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From the Pulpit: Offensive behavior

September 2, 2012
By BISHOP J.D. WALL - Tri-State Church of God , Weirton Daily Times

In his prayer for the July 24th edition of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association entitled "My heart aches for America," Billy Graham states "Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone, except God." This quote embodies the American culture. We take every step we can to avoid offending anyone for fear of backlash and being labeled "politically correct." Unfortunately, this philosophy has found itself prevalent in our churches as well.

We are more content with making excuses for our behaviors than doing the difficult task of repenting and examining ourselves by the Word. In fact, movements have gained momentum in the last few years to change the scripture or merely choose what scriptures we, the church, deem appropriate. This is in response to ever increasing attacks on Christianity, the divinity of Christ, and validity of the Bible. In a world where sin is rampant, (I had my own car stolen out of my driveway two weeks ago), the Church should be an example of holiness but rather is cowering down to a society that demands "political correctness."

This principle has been in operation since the beginning of time. We find in Genesis that even Adam and Eve made excuses for their sin too rather than face God. In Genesis 3:8 we find Adam and Eve hiding amongst the trees (their sin), from the presence of God. Later in the chapter, we find Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the serpent, and neither excuse got them very far in God's eyes. In between we find something unique. God asks Adam and Eve where they are. I ask you this question, did God not know where Adam and Eve were or what they had done? I tell you that the maker and creator of the universe knew exactly. So why did He ask? He wanted Adam and Eve to acknowledge their sin and confess their sin. The same is true today. God still wants His people to confess their sin and come out from hiding behind their excuses.

The problem is that the Bible only gives one example of how people become free from the bondage of sin. John 8:32 - "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set your free." The truth is the only way we become free just as Adam and Eve were only restored when they confessed they messed up. Jesus in Matthew 13 speaks in parables, some of the most famous parables we preach today about living Christ-like. At the end of this chapter, Jesus finds Himself in his own country and is not accepted. Why, you might ask? Verse 57 gives us the answer "so they were offended at Him." It did not change Jesus and he continued to preach the message regardless of their level of offense. We must do the same Men of God! We must continue to preach the truth of God's word because it is the only way we can free America from its stronghold of Sin. Jesus promises us in Matthew 24 that people will be offended by His namesake, so that is a given, the question is whether or not we are ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

("From the Pulpit" is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of The Weirton Ministerial Association)

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