Are You Offended?
Roger A. Rush
In the course of an average week, we hear many things which we find personally objectionable, outright disagree with, or believe to be untrue. People have the right to be wrong. We should appreciate those who challenge our thinking and force us to reevaluate what we believe, because truth has nothing to fear from careful investigation. Truth is what we seek. Jesus said “… and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).
Society has become so thin-skinned that almost anything we say is perceived to be offensive by someone or some group. Ours is the age of “political correctness.” We have to be so careful that we don’t offend people. Within limits, I understand it, but we have gone way beyond common sense in our desire to be politically correct. Jesus, the master teacher, could not avoid offending people (Matthew 15:12). He was the kindest and most caring person ever to live, but even He could not avoid offending those who opposed truth. It was not His intention to be purposely offensive, but, if the truth offended, the problem was not His but those who heard Him.
How do we react to truth today? Experience has taught me that folks are no different now than they have ever been. They still take offense at the truth. Some examples are in order.
Baptism is a burial in water for the remission of sins (Romans 6:3, 4). If you have had water sprinkled or poured over you, you have not been baptized. That is the truth, but people often get very offended when they hear it.
Not a single modern denomination can be found in the Bible. You will not encounter Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, Episcopalians, Mormons, or any other denominational body in the Bible. The only Baptist was John, and, religiously, he was a Jew. That is the absolute honest truth, but it is offensive to many.
Music in the worship of God in the church of the New Testament was a cappella, by voices only, meaning unaccompanied by musical instruments. Christians were commanded to sing (Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 5:19). Any other kind of church music is unauthorized. That is offensive to those who believe they know better than our Lord regarding what constitutes acceptable worship (John 4:24).
The Bible does not say that there are many ways to God. It does not advocate that we follow our own path. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). There is only one Savior, and His name is Jesus! That is the truth, but it is offensive to most.
Now, the choice is ours. We can accept the truth, or we can be offended by it. What do you choose? -534 Sixth St., Marietta, OH 45750. sixthandwashingtonchurchofchrist.org
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