There are reasons the original 12 were so bold. There are reasons they preached letting the chips fall where they may. They understood that at some point, they must offend. They disregarded their personal safety—and for good reasons. Those reasons escape today’s motivational-speaker-preachers who live not to offend. They just don’t get it.
At some point, we must offend
By Mario Murillo
There are reasons the original 12 were so bold. There are reasons they preached letting the chips fall where they may. They understood that at some point, they must offend. They disregarded their personal safety—and for good reasons. Those reasons escape today’s motivational-speaker-preachers who live not to offend. They just don’t get it. Here is how A.W. Tozer described the true preacher, “they serve God and mankind from motives too high to be understood by the rank and file of religious retainers who today shuttle in and out of the sanctuary.”
Before some lazy reader jumps to a wrong conclusion let me say—we are not to try to offend. We are not to give offense. My point is that leaving truth out to avoid offending is a disaster—when it is wildly successful, it is an even greater disaster. Spurgeon said, “It is a very ill omen to hear a wicked world clap its hands and shout ‘Well done’ to a Christian man.”
It is a great evil when congregations reward you, yea enrich you, and raise you to superstar status because you keep God’s rightful demands off them.
When you take aim at a vastly successful far-flung enterprise, you are easily rejected because how can you deny its effectiveness? How can you keep from sounding petty and jealous?
The reason it is hard to see why it is valid to criticize attraction churches is because we don’t know what might have been. We don’t know how America would look like today had we obeyed the Holy Spirit instead of the laws of marketing.
They did not offend and they also did not stop the moral avalanche. On their watch, we lost marriage—we lost millions of unborn—we lost so much that we cannot even recognize America. And most ironically, after all the efforts to avoid offending, the public hates the church more than ever.
Here are the reasons we must offend:
Preaching the entire Gospel releases power. 1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
Romans 1: 16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…”
Why is the phrase power of God in two verses that deal with the offense of the Gospel? Why would Paul even use the qualifier “I am not ashamed?” Because, as a top-flight intellectual, he was keenly aware of the parts of the Gospel that tweak the human brain, and offend “proper society.” He welcomes the tweak because it releases great power.
The American Church has a day of reckoning with American culture. The clash is inevitable because our society has become an open sewer, a bastion of banality where madness has the microphone. We have the one message that should not be hidden or redacted.
When the suffering soul tastes peace that passes understanding, and joy unspeakable—when marriages are healed—when suicidal teenagers are filled with a will to live—when the lame walk, the blind see, cancers vanish and addictions break in one-step instead of 12, then the Cross, the Blood, and repentance become—what they truly are: the best thing humanity has ever heard. We must offend in order to heal.