When the eagles are silent the parrots begin to jabber.
In a day and age when all matters of truth are viewed as relative commodities, effective leadership built on principle will always be tested by criticism. The loftier the principle proclaimed, the louder it seems is the voice of criticism from those who embrace less. This is the nature of the beast.
The enemy of the weak but friend to the strong, criticism has a way of testing one’s conviction and resolve. It can be an effective tool to measure, confirm, and validate one’s course of life. Its power can expose weaknesses and confirm strengths. How many leaders surrender their convictions to criticism? How many more abandon their calling altogether because they allowed disparaging remarks to seep into their hearts and rob them of their ministry joy?
Yet, a faithful leader must rise above the human tendency to retreat from the battle or flee into the shadows. If history can provide any encouragement it is this: Anyone who has a thought or idea worth sharing and proves beneficial to others, it will faced criticism along the way. Another couple of lesser resolve might have yielded to the barbs of critics or betrayal of friends. Yet, spend a few minutes with Gary and Anne Marie and you come to realize they are neither resentful, embittered, nor crushed. They focus attention on what God has accomplished and continues to accomplish in the world. With more than eight million parents and twice as many children reflecting their values-based teaching, they realize there is bound to be a critic or a cynic here and there because someone's ego is going to get bruised.
Their message of life, hope and encouragement not only resonated with parents, but was perpetuated by various media outlets. The Washington Times reported “Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo are two of the most recognizable names in the arena of childrearing” (Feb. 8, 2000). They have been called the “darlings of the cyberspace generation” (Off-Spring Magazine 2000). The London Telegraph (1998) claimed, “Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo are responsible for the biggest reappraisal in parenting since Dr. Benjamin Spock, . . their books sell faster than those of any other child care expert including Penelope Leach.” The front page of the Wall Street Journal called the advent of the Ezzos “a phenomenon” (1998). Wall Street Journal Europe writes, “Growing legions of parents are turning to the Ezzos for guidance. . .” (1998). One US News and World Report book review aligned them among the top parenting voices of the last one hundred years. (May 2003).
Gary and Anne Marie have learned that it is neither prudent to ignore criticism nor wise to allow it to preoccupy their thoughts. They evaluate it for merit, test if for legitimacy, take what is beneficial and move on. The problem of moving on is that old stories that lack any resemblance to actual events never get purged from the internet, but only resurface in mutated forms at another time. It is a shame that any organization, Christian or otherwise must keep an archive of public responses. These archives exists because the internet exists. That is now a way of life.
Below is a link for those who are looking for specific responses to specific criticisms, and the many misinformed or blatantly false internet posts. While independent of GFI, Ezzotruth.com is an excellent resource. It not only provides independent responses to criticisms, but also provides character profiles of the many critics. To say the least, most of the Ezzo critics have their own "Pinochio" issue to contend with.