Monday, January 14, 2008


I can remember when I was younger watching the Duracell commercial on the television which featured the then prominent actor, Robert Conrad. In the commercial, he was to be exhibit the tough guy image by placing a battery on his shoulder and daring you to knock it off. I still remember my wish that somebody would. I would love to have seen his reaction.

Today, we live in a highly charged, antennae saturated, overly sensitive society. Political correctness has run so far amok and reached such a volume that some are reluctant to speak because someone else may be offended by something said in spite of the fact that no offense is intended to be communicated. However this post is not being written to address those that offend when they speak but rather to address those who are offended by everything they hear.

Let me start this then by saying that if profanity offends you, in addition to calling/writing the advertisers of movies that contain such, you need to only turn your TV off. It is that simple. Do not watch the movie/program. Now I do not like profanity. I learned quite a while back that profanity is the attempt of a feeble mind trying to express itself forcefully. When I hear profanity being used, I acknowledge to myself that the person speaking the profanity lacks the moral integrity and virtue that the Spirit of Christ would seek to instill in such a person. While not restricted to only profanity, when the Scripture says that we should not let any corrupt words proceed from our mouths, profanity is included. Other people are offended by suspected racists comments. Others still are offended by what we would call sexists comments. This list could get extremely long but we dare not forget the socio-economic comments that some would find offensive and extreme.

In each of these situations, the hearer is wearing their particular ideology like a battery on their shoulder just daring and waiting for anyone to knock it off. Have we, as Christians, forgotten what Jesus came for? He came not to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved. As his ambassadors, we have the same calling. We are to be a people that seek reconciliation rather than the condemnation of another. Rather than be offended by a person's speech, what I hear is a soul that needs the work of the Holy Spirit. And might it just be that through me and a humble spirit on my part, that God might reach said offender. When I am easily offended, I lift myself up rather than Christ. Rather than seeing a sin darkened heart when I am offended, I see the red of my pride that I believe is so worthy of respect. If a person respects not Jesus Christ, how in the world can I expect that they would respect me? And if their life is lived in such a way that it can be said of them they respect and follow Christ, perhaps, just perhaps that the words they uttered that you found so offensive were in no way intended or meant to be offensive but were interpreted that way through the battery that was being displayed on your shoulder.

Passing laws in our country have done nothing to change the heart of man. Laws may restrain the actions of man but they do no have the ability to do what only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can do, change the heart. As an ambassador of Christ then, I am to ultimately be concerned about the hearts of man. Just because their actions have been restrained does not mean the issue has been settled. In fact, it is extreme naivety to think that restraint has changed the heart. Sometimes, restraint actually enrages the heart and the opposite of what is best happens. As Christians, we should be ready to dialogue about our Savior and the power afforded by him to make the changes that we so desire. Can we forget about ourselves long enough to see that at least on our part, Christ is lifted up? Is there enough integrity within our own hearts to make sure that Jesus Christ is offended before we are? Need we be reminded that all sin is actually against Christ though it may be aimed at man?

Why would what I have said offend anybody? It is precisely because it would seem that I am giving the offender a free ride. It would seem that I am placing the responsibility on the offended rather than the offender. Absolutely not. Rather, I am bringing back into the equation that which is so often neglected or disregarded. Is my display of being offended bringing dishonor to the cross and work of Jesus Christ? It does become necessary to confront such a one who would bring forth corrupt speech but that is the subject of another post. Rather, this one is to deal with the hearts of those who cry foul so easy when they are offended.

Genesis 21:25-30 has an interesting correlation for this subject. Abraham was wronged/offended by the actions of another and instead of pitching a fit, Abraham gave the offender gifts as a sign that he, Abraham, had been wronged. Boy, would this turn our court system for civil suits on its head or what? But, that can be the subject of some other post as well. My point, what does the behavior of crying foul so swiftly and easily say about the condition of the heart of the one who is crying foul?

While this may not float so well in the world's eyes, it ought to sail rather smoothly on the ocean of Christianity. Shouldn't it?

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