KevinH: Don’t Become The Offense

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46 Responses

  1. Babylon's Dread says:

    Overcoming offense is the way to overcoming all things

  2. Jean says:

    Good word Kevin. Thanks.

  3. Papias says:

    Good word Kevin.

    Watched some COPS last night with my son and had to explain to him that we are all sinners, and some sin is against the law and some isn’t, but all sin is against God.

    “There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” ” [Luk 13:1-5 ESV]

  4. Paige says:

    Amen.

  5. I posted something along the same lines yesterday.

    https://kurtstaeuble.wordpress.com/2016/06/14/what-christians-are-supposed-to-be-known-for/

    Some of yesterday’s internet reactions were my motivation.

    Glad for these types of discussions.

  6. Kevin H says:

    Good words Piney.

    There have been some good reflections written in light of the Orlando massacre. Many words better than mine here.

    The odd coincidence for me this past weekend in D.C. was that there was a Gay Pride parade on Saturday. Apparently rather close to the hotel we were staying at. It made for some interesting people watching as we walked out in the neighborhood to get dinner that night. And then we wake up the next morning with the news of the mass shooting at the gay nightclub.

    While I don’t affirm homosexual behavior like many other Christians and that in and of itself causes offense to some LGBT individuals, it does make me sad to think of the unnecessary offenses that we as Christians have added to it. I know when I was younger, I probably added to some of that offense.

  7. Em ... again says:

    i don’t have much to give the victims of the shooters and their families at this time… because a family saw their baby son grabbed practically right from their arms by an alligator… all the pontification and recrimination that faces them now… sure the alligator is to blame, but God be merciful to that family…God forgive us

  8. Kevin H says:

    And I second the words in Pineapple Head’s blog article about much of the vocal harm by Christians is being done by a loud minority. I don’t think the majority of Christians usually bring about much offense to the LGBT community or in other issues or arenas of life. It is the loud ones that capture attention, and unfortunately it seems the loud ones are also often the ones who are unnecessarily offensive.

  9. Kevin H says:

    Em,

    The tragic events and grief in Orlando over the past few days is simply overwhelming.

  10. Michael says:

    Thanks again to Kevin and Jean for providing quality content while I deal with the medical issues.
    Things took another turn Monday and I couldn’t do this without them.

    This particular article reflects what I believe as well… but it’s falling on deaf ears.
    I see more and more pastors pouring gas on all these fires and I believe they will be held to account for the damage done.

  11. Em ... again says:

    still praying with the pray-ers for you, Michael… you’ve got cover and am confident that God’s will will prevail… but take care

  12. Michael says:

    Thank you, Em.
    I had to fire my cardiologist and start over …but I too believe in Gods care.

  13. Em ... again says:

    my opinion doesn’t carry any weight in this matter, not should it do so… but
    i wasn’t comfortable with what Michael was reporting on his care, so i’m hopeful that this change will be for the best

  14. Dallas says:

    I’m not sure that I can get behind the thought that it is only a vocal minority who have caused the harm. At least today it is far too easy to join in with the chorus of condemnation. While few people do it with their own words a pretty strong majority of the Christian posts on my facebook feed are condemning some person or another. All it takes is a like, share, or retweet to make sure that the voice is louder and travels further.

  15. Mr Jesperson says:

    Kevin, now you know why I stopped using Facebook. I locked my account from having anyone posting up on my wall and only have a couple of news stories there for my public persona. There is just so much pointless political ranting out there. Papias, glad someone posted up the quote from Luke! There is a prime example where Jesus had every right to go political in something he said but chose not to. The mixing of human blood with the sacrifices in the temple was a terrible sacrilege according to the Law. Pilate desecrated God’s holy temple in a way that must have terribly pissed off the Pharisees. But Jesus says nothing about any of that. I see absolutely no scriptural support for teachers politicizing Jesus and saying that we need to talk like that as well.

  16. Anne says:

    The Apostle John in John 21:25 did mention that there were many more things that Jesus said and did that were never recorded. I’ve always wished he’d kept his own journal and left his own specific book of instructions instead of relying on the memories of his followers to record sometimes decades after the fact. That would be a truly amazing read, I am sure!

  17. Anne – the Holy Spirit took care of the accuracy. God has revealed to us all we need to know for our salvation – the intent was not to explain everything about the world.

