I challenge any church in America to match the spiritual maturity, godliness & commitment of any 500 members of Saddleback.
After which the judgement began. Comment after comment has been made about this statement since last night. 345 on FB so far and many on Twitter. As I read the terribly judgmental comments that were made in response to Rick's statement, my heart broke. For him. And for many leaders. I connected to it deeply.
Over and over again, I observe people waiting and watching for leaders to do or say one thing wrong so they can pounce on them! Leaders are often criticized exponentially more harshly than others and offered practically no grace! Which is not only a denial of their humanity and need for Jesus, but is not even Biblical.
I have been the recipient of this type of thing plenty myself. You cannot have a bad day, make an off comment, vent an honest frustration or make a mistake without being harshly criticized. Look folks, whether Rick regrets or stands by his comment is beside the point. He is a sinner in need of a savior and he STILL makes and will keep making bad calls...as long as he shall live. The more love and grace we show leaders, the more like Jesus they will become. The criticism only drives (most) leaders toward rebellion, not change. It is just a reality of how most leaders are wired.