Passive-aggressive attitudes manifest themselves in different ways, and in different situations. As with all sinful attitudes and actions, Christians are not immune to passive-aggressive responses to conflict.
My friend Marty Duren just posted a good blog post titled “Why passive-aggressive Christian leadership must go away“. Marty gives five reasons.
- Jesus was not passive-aggressive.
- It fosters a negative “blame the many instead of the problem” culture.
- It is contrary to New Testament fellowship.
- It creates distrust in the leader.
- It removes the imperative for the person to change his or her ways.
He expounds on these reasons on his blog. Marty begins this post on a personal note:
“When I was a young pastor I had a scattergun approach to preaching. Like many I tended to take a text, depart therefrom and go everywhere preaching the gospel.
Regrettably this approach also led to preaching in which I would “confront” a member of the congregation at the expense of the many. Rather than meeting with people individually about a certain issue, I would use the preaching time to address it. I would scattershot. In my ignorance it never dawned on me that the majority of the congregation had no idea what I was talking about and the intended target probably thought I was talking about someone else.
When I wanted to do it, I could really put the “bully” in bully-pulpit. This was a terrible pattern of preaching and leadership. Over the course of many years God got me mostly beyond preaching and leading that way, and I am grateful.”