Being Offensive

July 28, 2012
by John Stuart

Micah 4:5 – All the nations may walk in the name of their gods; we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever. (NIV)

Faith isn't a game, a pastime, a leisure pursuit, or even an extra-curricular activity. It's not even a lifestyle choice. It's an eternal lifestyle choice, which too many people take for granted and never take seriously. Everybody is big right now on the rights and religious freedoms of each individual in society. Everyone wants to set their own standards and moral choices, and hold their own sincere beliefs.

But what if they are sincerely wrong? Do we, as Christians, turn our backs on them and say, "You're going to hell, and so I don't care"? Do we stop being missionaries of the faith simply because it offends other people?

Christianity has always offended other people. Paul called us fools for Christ and Jesus told His followers that they would be hounded, harassed, and hunted down for their faith. Are we now supposed to give up on those strong ideals, simply because it's not politically correct to be a Christian, or because the world is getting annoyed with us?

C.S. Lewis, in his great book, "Mere Christianity" puts it this way:

    Remember, we Christians think man lives for ever. Therefore, what really matters is those little marks or twists on the central, inside part of the soul which are going to turn it, in the long run, into a heavenly or hellish creature. [Book 3: Chapter 7]

In other words, our purpose is to help people, pull people, and even push people into God's kingdom and away from the gates of hell. The world won't like it because it's interested only in the "here and now". But Christ will be pleased with us, because He's interested in the "hereafter and forevermore".

Paul, like the pure devotion of the psalmist of old, put it this way:

1 Timothy 6:12 – Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (NIV)

Prayer: Lord Jesus, the world attacks because they do not understand us. They want to do their own thing, go their own way, and justify their own choices. We believe that ultimately, these choices lead to an eternal separation from You and from all that is good. We don't want them to go to hell. We don't want them to die unsaved and unforgiven. Help us, Lord, to say and do the right things, which will please You, challenge us, and perhaps change the lives of those around us who are blinded by their own beliefs. It's because we care that we want the best of what You can bring for them. It's because we love them that we want to change them. In Your holy name, we sincerely pray. Amen.

About the author:

John Stuart <traqair@aol.com>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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