Scott Hodge


“Who are we willing to offend?”

Jun 11, 2008

Someone just asked me, "How can a church embrace diversity without offending someone?"

My answer: "I don’t think it can.  Everything a church does will offend SOMEONE.  I think the question has to be, 'WHO are we willing to offend in order to reach the people we're called to reach?"

That's what she said….  :)

20 Responses to ““Who are we willing to offend?””

  1. Chilly... says:

    I’m willing to offend the religious pharisees…
    “Then the disciples came to him and asked, ‘Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?’ Jesus replied, ‘Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots’. Matthew 15:12-13

  2. jason says:

    Insightful as always my friend.
    I’m willing to offend who Jesus offended- and I often do.
    Matthew 15:12
    That’s what he said. :)

  3. heather E. says:

    Wow great thoughts.

  4. Lisa says:

    I think the question should not focus on the offended at all. I think it should remain, “How can the church embrace diversity?” Period.

  5. Zack says:

    Matthew 17:27, “”But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”
    The problem is in my flesh I am all too eagerly willing to offend. If we must offend, let us offend humbly under the grace shown to us. It almost seems better to let the Gospel be it’s own offense as we strive to live radically obedient to our high calling in Christ.
    No offense intended.

  6. Chris S. says:

    I am not really ok with offending the religious, in my neck of the woods, that is who we are trying to reach. I am totally ok with offending the closed minded, the bigots, the people that have God “figured out,” and the non-coffee lovers out there :-)

  7. I’m willing to let the non-coffee lovers exist in peace if they will drink their tea and be quiet!
    This is a great question, however. I think we have to examine our motives, of course. If we are offending – let’s call them Pharisees – because we are practicing the spiritual discipline of hanging out with the “wrong” crowd, so be it. If, however, we have somehow gotten the idea that if we aren’t offending someone we must not be doing anything right, then we need to make sure we aren’t taking pride in being, well…offensive.

  8. Chris says:

    What does “That’s what she said :) ” mean?

  9. HEATHER says:

    LOL! Are you an Office fan? Seriously though…At creation, God made diversity; and Heaven will have it. I think we really hurt ourselves if we omit it from the sandwiching of creation and eternity.

  10. Who Are You Willing to Offend?

    Think you can please everyone? Uhhhhh…no. You can’t. But you can choose who you are willing to offend. Not only can you choose, but wisdom is in the choosing. If you don’t choose, it still happens. It just won’t be

  11. I will allow MYSELF to be offended by the absolutely different ways some people look at the world and God. Then… I’ll get over it because that’s what the Church is all about!
    Great post!

  12. Anything short of sin!

  13. Steve says:

    More pastors need to ask AND answer this question.

  14. Jeff says:

    I am willing to offend the people who offend people who are seeking.
    The lost do not need to be offended…they need to be loved.

  15. Ansley says:

    I agree that it would be nearly impossible to embrace diversity without stepping on someones toes….that’s why diversity exists in the first place. However, every time we offend someone, we are automatically given a platform for explanation. A platform to show love!
    Great thoughts!

  16. Donna says:

    I may be missing something but aren’t we supposed to be “Christ like”? And if we are following Christ why is their such a difference between what people think of Jesus and what people think of Christians? And what do I need to do differently in my life to help people be attracted to a life of following Christ?
    All good things for me to ponder and pray about.
    Thanks for sharing.

  17. Todd M says:

    Ultimately, if we are living out the Great Commission, we are going to “offend” everyone we encounter who is not on a discipleship journey. We are going to “offend” them because we will offer them thoughts and ideas that are different from what they currently embrace. Bathing it all in love and care is crucial.

  18. josh lanning says:

    i linked you up with my blog! I posted this video. Great point. There is a huge disconnect and it needs to be fix. I believe that the love the church offered yesterday isn’t the love being asked for today.
    josh –

  19. indydallara says:

    on Derek Webb’s cd “The House Show” he says the following.
    “The gospel is both beautiful and offensive and it must be both. Otherwise it ceases to be the gospel.” – Derek Webb
    I thought this was very insightful.

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