Opening up the local paper and finding a letter to the editor attacking your friends, your church, and you. Accusations that publicly excoriate you and those you love. Being on the receiving end of self-righteous condemnation, being held up as a misfit pastor and heretic. Having to sit back while another's anger and fear cause him to lash out and warn the community of a danger in their midst.
I get it, really. Whenever you take a stand, you open yourself up for criticism. It's the price we pay for leadership, for attempting to speak to the public good. Having been around fundamentalists for a large portion of my life, I also understand their need for 'defending the faith' against any and all who appear 'weak on the fundamentals.' Still, there's nothing like having somebody misunderstand your point, misread your intention, assume all sorts of untrue things, and then put it all in print for the world to see.
If only this gentleman would have called and asked to talk it over. If only he had spent a few minutes on our website. If only he had asked around, to find out what we really teach and believe. But, no. "Fight or Flight" kicked in, and the "fight" option was chosen. And that's sad, really.
The toughest shots to take are always the ones from inside one's own camp.
Still, the Lord is our defender, and ours is the high road to take.
Awake, and rise to my defense! Contend for me, my God and my Lord. Vindicate me in your righteousness, Lord my God; do not let them gloat over me. - Psalm 35