In the clubhouse of a sports team, sometimes
there's a need for confrontation and challenge.
The coach or the team captain will, behind
closed doors, chew out teammates that aren't
showing the effort or comradery that they
should. They'll call out the selfish players
and chasten the lazy ones.
But only in a dysfunctional clubhouse will
any of those criticisms make it into the sports
columns or call-in shows. To the outside world,
the team strives to show its cohesion and
and togetherness. You know a team is in trouble
when instead of settling their disputes in-house,
they snipe at one another through the media.
We in the church could learn a little from the
sports world. It's fair here to complain about
the "church folk," where you might suspect that
the majority of participants are sons and
daughters of God. But it would be very unwise
indeed to make such criticisms to another venue
that you suspected was populated with unbelievers.
Sister Wag-Her-Tongue may be spreading rumors
about you, but please don't complain about her to
your unsaved spouse. Please refrain from telling
your worldly co-workers how Deacon Not-For-Real
has done you wrong. These kinds of "oughts"
should be resolved within the brotherhood, and
not exposed to the larger society. Some things
are better kept behind closed doors.