I once heard a speaker tell a group of pastors that if they weren't offending people then they weren't really preaching the gospel.
I am happy to respond to this statement with one of my own. A child coined it back in the 80's on a half hour TV show. His response to the person who just gave him startling, shocking or insane news was, "whatcha talkin bout?" This question was usually directed toward, but not limited to his older brother Willis.
I am always amazed at how many Christian leaders I meet that believe the best way to share Jesus with the "lost and broken" is through a judgmental approach of laying out the list of what we can and cannot do (this list usually involves no coffee in the sanctuary). If these lost and broken people would work on following our list they might someday arrive and be like, or better yet, one of us.
Jesus clearly communicated to all people that in order for us to have a relationship with Him we must love. Love trumps all!
7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8
Let's break it down like this; in a Bible quick search you can find the following words and how many times each is mentioned (this may vary depending on translation, NIV was used for the following search):
- Correct = 5
- Discipline = 12
- Rebuke = 33
- Encourage = 43
- Teach = 236
- Love = 258