Otherwise known as being blindly offended, because we can all agree that the Pharisee’s were blind, right? If you don’t agree with that I can assure you this post will definitely offend you.
I recently read a review about someone who visited a non-denominational church in Texas that was having a baptism service. This person got offended because apparently said-church was bashing other churches and everyone wore black when they went up to get baptized.
If you know anything about humans (at least in western societies) you know we get offended over everything. Here is how this more than likely went:
“Here at ______ Church we believe in baptism by immersion, rather than sprinkling or pouring like other denominations because this is how Christ our Savior was baptized.” Not really dissing anyone, but letting their stance on how baptism. Maybe the church neglected to add, “Hey we aren’t a cult but everyone is wearing dark colors for modesty purposes.” Maybe the church assumed that everyone knew, regardless of tradition and symbolism, that when white cloth is wet… well, need I say more?
The reason I am even spending time on this topic is because we cannot afford to be offended on things like this. MAYBE a church was spoken against, I do not know, I was not there, but Christ spoke out AGAINST religious leaders all the time. Have you read the Bible? It is all over. Here is just one example: In John 9 the Gospel speaks of a man who was born blind. Starting at verse 6 Jesus spits on the ground, makes mud from the saliva and spreads it on the blind man’s eyes. He says, “Go wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means “Sent”). This is Christ’s redemptive invitation, for all intents and purposes, and so the blind man was obedient to Christ and in his faith he was healed and could thenceforth see.
Later on (still in John 9) the healed man is brought to the Pharisees who rigorously interrogated him about how he gained sight. Brought in his parents and everything. The healed man was later thrown out of the synagogue. Now you have to understand that the Pharisees are religious LEADERS of the Jews. So before this point this man was one of their sheep, yet they never celebrated with him the fact that he was no longer blind. They criticized and interrogated and rejected.
I say all that to say this: If you are going to be offended, be rationally justified. Don’t miss out on God’s glory, that He is drawing people to him and people are openly submitting to Him, calling him LORD. These people are being obedient and making the decision to be publicly baptized in the name of Christ and we are too busy getting wrapped up in the fact that they wore the wrong colors and white is a symbol of purity.
Let me be human for a second and give you a for instance: Say that my future daughter wanted to wear white to her baptism because it is symbolic of purity, hypothetically shes a teenager at this point, and she comes up from being washed in the water and she looks like she just left a wet t-shirt contest. (Yes I said, ‘wet t-shirt contest.’)
We are in a church where the people are just as broken inside the walls as they are on the outside of the church. My daughter would DEFINITELY be talked about even in the midst of her obedience to Christ. Be real. Would you want that to be how a beautiful moment in someone’s walk is played out? Churches, stop turning on one another. These are the little debacles that make people not take TRUE Christianity seriously.
CELEBRATE THE BIGGER PICTURE. Someone was BAPTIZED in CHRIST. This is powerful. This is amazing. They are making a step in obedience to God to bring forth His glory. This is what we exist for, to bring glory to our God. Don’t be the one who shuts the party down. Celebrate!