Sunday, 8 April 2012

Crap! I've Offended Again!

Photo Source Unknown
Though it may sometimes seem like that, I do not generally go out of my way to offend people. I like to think that I have a little more couth than that J

The problem is that I do tend to challenge the status quo a bit more than some people are comfortable with, and sometimes that does get me into a bit of trouble.

One place that you see this is in my views of faith and church issues. Though a Christian, and a Bible College and Seminary graduate, my views have become somewhat unorthodox, at least according to those in the traditional institutional church. As such, they have also offended a few people along the way. Where you can often see some of this is on my other blog, Rethinking Faith and Church, and on its corresponding Facebook page.

Is all of this simply an attitude of nonconformity and rebellion of an overaged teenager who has yet to grow up, as some have mused, or is there something more to it than that? Just as some people have certain traits based upon their genetic makeup and DNA, is the tendency to always question and challenge things also genetic? Maybe and maybe not. But either way, it is an interesting question that may be worth some extra research sometime.

As far back as I can remember, I have always been somewhat of a challenger of authority and social mores. I've always believed that just because society and a specific social group has always conducted itself in a certain fashion, that doesn't necessarily make it right or beyond challenge. By way of example, when society or church says that certain traditional rules and manners are obligatory, I have always asked "Why." The problem is, if someone holds those traditions or rules dearly, then they are often easily offended when others do not adhere to them also, or when others question them on those traditions and rules. That has proved true in my experience countless times over the years.

There is another side to all this, and that has to do with humour. I tend to be a bit of a jokester and I love a good laugh. Life's too short to always take everything too seriously. Not only that, but I suspect it's also unhealthy. Even the Bible says, "a cheerful heart is good medicine" (Proverbs 17:22; NIV). The problem is, humour is very subjective. What one person finds funny, the next person may not, and may actually find offensive. I can't tell you how many times I have posted a joke or cartoon on Facebook that I found funny, only to delete it again soon after as I reflected on how others might be offended by it. Still, and despite my efforts to be sensitive to others, my sense of humour isn't always appreciated or taken in the way it was intended. Oh, well, such is life.

Photo Credit: Adam Burke
Flickr Creative Commons
If I have not yet offended you, hang in there; my personal history suggests that I probably will sooner or later. Hopefully when I do, we can use my inquisitiveness as an opportunity for both of us to grow and learn from each other. Though I may ultimately reject your point of view, remember, I mean no offence. Remember too, the opposite could happen; I could also end up embracing your point of view.

The point is, I cannot blindly embrace something just because someone says so. The old adage, "we've always done it that way," never has sat well with me without first asking a lot of questions. Unfortunately, when I do that, inevitably some toes do get stepped on along the way.

Having said that, I am trying to play nice in the playground J



  1. They hung Jesus on a cross because he challenged the status quo and dented some ego's!

    Of course, the very same people could not see that what He was saying and doing was for there own benefit!

    He's still at it! Why would He work with us if we won't, or claim we can't keep up with the programme?

    The church has become a nice comfortable place to hide, full of people who have selective ears to hear. In the words of a contemporary band of ours, 'becoming comfortably numb'! Jesus never said it would be easy or that we would like what He said/says.

    All the great revivals and stirrings of the Holy Spirit throughout history, have been maligned and put down by those who are still building their platform on the previous one!

    Jesus is challenging His church to come out of the building and come into the community! Not as a corporate institutional entity, but as His body!

    The 'church' ignores this move at it's own peril!

    In one of your previous blogs, you discussed this and what may happen to those who find themselves out in the cold when the sifting begins (begun?). We cannot ignore them and must prepare for whatever we are called to do in this generation.

    It may not make you popular now, but then all those throughout history who ever made a difference and changed perceptions and minds, were always shouted at, ignored, maligned or worse!

    Keep on keepin on bro! You are not a lone voice and besides, I enjoy a good laugh irreverant or otherwise! I'm pretty sure Jesus does to, the trick is knowing when to laugh and when to sow.


    1. "All the great revivals and stirrings of the Holy Spirit throughout history, have been maligned and put down by those who are still building their platform on the previous one!" I like that :)

      Thanks for sharing, Ian. Your comments are appreciated. Peace.