Criticism disguised as a compliment can be deadly as well as just plain mean and “snarky”. Many a fainting flower has sub combed to the projected hatred of others even when he or she doesn’t deserve it. One way is when a “put down” is disguised as a compliment. Such an act can permanently damage one’s life. How many people have stopped going to church when this is done by a “well-meaning?” individual? “My, that is such a nice outfit. Do you dress like this every day?”
Churches are supposed to be places where well-meaning individuals want to bring more individuals to Christ. Or are they? Some people in churches like to think that they are God’s chosen “elite” where only those properly initiated into the ways of the church are allowed to belong. Membership seems to be by invitation only for those who will appreciate the selectiveness of their invitations and will protect and obey their canons. If looks could kill, some people could die when they enter churches like this.
Some church people feel that their criticism of others is well- meaning and will make others better Christians and they are only being helpful; but often there is an underlying current of hatefulness, righteous anger, and severe judgmentalism. When this is coupled with a victim’s underlying current of self-condemnation and guilt, it can be extremely damaging and make him or her feel unworthy of being a Christian and keep the person from ever going to that church or sometimes any church again.