This short article was shared to me by someone who I have considered a friend who I have watched this very thing happen to, not so subtly at all, but very blatantly. But it is telling that many in leadership in the church today can't even hack the subtle version. And then they wonder why people despise a lot of male leadership in the church. It's mostly networking, with very little leadership.
[No, I do not believe in female leadership in church, but when men don't act like men, protecting the flock, willing to confront error even in their friends, it's very hard to tell whether we actually HAVE men leading. Sorry, feel a bit cynical about this subject.]
I've often quoted Cyrano De Bergerac when I see this happen:
Le Bret: Why go about making enemies?Peterson, the author makes some great observations that Christians everywhere should pay attention to. It seems this is the obvious besetting sin of anyone who has a popular/growing ministry (Discernment ministries, bloggers included).
Cyrano: Watching other people making friends, everywhere, as a dog makes friends... I mark the manner of these canine courtesies, and think, Here comes, thank heaven, another enemy!
...if one is not careful of one’s heart, there is the tendency to desire the respect of the world—or at least the avoidance of ostracization.Read more at World Mag
But I find, lo and behold, that Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians and Timothy are much about ostracization, and Paul’s layered exhortations to not mind it at all, and to persevere in being bold even if you are not liked.