"When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan." Pr 29.2
I think that sometimes we Christians have an equation like this one:
Persecution/negative comments = What the Bible says about righteous living being persecuted.
But the reality is this:
Persecution/negative comments = Natural consequences of doing something stupid.
When believers do something stupid, the critique we get IS NOT persecution. If we offer bad leadership, bad politics, bad thinking, bad philosophy, bad and/or stupid [fill in the blank], the critique we get is deserved.
This proverb seems to say that wicked leadership will be obviously bad to people, but when there is an increase in righteousness, the people will like it. That is not to take away anything from real persecution--it exists and should be pointed out for what it is. But when we are obnoxious instead of graceful, judgmental instead of loving, shouting from a distance instead of building relationships, we are being stupid, and the critique is deserved.
As my friend says, "you can't fix stupid."