I want to tackle the word offense and what I have been taught about it in the past. I have been taught that there is something called the “spirit of offense” that I had to be very careful “not to agree with or pick up someone else’s offense”. I need you to understand that I believed this so much, that I tried to convince others of the same. I believe this teaching to not be biblically accurate anymore and I want to try explain why.
Lets look again at the definition of offense( to see more click here Have We Sold Indulgences in Modern Times? or here: http://av1611.com/kjbp/kjv-dictionary/offend.html):
1 a obsolete : an act of stumbling
b archaic : a cause or occasion of sin : stumbling block
2 : something that outrages the moral or physical senses
3 a : the act of attacking : assault
b : the means or method of attacking or of attempting to score
c : the offensive team or members of a team playing offensive positions
d : scoring ability
4 a : the act of displeasing or affronting
b : the state of being insulted or morally outraged <takes offense at the slightest criticism>
5 a : a breach of a moral or social code : sin, misdeed
b : an infraction of law; especially : misdemeanor
Let’s uncover this word and understand it more fully. To have an offense we must see three things: the offense, an offender and the one offended. As we take a look at the word offense it means to displease, affront, stumbling block, a breach in moral conduct. What I found very interesting is that the main scripture used to call out the “spirit of offense” is Luke 17:1 and only the first part of the scripture is used. Here it is:
“Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come” Luke 17:1 NKJV
And here is the rest of Luke 17:1:
“, but woe to him through whom they do come!”Luke 17:1 NKJV
See the little comma there, it finishes the thought. But here is what I found even more interesting, let’s look at the entirety of what Jesus said about this and let’s look at it in a different translation:
“He said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble. Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”” Luke 17:1-4 NASB
“One day Jesus said to his disciples, “There will always be temptations to sin, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting! It would be better to be thrown into the sea with a millstone hung around your neck than to cause one of these little ones to fall into sin. So watch yourselves! “If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive. Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.” Luke 17:1-4 NLT
Again the archaic definition is used: stumbling block=occasion to sin. And most definitely this sentence talks about the person who does the tempting or causes the other person to stumble.
Jesus talks here that temptation to sin, stumbling will happen, offense will come but woe to those who they come through. It sounds like something important not to the one offended but to the offender. We have recently, by recently I would say at least the last 20+ years or maybe longer, put all the responsibility on the offended and none on the offender where the responsibility should lay. I say this because most often it is expected of the believer to forgive and forget and move on even when there has been no way for the offended believer to even act on Luke 17:3-4. We have been taught to just “let it go”, negate your feelings, process only with God and move on. This has caused much to occur in both the spiritual and natural realm that has left believers believing that their worth is so low, which is exactly the enemies plan.
There is much that needs to be understood here that I can’t possibly finish in one post. This is the second of several blogs I plan on writing on this subject. The first post, Have We Sold Indulgences in Modern Times?, gives my start on this journey. I need you to understand it is necessary to have the correct definition of the words grace, mercy, repentance, sin (there are three levels to the one word sin in the OT yet it is always translated as just sin in NT) to really understand scripture. When we wash these words off from our misunderstanding and look at what their true definition is we can better understand, see God and hear Him through scripture. So, before my next post I encourage you to look these words up in a dictionary and ask the Holy Spirit to help you becaus as we look at scripture that pertains to: what to do if you are the offender or offended; if you are the offended what do you do if the offender will not or can not repent (see things God’s way and apologize) you will have a good foundation to dig into this subject.