An examination of inoffensive Christianity shines the light on our attitudes and perspectives as God’s people. Are we viewing God through the prism of the world?
Inoffensive Christianity is when we see the world first and we ask God to follow along. We wish to please the world rather than the Lord. The world is where we always look for guidance. We believe that if they like us, we are a great church and God is happy with us.
If this is our belief, then we can be assured that a spiritual being is leading us, but it is not God.
The Sardis church in Revelation 3, is an example of this warped thinking.
“These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead” (Revelation 3:1, NKJV).
This congregation likely did not know they were dead. They believed they were vibrant and righteous. However, they were wearing the Lord’s name and tarnishing it (Ephesians 4:1).
No doubt the community thought they were a great church. If we engage in inoffensive Christianity, we can exist in the community and never make a ripple. The Christians do not appear any different than the non-Christians. Moreover, the Christians never take a stand for anything.
“The church in Sardis had a great reputation but unfortunately did not have the character that backed up the reputation.”/1
We are called by the Lord to make a difference in the world around us. We are to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16). As God’s people, we will be hated (John 15:18-24) and persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12). Accordingly, if the world is too pleased with us, we may be in spiritual danger.
“The big front they had put up was the perfect model of inoffensive Christianity, unable to distinguish between the peace of death and the peace of well-being.” /2
We are to be transformed, showing the world a better way to live (Romans 12;1-2). We never compromise the Word and we always take a stand on truth with love and compassion (Ephesians 4:15; 2 Timothy 4:2).
Jesus’ Word will divide the world, so we must fear when those outside of Christ speak too well of us (Matthew 10:34; Luke 6:26). Otherwise, we are ensnared in Satan’s trap and our life is draining away (Revelation 3:3; 1 Peter 5:8).
1/ W.B. West, Revelation Through First Century Glasses (Nashville: Gospel Advocate, 1997), 49.
2/ James Burton Coffman, Commentary on Revelation (Abilene: ACU Press, 1979), 71.