    Maybe not you, but I know I don’t keep, remember or obey the little bits he did leave with us. Imagine if I had to read a whole library of what Jesus said – 100,000 books.

  18. brian says:

    You know, I type out many posts either in the comment box or in a WP and often delete them. As a “Christian” a term I use in the broadest sense I have always strived to not make or cause offense to others. I delete items when I think they may stumble another or cause someone to doubt their faith. As stupid as this might sound I still sort of fear stumbling one of these “little ones”. From my personal experience in the real world and some online it has often been seen that I am weak, uncommitted, wishy-washy tossed to and fro and what other low brow spiritual harlotry that can be applied to motives. When I was offensive mean and very opinionated I was looked at as standing firm, developing a spine, and growing spiritually. Frankly I dont understand that. I did like the article.

  19. Anne says:

    Well, if He and the Holy Sprit had been a little more precise, maybe there wouldn’t be 100’s of thousands of book and preachers all trying to explain to us what exactly what was left us means for the last 2000 + years. Just think of how many discussions, confusions and strifes on this blog alone, not to mention throughout history might have been avoided. Just melancholy ramblings. Peace , ya’all.

  20. Anne, precision in words by Jesus seems to mean little. One of Jesus’ most definite and precise statements is “this is my body … this is my blood.” Most evangelicals won’t accept his direct words and think it is better to change meanings to “this symbolizes” or “this represents”

    So, I wouldn’t be so quick to put the blame on Jesus and the Holy Spirit. 😉

  21. Anne says:

    Ha! Leave it to you, dear MLD to illustrate my point exactly…..sigh.

  22. Pastor Al says:

    Get armed. Get trained.

    Or, turn the other cheek and get shot in the face like a sheep. Baaaahhhh.

  23. Anne – you can “sigh” all you want – but it is not precision of words what you want – you want a way out. – so Jesus didn’t do enough and the Holy Spirit failed because they did not leave enough behind to guide us?

    “Love your neighbor as you love yourself” should be clear enough. I don’t know how Jesus saying that 10,000 more times makes it more clear.

  24. It’s funny the thought of not being the offense – but we have allowed certain elements to shut up the church.
    It’s odd that we cannot say these past 2 shooters represent all of Islam, but we have to sit by quietly (so as to ‘not be the offense’) while they claim that these last 2 shooters represent all gun owners.

    I think we need to be clear from which kingdom we are speaking.

  25. Kevin H says:

    MLD,

    When I say that we shouldn’t unnecessarily become the offense, that is not the easiest thing to define in each and every situation. When is the offense necessary and when isn’t it? In the context of the Orlando massacre, I am saying that those who want to jump right in and start spouting their political arguments without taking time first to mourn and grieve and show care and concern for the victims and others associated, are causing an unnecessary and detrimental offense.

    Certainly there needs to be significant discussion as to how best to avoid these types of tragedies from reoccurring. There may be times in those discussions where offense is necessary.

  26. Kevin, I understand what you are saying – but do I lobby for better alligator warning signs in Orlando today or must I wait for the family’s mourning period to be over?

  27. Kevin H says:

    MLD,

    I don’t have a magic answer in regards to timing. Each situation is different and discretion is needed. Alligator warning signs is not a hot political topic that the country is divided about and is much less likely to cause offense. Most of the issues being argued about in regards to the Orlando massacre are. When people immediately jumped into the fray after the massacre seemingly trying to win points for their political position, it smacked of people being more concerned with winning their political arguments than with being concerned about the lives lost and the terror and injury of those who survived.

    I am not the arbiter of all things of when to potentially cause offense and when to avoid it. But I want people to try to use discretion and I spoke out about the Orlando massacre because I think this one was an obvious fail.

  28. Kevin – I consider both the shootings and the alligator not as political issues but as heath and safety issues.

    I also consider silence at times to be offense. and there are people out there trying to silence the church on these issues … and we let them.

  29. We must read different feeds. My FB, except for some folks here has been silent on the political side – comments about the tragedy are the limit. My church prayed for the situation – on the Lutheran radio at KFUO I think they had one 30 min program about it.

