From the Pastors Desk
The Opposition of OffenseNovember 22, 2019 Pastor Byron Hand
We have looked at how Satan opposes God’s church through keeping us focused on the past, through criticism, and through the diffusion of responsibility. The Diffusion of responsibility defined is “when a task is placed before a group of people, there's a strong tendency for each individual to assume someone else will take responsibility for it—so no one does.”
This week we are going to explore the Opposition of Offense. We know what it means to be offended, because we have been offended and offensive (please don’t take offense). But can we define the word offense? It means in it’s noun form “a breach of law or rule.” It can also mean “an annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult or disregard of one’s principles.” That is how we will address it. Whether the offense is real or perceived, intentional or unintentional, malicious or careless, the hurt is real and the offense is taken personally.
John Bevere, in The Bait of Satan: Living Free from the Deadly Trap of Offense, states that “the closer the relationship, the more severe the offense! You find the greatest hatred among people who were once close … Only those you care about can hurt you. You expect more from them – after all.” This fact can be seen when offense is taken within the church and not dealt with biblically. Here, Satan fills our hearts with bitterness, jealousy or envy and he has us.
In a CBN interview with Bevere we read: “Those who are offended are sometimes oblivious to their condition because they are so focused on the wrong that was done to them. There are two types of offended people: (1) those who have been mistreated; and (2) those who think they have been mistreated but actually were not. Offenses of the heart that are not dealt with end up leading to betrayal and betrayals not dealt with end up in hatred. “An offended heart is the breeding ground of deception,” says John.” In this same interview, Bevere tells that there is a doctor in Florida who prescribes his book (The Bait of Satan) for “some types of cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.” I cannot confirm or deny that this has brought about any healing of these conditions. But offense is a toxin and getting rid of toxins is always healthy.
We are going to pick this up next week and look at the topic of offense in more detail. Let me leave you with the scripture, Luke 17:1-4 – Notice the bolded words:
He said to his disciples, “Offenses will certainly come, but woe to the one through whom they come! 2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 Be on your guard. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and comes back to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
See You Sunday … Our Text will be 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12