A Gospel That Offends No One

SOURCE: The Gospel Reminder, of the Bay church of Christ, P.O. Box 159, Bay, AR  72411

A Gospel That Offends No One

by Mark Lindley

We live in a time when it is unpopular for one to hold firm religious beliefs.  In our day, anyone who claims to “know” truth is thought to be narrow-minded and radical.  The philosophy of relativism (the concept that there is no such thing as absolute truth) has influenced our generation to such an extent that one who takes a firm stand for his religious convictions is offensive.  The most terrible “sin” that can be committed today is for one to say, “This is the truth, and everyone should accept it.”  Many people want religion; they want God and the Bible, but they want a gospel that offends no one, a gospel without demands, challenges, or sacrifice.

The fact is, Jesus has never offered such a gospel.  On the occasion of Matthew 15, the disciples came to Jesus.  They were very concerned because Jesus had offended the Pharisees.  They said, “Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?” (verse 12).  It might surprise some that Jesus did not run after the Pharisees and apologize for His teaching.  Neither did He water down the message in order to make the Pharisees feel better.  Rather He responded with these words: “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind.  And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (verse 14).

No man has ever had more love and compassion than Jesus has for mankind (cf., John 15:13).  Yet in spite of His unspeakable love, His warmth, gentleness, and compassion, He did not fail to teach the truth.  Note His statement in John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  Consider also His words recorded in John 8:24: “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”

“But wait a minute Jesus.  Don’t you realize that such language is offensive to those who do not believe in you?  You have offended atheists, Jews, Muslims, and Hindus.”  If Jesus were here today in bodily form, He might answer with words like these: “It should never be one’s aim to offend others.  We should always ‘speak the truth in love.’  But we must stand for what is right, even if others are offended.”

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