Thursday, March 04, 2010

What should offend Christians?

Recently an atheist group at UTSA in San Antonio conducted a "smut for smut" campaign, and traded pornography for Bibles or other religious literature. They admit it's a publicity stunt, and quite frankly it's kinda silly.

But when I read the article (find it here) I had a question pop into my head: what should offend believers? I think that this is an important question in our culture today. What should I find offensive? I'm not sure I have any definitive answers, but here's my first thoughts:

1. We need to remember that the gospel is inherently offensive to many of those enslaved by sin. It should not surprise us when others are offended. The Bible tells us it will be.

2. God is perfectly capable of defending himself. And the Bible. He does not need us in this regard. That's not to say he doesn't use us, cuz he does. But there seems to be a huge number of Christians who feel that if God or the Bible is attacked, it's time to "fight fire with fire."

3. Call me ungodly if you need to, but I just don't see how holding picket signs in protest--no matter how true their slogans--makes a dent in the power of sin on people's lives. When you hold up a sign saying that "Jesus loves atheists" it doesn't feel like demonstrating love to atheists, it feels like political protest. I'm pretty sure the atheist group didn't look out at the believers and think "man, those people love us."

So, I'm thinking that being offended over...

a. people being silly...
b. lost people acting like lost people...
c. people desperate for attention or looking for fame...
d. just about anything we disagree with...

...is just not a good idea. One of the most amazingly attractive things about Jesus is that he never seem to get offended at people, especially at people's "junk." Their sin never surprised him, never made him stand, mouth agape, dumbstruck that someone would act that way. He knew people. He understood sin, even though he had none himself. He never had to hold up a "I love sinners but hate the sin" sign.

He just loved on people. He never compromised the truth. But he never seemed to feel he had to join anyone at their gamesmanship in order to confront them.

So I'm thinking, Christians, don't be offended so easily. Just a thought.

2 comments:

pablo said...

You're right about that. We read in 1 Corinthians 13 that "love doesn't keep a record of wrongs that others do. Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil." We should be offended by sin but should fight for what is right with our spiritual tools. Paul wrote "What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?" (1 Corinthians 5:12)

Teresa said...

Totally agree with this, it's something I've thought of quite a bit recently actually :) Great post :)