“Offend” is about standing up boldly & speaking out for your deepest beliefs, even at the risk of being unliked or offending others; in this case, a call out to accountability for the truth of the gospel. Things like religion, the bible, Christianity – inherently are offensive to some people. They may be offended just by the nature of something. So, I’m not referring to the act of being “offensive,” or unkind, or brash to another, but more in the vein of standing up for what one believes even if it offends someone. How someone else feels is out of our control, so we say what we have to say, stand up for what we believe, in truth and love, and however someone is going to feel, is how they’re going to feel. It’s never our job or responsibility to manage other people’s feelings.
To me, “Offend” also serves as a blatant call out of all pastors & church leadership targeted to those who have fallen into the trappings of power. Since the beginning of time, we have seen that with power, oftentimes comes the desperate need & desire to be liked; where inclusivity & gaining “followers” becomes more important than the teachings of the gospel and all relevant biblical history/subject matter.
We’ve started to see some faith leaders becoming confrontation-averse in the face of mainstream media culture. When did they stop fearing the teaching of falsehoods? When did it become more important to teach “life” lessons versus teaching about a life centered in Christ? There’s a lyric in ‘Offend” that begins the second verse, “This ain’t no Sunday Brunch Club…” because that isn’t what a church community is. If that’s what teaching the truth has been reduced to, then what’s it all for?
People who claim and state that they are “called” to a life in ministry have a very distinct purpose and path to follow. A life in ministry is about teaching and equipping believers with truths. Some leaders have grown fearful of scaring people away at the thought of actually teaching the Truth, which inherently can create division for obvious reasons, especially if you’re not a believer or if someone is only at the beginning of their faith journey in Christ.
But the possibility of scaring people away from a church community is not merely the “cost of doing business” as a leader. It’s about bringing people face to face with the truth that God has given us so that we may spend eternity with our Father God who loves us all.
Truth is truth. It’s time to get serious about souls being saved. We, as believers, all need to do our part. To deny something is to declare it’s untrue. To deny Jesus is to say with our words, thoughts or actions that we don’t really believe the truth of who Jesus says He is or what He says He’ll do.
That all being said, “Will you offend for the gospel?”
I hope I can count you in!
by Jodi Essex