Monday, July 27, 2015
YOU ARE OFFENSIVE!
On one occasion the apostles went to Jesus and asked, “Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?” (Matthew 15:12). Some would accuse Jesus of being insensitive toward their religious convictions. They would also charge Jesus with being void of love. One wonders if it ever crossed the apostles’ minds that they might be offensive toward Jesus because they thought he was guilty. If the Pharisees were guilty of being wrong, and that position would cause them to lose their souls, what exact words would you have used which would be acceptable to them? In spite of your more adequate verbiage, if they refused to listen and accused you of being offensive, would you be? Since Jesus was God in the flesh, why would our judgment make his approach wrong and our way so right (Jeremiah 10:23; Isaiah 55:8; Ezekiel 18:25)? Are we smarter than God?
Why are the Ten Commandments on public property so offensive to some? Why are paintings of Jesus or Mary in compromising positions, desecrating church buildings, destroying Christian headstones, defecating on the Bible, slandering Christ, or spitting on a preacher not considered offensive? But if Christians object, how does that make us unloving, insensitive, or offensive? Perhaps those who are offended believe it is in their best interest to oppose Christianity. If so, why is their destructive nature defended, but the Christian’s oral objection so vexing?
I know some Christians have no tact and defend their faith with statements of fire and brimstone. Sometimes condemnation is substituted for turning the other cheek. However, only the ignorant or arrogant claim to be perfect! We aren’t. We make mistakes in judgment. Peter and Paul did! So do we. It’s a human weakness often indulged in without thinking.
Some folks will quote the Bible to Christians such as, “”Judge not, that you be not judged.” (Matthew 7:1). One should read the context before quoting something that could condemn themselves! Jesus isn’t saying all judgment is wrong. If all judgment is sinful, then the judgment you make saying someone else is wrong puts you in the position of self condemnation!
If trying to steer people toward righteousness is wrong, because it may offend them, then Jesus was guilty of it in John 6:60-67. Peter was condemned on Pentecost because most refused his words. Paul was condemned for withstanding Peter to his face (Galatians 2:11-15). Peter was condemned for his statement to Simon the Sorcerer (Acts 8:14-23). Paul was offensive by refusing to take Mark on their second missionary journey (Acts 15:36-39). Paul was offensive by mentioning the sins of some in Romans 1:18-32. Paul was again offensive by saying some of his Jewish brethren should be “castrated” (HCSB, GW, Message) or “mutilated” (NASB, NLB, WEY, Montgomery NT). And those Christian Jews were offensive because they demanded that Gentiles to be circumcised before they could become real Christians (Galatians 5:1-12; Acts 15:1-5).
When sinners, either saved or unsaved, do not want to respond to Jesus, they must find “a reason” to justify that rejection. However, sin cannot be ignored. One would not refuse to warn an infant if he was headed into a busy six lane highway. The infant probably would not accept the admonition. If stopped, he would show his displeasure by crying. Would one be unloving or insensitive by warning the child? Isn’t this a principle of warning people which is set forth in the Old Testament (Ezekiel 33:8-9)?