Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Offend me, please

Offend Me, Please
(by R.P.Edwards)

Yes sir
Please offend me
If it saves my clueless hide
Though it ruffles all my feathers
And you bruise my foolish pride
And I scream in my discomfort
And I curse, and raise my hand
At the end
When I’m still breathing
Perhaps then…I’ll understand

Some say it was the sign that struck the match.  Yep, some say it was the simple three foot by three foot white washed and red-lettered sign tacked to the street-side of the little Baptist church--that caused the fire.  Hard to believe, in this enlightened age, that some folks would get so riled that they would let five little words--painted by an upstart preacher--to cause them to nail the doors shut, douse with coal-oil, and strike the match.  According to eye witnesses it took a full half hour before the screaming stopped, and now, as I walk the ashes, I find it kind of ironic…that the sign somehow survived.  Let me see if I can still read it.  Yep.  Still readable. “Slavery is of the Devil.” Yankee fool.  What did he expect to happen?

The above story is a fabrication, but the one-time anti-abolitionist sentiment, hatred, violence…is not.  Imagine, a church going out of its way to expose that which is evil.  Imagine, a church taking seriously its mandate to be salt and light and to be a proclaimer of the sometimes offensive…truth.

Now, enter the little Florida church that dares to display a sign which reads, “Islam is of the Devil.” Surely you’ve seen or heard of it?  The “Dove World Outreach Center,” a little non-denominational protestant church in Gainesville, Florida, has made international news by saying out loud what Bible-believing Christians believe in their hearts and heads.  I must admit, even though I’m one of “those” believers my first politically correct reaction was… “offense.” You see, I couldn’t wrap my “win them to Jesus” mind around this “slap in the face” message.

So…I went to their site.  And, although half expecting one of those crazy off-shoot religions (you know, like the ‘believers’ that protest at funerals?) instead I found a congregation that is simply not afraid to confront the culture.  They’re not afraid to protest porn shops, or abortion clinics, or “be careful or I’ll cut your head off” Islam.   And, although I may not agree with their methods (I’m still pondering) rather than giving a “yea” or “nay,” here’s a link for y’all to do your own research. http://www.doveworld.org/

In conclusion:  True story. In my home-town we have an abortion clinic.  Over the years more Americans have died there than in World War I, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan…combined.  And, although any serious minded Christian knows that killing babies in the womb is murder; for the most part--save a few faithful intercessors--the local churches remain silent.  Well, a few years back one congregation decided to put out a sign that condemned the practice; even going so far as to keep a running tally.  One sign was stolen.  It’s replacement; vandalized (more than once).   And, although the “affront” is gone now, I can’t help wondering; what if “all” the local churches, instead of whispering in the shadows; what if all the local representatives of Christ had rallied to the cry of the unborn.  I dare say the abortion clinic would be gone.  But for now…it remains…and the children…die.


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