About Jesus Steve Sweetman
derive my definition of someone being offended partly from Merriam
Webster's online dictionary. So,
if someone is offended, he is inflicted with some kind of mental,
emotional, or even physical, discomfort caused by the words or actions
live in the
to the Toronto Star newspaper, a petition was recently submitted to the
government over an add that read something like, "looking for a
Muslim to rent an apartment". The
petition was rejected by the government official because
"supposedly" the petition was beyond the scope of those
interpreting the Human Rights Code.
Someone copped out on that one.
there has been, and still are, challenges to human rights legislation.
One Christian has been sued because he publically quoted Jesus as
saying, "no man comes to the Father but through me".
Apparently that offended a Muslim man.
I would kindly suggest to this particular Muslim that he
"suck it up and don't be so easily offended".
aren't the only ones who "feel" offended.
I use the word "feel" because it's usually our
"feelings" that get hurt when we're offended.
Christians feel offended at times as well.
I would kindly suggest to the offended Christian that he
"suck it up and don't be so easily offended". It
seems to me that this present generation has never heard the old saying,
"sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt
that being said, most of us live in a society that still allows us to
defend our actions in a court of law or promote our positions in the
political arena. There's
nothing Scripturally wrong with that, and, when it comes to Christians,
we aren't door mats to be walked on.
I do suggest that Christians who have been unduly treated because
of their faith, not base their defense on being offended.
In my thinking, that demonstrates weakness.
Saying, "you offended me" is like saying, "poor
me, you hurt my feelings". That's
a pathetic defense.
often think of the apostle Paul in reference to these matters.
Paul said many things to whom people took offense.
He acknowledged that the cross of Christ he preached was
offensive to many, but that didn't stop him from preaching.(Galatians
5:11) In response to his
preaching, he had many offensive things done to him. Being stoned,
imprisoned, and flogged, are serious offenses.
In the midst of it all, Paul never had a "poor me, you hurt
my feelings" attitude. He
sucked it up, and continued to serve the Lord no matter the cost, and
eventually it did cost him his life.
learn lots from Paul in this respect.
As he left the Ephesian elders in Acts 20, he headed for Jerusalem, knowing very well he would be arrested for what others believed was an
offensive gospel. Paul
looked trouble directly in the face.
He stood his ground without seeking sympathy or pity.
He was like Peter and John when they appeared before the
authorities. After being
warned never to preach in Jesus' name again, Peter boldly replied by
saying, "judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to
obey you rather than God". (Acts 4:19)
eventually arrived in Jerusalem, and as expected, he was arrested. (Acts 21:33)
Paul being the Paul that he was, preached to the by-standers as
he was taken away. He also
preached to those who arrested him and to the authorities who
interrogated him. That guy
never gave up. He was either
"pig-headed" or full of the Holy Spirit.
the whip was ready to rip apart the skin on Paul's shirtless back, he
asked, "is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn't been
found guilty"? (Acts 22:25) Paul
knew his rights. He wasn't
prepared to be whipped illegally. He
was subsequently untied and sent back to the authorities for further
questioning, and of course, he preached to the interrogators.
was given the opportunity to be released from the Roman prison, but he
refused. Calmly, yet boldly,
He stood before the court saying, "I am now standing before
Caesar's court … I have not done any wrong to the Jews, as you
yourself very well know … I
appeal to Caesar"! (Acts 25:10-12)
Paul would not slip out the back door quietly and disappear into
the countryside. His civil
rights were violated, so he appealed to the highest court in the known
obvious to me that even though Paul was unduly and even illegally
treated, he didn't have a "poor me, you hurt my feelings"
mentality. Instead, he
viewed all offenses as opportunities to both preach and demonstrate
Jesus, the very thing that got him arrested in the first place.
struggle over hurt feelings because of minor daily offenses we encounter
in life. How will we deal
with serious offenses that Paul experienced?
May we have the same strength, courage, and attitude as Paul.
We might well face a similar scenario as we stand up and speak
what is fast becoming an offensive gospel to a progressively secular and