Is Christianity Inherently Offensive?


Do you  believe that our Christianity is inherently offensive? John Wesley sure does. He is the principle founder of the Methodist movement and his ideas about Christianity have resulted in many evangelical and charismatic movements alike. The church network that I am a part of traces its roots back through Wesley. Needless to say, he had some provocative ideas about the nature of a Jesus follower. Take a look at the following text.

To men of reason you will give offence, by talking of inspiration and receiving the Holy Ghost; to drunkards, Sabbath-breakers, common swearers, and other open sinners, by refraining from their company, as well as by that disapprobation of their behaviour which you will often be obliged to express. And indeed your life must give them continual offence: Your sobriety is grievously offensive to a drunkard; your serious conversation is equally intolerable to a gay impertinent: and, in general, that "you are grown so precise and singular, so monstrously strict, beyond all sense and reason, that you scruple so many harmless things, and fancy you are obliged to do so many others which you need not," cannot but be an offence to abundance of people, your friends and relations in particular. Either, therefore, you must consent to give up your principles, or your fond hope of pleasing men.

John Wesley,

October 10th, 1745

What do you think? Is a life lived in pursuit of Christ going to offend other people? Does our unwillingness to participate with drunkards, Sabbath-breakers, common swearers and other open sinners  hurt their feelings? The holiness movement strived for a single minded devotion to Christ. These men and women avoided the appearance of evil to the point that they would not even associate with wrongdoers. How do you measure up to this standard? Is this something to strive for or avoid?

Brent ColbyComment