Spiritual power differs from all kinds of power by the fact that those who have spiritual power call themselves servants, that is, they use power to serve. But like all other authorities, spiritual authority and clergy sometimes meet with sharp criticism from the public. Why?
Criticisms against clerics or the Church cannot be attributed to the public character. When our churches are full of thousands of believers, especially at church holidays, and including the Church of Christ in the world, with millions of believers, it is not the society that criticizes the clergy and the Church. These are the people who greatly respect and love Mother Church, and considering the clergy’s service as important in life, they gather in churches to glorify God and to pray to God.
Criticism comes from a smaller number of people who tend to spread these criticisms on the whole people or instill them in the people. When some cannot make the Church and the clergy to serve their selfish interests, they begin to criticize the Church and the clergy. Such criticisms are mostly gossip and often have little to do with truth.
While reading such articles in the press or on the web pages, it is clear from the beginning of the writing that the journalist has shown a very subjective attitude and has already come to an interview or a church event with the preliminary purpose to blame the Church or the clergy.
Today, clergy can be criticized for any word or unsuccessful act. It’s not right to look at a person in segmented behavior or action. It is not one deed that fully describes the clergyman and his faithful life and activity. If the ecclesiastic’s work and life are in opposition to the principles of the Gospel, then all, both ecclesiastics and laics, should demand an immediate removal from the church service of such a person.
But if his whole life is a service to the Gospel, to God and to the people, then a partial observation of his life and work cannot be his full characteristic. If we take a fragmentary observation as a characteristic of a person and his activity, then, in that case, we should also reject the apostles. The apostle Peter denied Christ three times (Matthew 26:69-75, Mark 14:66-72, Luke 22:56-62, John 18:17, 25-27). But from this fragmentary viewpoint, the repudiation of the Lord was not a manifestation of his character because we see later that the apostle Peter bitterly weeps (Matthew 26:75) and regretted his repudiation, and then dedicated his entire life to the spreading of the Gospel of the Lord, to the Church, to the service of believers and was martyred for the sake of Christ.
In case of the fragmented review of someone’s life and work or speech as a principle of qualifying a person, we must also reject all the apostles and refrain from the New Testament, as most of the New Testament is written by the apostles. The apostles covetously left Christ alone and escaped (Matthew 26:56, Mark 14:50). But this act, committed under the influence of the moment by human weakness, was not a revelation of their identity, as all the apostles spread Christ’s gospel with great dedication and self-sacrifice, they established churches, and changed the life of mankind.
With a non-partial, complete observation, we see that sometimes even clergymen, who are criticized, carry out their mission with the greatest dedication for the sake of God, the Church, and their own people.
The relationship between Church and state are also cause of discontent and criticism. There are people who are dissatisfied with the state because of the socio-economic situation, emigration and other circumstances. And when they see relations between Church and state, their dissatisfaction with the state indirectly goes to the Church that maintains relations with the state.
From a church standpoint, it is not right to break the relations with the state, and nothing in the Church’s activities is done against the principles of the Gospel.