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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Who to Offend?

In life it will inevitably come down to the question at times of who to offend? That is, regardless of which stance you take, someone will be offended. Sometimes to Christians it appears that the question asked among the public is not "What is right?", but "Who is it safest to offend?" I mean, given a choice between insulting a Christian and insulting an angry gay rights crowd, I think they'd pick the Christian every time. Given the choice of offending a Christian or offending a Muslim, most people will feel safer doing the former rather than the latter. Because Christians aren't supposed to retaliate, you know?

Now, of course, I'd like to think that this line of consideration is not what is going on. I'd like to think that they're just sincerely wrong in what they conclude is right. You know, blinded by the god of this world and all. But, as it turns out, if it was true that the question is the safest answer rather than the right answer, it would be biblical. That is, it would have biblical precedence.
And when He entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to Him as He was teaching, and said, "By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?" Jesus answered them, "I also will ask you one question, and if you tell Me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?" And they discussed it among themselves, saying, "If we say, 'From heaven,' He will say to us, 'Why then did you not believe him?' But if we say, 'From man,' we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet." So they answered Jesus, "We do not know." And He said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things." (Matt 21:23-27)
In this exchange between Jesus and the chief priests, Jesus promises to answer their question about His authority if they will answer His. His question was about the origin of John's baptism. Note, in their deliberations (I picture a little secret huddle going on where they discuss possible responses out of His hearing.), not once did they consider an answer to the question. What they considered was what answer would provide them the best outcome. That is, there was no truth in mind here, just response.

Now, despite what my children seemed to think when they were growing up, I'm no mind-reader. I have no way of knowing the motivation of people who choose to side with the gay rights crowd over, say, a Christian business owner who refuses to support a message he or she cannot, in good conscience, support. Still, given the example of the chief priests and elders who questioned Jesus, I do think that there is the possibility that the question in the minds of many is not "Which is right?", but "What will provide me the best outcome?" And it is likely a common belief that attacking a Christian is a pretty safe thing to do.

For now, of course. Because they don't answer to us now and they won't be answering to us in the end.


Bob said...

the chief accusation against mankind is that "we suppress the truth in unrighteousness"
our sin nature can't handle the truth.
Mankind is such an enigma even the word Mankind is made up of two words : Mank- ind.
who can understand it???

Stan said...

Suppression of truth. Yes.

Bob said...

Did you think about the clever instruments used to suppress the truth. i mean you have to be much more creative to formulate a clever device of obfuscation, then it does to just speak the truth. even the word Obfuscation, is a clever device of confusion and distraction. you see how it works, now i got so caught up in the word obfuscation that i forgot what i was trying to say.
clever distraction indeed. the truth is so simple that sometime its boring.
just think of the expression: Embellishment is the art of good story telling.
so with a little embellishment and Obfuscation, we can change the script.
i think the word obfuscation is not sucking my brains out thru my nasal cavity.

Stan said...

So, your message is, "Eschew obfuscation."

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Somewhere along the line our culture invented a new right -- the right to not be offended. Unless, of course, you are Christian.