BUILDING BROTHERHOOD - EVICTING THE CRITICAL SPIRIT
I have a vision of a club with a conspicuous lack of cynicism and criticism, characteristics so common in the biker community and the world at large, that it's hard to imagine life without them. But we must. Ideas are so very fragile aren't they. Ideas have to be nurtured and encouraged, protected and given an environment where they can grow. The easiest task of our enemy is to cut ideas off before they become action. It's him you see at work in the world, criticizing, fault finding, picking away from the shadows, and generally being disagreeable. When you hear these things from people, you aren't at war with flesh and blood but powers and principalities. Tearing down dreams is the work of a critical spirit, a spirit of correction. 'Oh I was just trying to help'. But it's not help. Help is easy to see, help comforts and builds up, it doesn't irritate and cut down. Help comes from humility, not from the pride of being right.
Rev 12:10 calls the devil the 'accuser of the brethren'. It's easy to spot him at work dividing the church. Anyone running down the brethren, operating out of a critical spirit, sneering at other Christians, giving a bad report about those who work in the ministry, trying to show how wrong a brother is about some obscure point, these are the ones operating with the enemy. Don't be surprised if they seem to otherwise be strong Christians themselves. A religious spirit often hides a condemning critical spirit. The Bible says a perverse man sows strife (Prov. 16:28); that death and life are in the power of the tongue (Prov. 18:21). Slander is not pretty. It means "to defame someone; to harm their reputation; to disgrace; or to accuse." Consider this: the word slanderer in 1 Timothy 3:11 is the same word for “devil.” When we slander someone, we are acting like devils. We are mirroring the character of Satan. We can’t walk in the anointing God has for us and mirror the character of Satan at the same time. We just can’t.
So how do we keep the club uplifting? Challenge the critical spirit. It will always reveal itself during the process of joining, it can't stand not to correct people and find fault for very long. This is why we search people out closely during prospecting. Poke them and see how they react. When you see fault finding, consider it. Someone trying to help does so quietly, directly with the person they are trying to help, never in a self seeking manner. A critical spirit does so publicly to see how many than get on their side, to look important or knowlegeable, to show how others are wrong and they are right. If you or others cannot discern some serious issue (ie the bro punched me!) that is clear, then go back to the source and challenge it. You are likely to hear a whole pile of complaints, with little substance. Correct them clearly the first time. Identify the correct way to deal with legitimate concerns.
If it happens again, come against it spiritually. I'm not the slightest bit afraid of making a point of it. Pray for people, try to teach them. Some people get it after the first time, but if not you may need to be harsh. A critical spirit is harsh itself, and cannot stand to be confronted. This is after all an MC. The rules are the rules, and after being told twice, it it happens again, this is not a person who is cut out for true brotherhood, which includes submission to each other. It's better to cut them out early, than to let them take root and start destroying what we have. And that's what happens, I've seen it time and time again.
The fault finder will either quit because they don't appreciate being called on their familiar spirit, or will learn and allow God to work on the issue, change their heart. Either way, it's your job to protect your brotherhood from that person. This is not for everyone. If you let them get a foothold, satan will make it into a stronghold.
Some people say that prospecting under in the club was easy, and some people say it was hard, and call it rude, condescending and harsh. Both get the same treatment, the difference was in their heart. When you hold a mirror up to someone and they don't like what they see, their choices are to change or break the mirror. When they break the mirror they will blame you for making them bleed, and bleed they will. You aren't responsible, you're just doing your job.