A little bit of controversy has come up from this poster from a local mall which promoted our church’s Southern California outreach . Harvest, my church has done this outreach for last twenty-nine years.
Different news outlets have reported on this where you can read more here. We as a church were first asked to modify it due to different complaints and one “threat” which the church complied because of the Bible that Pastor Greg Laurie is holding (Even though it is a Bible, the poster depicts more of a black book). Eventually, we were asked to remove the banners completely from the mall.
The Bible has been a staple in our American culture with families having one in their living rooms to finding a Gideon’s Bible in every hotel room. Times have changed! The Bible which points people to the freedom from sin found in Jesus Christ alone is not valued but considered offensive. We should not be surprised by this.
Don’t Be Surprised
First, Jesus warns us that we will be hated because of Him. Christians first and foremost need to be reminded that we are not always going to be liked by the world. Jesus said, “and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake (Matthew 10:22 ESV)” And in another part of the Gospels he said, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you (John 15:18-19 NIV).”
We shouldn’t be surprised by the current culture shift away from Biblical views. Though sobering and saddening it reminds us that we are called to endure regardless of what culture thinks of the Bible.
The Bible is Offensive
Second, we shouldn’t be surprised that some are offended by the Bible. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians that “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:18 ESV).” Paul was saying that the Gospel message of Jesus Christ seems counter-cultural to the world’s thinking. Why would God die for His creation? Why is truth found through the perfect life, sacrificial death, and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Why is the Bible offensive?
The Bible is Offensive because it reveals to us who God is. The Bible is more than just a book of promises or instructions for us. God reveals Himself to us through His Word. We do not have the Bible to see what we get from it, we read the Bible to see God who loves us even though we have fallen short (Romans 5:8).
The Bible is Offensive because it declares are sinful state
The Bible reveals to us our condition. You and I are sinners (Romans 3:23; Ephesians 2:1). This is what is offensive! It reveals the truth of where we stand before God. People do not like something that tells them they are not only bad but in a terrible situation where it seems hopeless in their strength.
The Bible points to God’s Amazing Love
I am so thankful the Bible doesn’t end with just pointing out our sin. The story doesn’t end with pointing to our errors. the Bible points to Jesus Christ. Though we did the wrong, Jesus took the punishment. Though we were The Bible is Amazing because even though we are sinners who have rejected God, he has shown us his grace and love through Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23).
The Bible is more than just a book. It is the Word of God which we see what it does. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).” As a Christian, I will stand firm on the word of God as it is not only deep well for my dry and weary soul (Psalm 42:1; Psalm 119:25, 81, 162, 175) but also the words of Truth from the author of Truth, Jesus Christ (John 1).
Check out the interview with Pastor Greg on Fox and Friends.