Is it OK to, as it were, “air ditry laundry” either relating to ourselves, other individuals or the Church proper?
Please note that I am not talking about airing it to be malicious in any way, because, of course, this would be wrong.
What I’m talking about is if the subject happens to come up in conversation. Say, you want to express personal disapproval about what someone you know has done and that person is within the Church. Say, you even want to comment on something bad you’ve done in the past. Say, you want to express (but again not in a malicious way) misgivings about some sinful behavior in the Church that, again, may or may not have been known about by the person before. In each of these cases, the person(s) you are talking to would have had no idea about these failings before you mentioned them. Say you want to rant a little on social media about some injustice that others would also agree is not right going on within the Church because you wish to express your righteous indignation about it.
Why would I be asking about this, you ask? Why would this have any positive benefit? Well, it could in the sense that it would allow people outside the Church to realize that we are not inherently any “holier” than they are, that we are imperfect and that we are, therefore, more relatable than they might’ve originally thought. While, in some cases, it might hurt our witness, in others, it might actually help it, again, when people realize that, though we try, we are far from perfect. Secondly, sometimes you want a little commiseration about things like this even from those outside the Church who sometimes, I think, have more wisdom about things than we give them credit for. Thirdly, would not trying to “hide” something or “sweep it under the rug” even if it is to protect our credibility/witness/whatever, technically be an act of insincerity? I mean, if it’s there, we shouldn’t act like it is not. For me, as long as such airing is done in the right spirit, I’ve never before had a problem with it.
I ahve been closely looking at a particular Pauline passage (1 Corinthians 6:1 ff.) wherein Paul practically screams at his church not to go before Gentile courts and I think there may be the implication there that he does not want them to do this because it would be airing their “dirty laundry” before the unrighteous/unbelievers. This would seem to imply that we should never air our proverbial “dirty laundry” before unbelievers, no matter what, because it may hurt our credibility and ruine our witness, does it not?
Or, is therre any way we are still permitted to do so? In any circumstance?
Would appreciate your help in this.