Loyal opposition is the concept that one can be opposed to the actions of the government or ruling party of the day without being opposed to the constitution of the political system.

...Their constitutional function is to scrutinise government legislation and actions. Whilst frequently opposing Her Majesty's Government at every turn, the leader of the opposition is not opposed to Her Majesty's right to the throne.

Is "loyal opposition" a valid position inside a local church?

There are a few choices here. The dissatisfied could move on to another church, they can stay and complain, or they can stay and scrutinize the object of their dissatisfaction for the purpose of communal spiritual health.

Leaving: This is a very common response--and it is all too easy. On the plus side, the dissatisfied person is moved away from the perceived object of dissatisfaction. On the negative side, if the dissatisfaction is valid, that local church may never see the problem. Further, if the dissatisfied person is the source of their own dissatisfaction, in leaving they are bringing themselves along and it is likely that they will repeat the cycle. There is a time to leave a local church, but it should be a difficult, well-considered, counselor-filled decision.

Complaining: This might be the most common response and, if done without any notion of moving both the individual and the community toward Christlikeness, it is merely sinful and unacceptable. Complaining should be lovingly confronted at every turn and each of us must guard our hearts--complaining is all too easy.

Scrutinizing toward health: Of the three options, this is the best in most cases. Despite the inherent difficulty and discomfort, only this option intentionally works to move both the individual and the community toward Christlikeness. The heart must be guarded here also--as must the mouth, for it is all too easy to slip into complaining. We must keep this in mind: purpose and manner are the key differences between staying to transform and staying to complain. We must stay for the sake of the community and for the glory of God, and we must do so in love, considering the other as more important than ourselves.


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