even when it appears some sermons are harder than others.”
It’s my personal experience there is much truth in this. It’s easy to develop a critical spirit. It’s easy to judge others through our own doctrinal lens. But in doing so do we lose our own intimacy with the Lord. Perhaps another way is for us to pray for those we disagree with, and ask the Lord to reveal his ways, and empower them to preach Christ as God would have them do…and in doing so, retain our own intimacy with the Lord.