    I don’t see the big fail – I have seen restraint. Is your church up in arms? has your pastor been on the TV and Radio calling for the irradiation of Muslims in the country? What is the big fail?

  30. Dallas says:

    Just because I think it’s ironic… my former pastor now runs three radio stations, and if it wasn’t for the fact the Penguins won the Stanley Cup this weekend the sum of his posts would include 9 anti Muslim propaganda posts, and 1 showing off his new boat.

  31. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I think you need to check your FB feed…I think a lot of your friends must be deceased.

    Mine is a constant car wreck with people (that I know are otherwise quite decent) saying things that are outrageous on a regular basis.

  32. Michael says:

    As an example…some dear folks who have posted here shared and liked an article warning us all that the Orlando massacre was possibly a “false flag”.

    You have to be so far separated from reality to even consider reading such a thing that it shocked me…until I saw how many people agreed with that sentiment…

  33. Kevin H says:

    MLD,

    Our FB feeds are going to be different because with the exception of some crossover friends from here, we are going to have completely different sets of friends. And although your FB feed experience may be different than mine and I can’t call a big fail based on just my FB feed, I think I am hardly alone in my experience. Dallas just added one example of a similar experience to mine. Additionally, while I previously argued that it is a loud minority who are doing this, Dallas contended that he thinks it’s a majority, not minority. So some seemingly have had experiences even worst than mine.

    And the judgment of a “fail” goes well beyond just FB feeds. I have seen plenty of stories in the news (tv, internet, etc.) of Christians, and most especially pastors, who were very quickly and strongly speaking out on these divided political issues. Some things that were even truly hateful. Other things that weren’t necessarily hateful, but can easily come across as offensive. Because as the premise of my article, these people are giving the impression that it’s much more important to score points for and win their political argument than it is to be concerned with the individual people who had suffered great loss of life and other terrible suffering.

  34. Kevin H says:

    And while I was typing my previous comment, Michael added his FB experiences which also appear to be even worse than mine.

  35. Michael says:

    Kevin,

    I’m thinking of doing a weekly article on “The Worst of Facebook” taken directly from my feed.

    It’s bad enough now that I simply don’t go on it often, and I miss some stuff from people that gets buried under the rage.

    My new favorite is only offensive to people with a brain…the comeback of the “flat earth” folks…

  36. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – I would bet a good many of my friends (personal, high school etc) don’t even read blogs. Lutheran Pastors who are FB friends must be careful to observe the 8th commandment (the 9th to some).

    If they are like me (I read only this blog, a baseball blog and an oldies music blog) you don’t engage.much.

    My feed from friends is more about our 50th reunion next year – we couldn’t stop the Vietnam War, we ain’t stopping this.

    And actually, how many shared that sentiment – did they get up to 10 people making 100 comments?

  37. Kevin H says:

    Michael,

    Well, at the very least, “The Worst of Facebook” would bring some entertainment value.

  38. Xenia says:

    I was with my liberal friends yesterday and all they wanted to talk about was gun control. Since I agreed with them, we had an amicable conversation. Before that, another group of friends wanted to talk about the evil of Islam and the ineffectualness of Obama. Since I agreed with them, we had an amicable conversation as well. Almost everyone I talk with says something about the situation that I believe is true so I never have to get angry with anyone except the murderers and ther mentors and even then, one must realize that God is in control so I will not allow anger to consume me. But I will be vigilant.

  39. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I think you use Facebook as it should be used if one is to be sane.

    If I get the time, (when things here settle), I’ll start doing that article…the numbers are actually staggering.

  40. Xenia says:

    “Friend” everyone; follow very few.

  41. Dan from Georgia says:

    I think there is a time to talk, but as the book of Proverbs points out, more often than not keeping your mouth zipped can prove to be the more wise choice.

  42. London says:

    What’s the difference between “don’t become the offense” and “don’t be offensive”

    Truly curious

  43. Kevin H says:

    London,

    I don’t know if I see a significant qualitative difference. Someone who is being offensive is liable to being viewed as being an offense by those who are offended.

    I wrote the article about not creating unnecessary offense. Michael gave it the title of not becoming the offense. I pretty much see them as going hand-in-hand.

  44. London says:

    So what you’re saying then is that he’s just wordy? 😉

  45. London says:

    I appreciate the answer. I didn’t know the difference either.

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