A Biblical Defense for Giving Offense

Doug Giles

6/19/2004 12:00:00 AM - Doug Giles

    "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs,
    neither cast ye your pearls before swine,
    lest they trample them under your feet,
    and turn again and rend you." 
                                                   - Jesus Christ

There?s a massive contrast between the weighty and satirical, the masculine and hilarious modes of communication employed by the inspired biblical characters versus the whiny, saccharine, nicer-than-Christ, strained Gerber?s goo served up by evangelicalism and Catholicism?s effete clerics.  Have you noticed? 

If you have, does this freak you out as much as it does me?  Are you disturbed by it, or is it just me?  Am I the only who notices this type of preaching, writing, commentary and singing; the only one who thinks this is sorta kinda ?
uhh ? not right? 

As I see it, much of the clergy, the church, Christian music and Christian literature have become pathetically soft and have lost their holy punch.

If you don?t believe me, then take this Nestea challenge:  From now on when you read the scripture, pay close attention when you land on a chunk of text in which Moses, Joshua, David, Elijah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, John the Baptist, Paul or Jesus is engaged in dialogue with an idiotic idolater, a pompous Pharisee or a vacillating vixen. 

Know what?  You won?t see these searing saints doling out nicely-nicely stuff all day and night.  Not a bit of it: they?ll be challenging?oft times ridiculing--the very ground the impenitent unbeliever or the feigned professor stands on.  Not only that.  You will rarely see God?s holy ones repenting of the verbal invectives they have aimed at their audience?s willful blindness.

Concerning these greatest of biblical characters, we not only see great acts of compassion toward the repentant; we also see an unapologetic verbal ?gloves-off? approach with someone God wants and needs His spokesman to offend. 

Hey, PC police!  These Holy Spirit inspired men of the Bible were godly figures of great antagonism who insisted on battling bogus belief systems and telling the truth, frequently at the expense of a person?s person. 

And get this: it was God, acting like your naughty big brother who goaded you to throw the family cat into the pigeon coop.  Right!  It was God who egged His vessels on to give offense.  Give it ? it?s a gift.

The greats of the Bible excelled not only at biblical insight and break-through?to-the-other-side intercession; they also had an incredible wit about them that God didn?t mind at all.  In fact, He joyfully endorsed and eternally preserved it in the canon of scripture for future generations to read and chuckle over.

From a communication standpoint, the prophets, patriarchs, warriors and wild men of scripture were more like Bill O?Reilly ? even Chris Rock minus Rock?s blue material. 

Many of our Biblical heroes, especially the emcees of the various main events, were holy satirists ? mental and spiritual heavyweights with a verbal whip that they didn?t mind using on whomever, whenever it was necessary.

My ClashPoint is this:  One of the chief signs of the Church?s backslid condition is its refusal to call a spade a shovel (in love, of course) both inside and outside the Church ? and have a side-splitting, obedient, good time doing it.  Both in scripture and in the annals of church history we have great examples of reformers ?who saved the day? and ?bettered tomorrow? because they obeyed God through tornado-like use of both tongue and pen.

If ? if ? we truly desire revival, reform and a national renaissance, then get ready for the spiritual wrecking cranes, i.e., the prophets, to come in.  When the prophets poked the pompous ? when they mocked the haughty and religiously arrogant ? when they wreaked havoc on stale religious and political symbolism: they were clearing the ground for fresh, godly growth.  I know it may seem ugly at times, but it can be fun, and it can effect change.  That is, if we understand it, cheer it on and yield to it ? especially when it?s aimed at us.

Doug Giles? latest book, ?Ruling in Babylon?, is available via Amazon.com . He pastors a church in Miami and hosts two award winning radio programs [www.clashradio.com].