you ever been in a situation, where you see a brother or sister
create ought against someone, for something they didn’t do?
Understand, I’m not talking about falsely accusing someone, I’m
talking about a brother or sister casting judgment upon someone
else for not doing something, that they think they should have
done. Still confused? Here are some examples:
• “I can’t believe she complimented Sis. Schubert’s dish
and didn’t say a thing about mine! She should have complimented mine
also. I’m offended."
• “Bro. Kneel never mentioned my mother’s, cousin’s, neighbor’s, uncle
when he offered prayer this morning, even though I’m sure he heard me
talking about it. I’m offended."
• “I missed Church last Sunday and not a single person called to check
on me. I’m offended."
• “Bro. White led Sis. Brown’s song request, but not mine. I’m
In each of these examples, we see one glaring similarity. That is, there
is no outward offense, but instead an individual has brought it upon
themselves to be offended through an “artificial offense." For the
purposes of this discussion, the word “artificial” means something
“created by human’s”, “unnatural” and/or “unreal." In the examples
above, the “offense” has simply been manufactured or created in the mind
of an individual.
Need some more examples? How about these…
• “Bro. Green walked right past me on Sunday and didn’t say a word to
me. I’m offended."
• “The Church sent me a “Get Well” card, but I noticed that Sis. Hancock
didn’t sign it. I’m offended."
• “Elder Kildare went to go see Bro. Welby in the hospital, but he
didn’t come to see me! I’m offended."
Again, there was no intent to offend, nor a precipitated offending
action. Instead, an artificial offense has been created through a poor
and self serving judgment. In this you have a situation where brothers
and sisters create ought against another, not for something they did –
but instead, for something they didn’t do.
This way of thinking isn’t just restricted to individuals, it can also
be generated by entire Church bodies – having ought toward other Church
• “We go visit at their Church all the time and they never come visit at
our Church. I’m offended."
• “I’m not going back to that Church. They didn’t call me to lead
singing, they didn’t call on me to offer prayer and they didn’t preach
• “The sisters in that Church never speak to me when I’m there. They
don’t make any effort to make me feel welcome, but instead spend all
their time in the kitchen with the meals. They are so inconsiderate –
• “Did you see that? When I announced our granddaughters’, piano
teacher’s, mechanic’s bar-mitzvah – the pastor of the Church didn’t say
a thing about it! I’m so offended, I’m not coming back to this place."
It is certainly worth pointing out that sadly, there are definitely
times when we have seen true “offenses” negatively impact fellowship
between Churches. This can be caused by a number of reasons, some valid
and others not. I want to be clear that there is a difference in a true,
outward offense, as opposed to an “artificial” offense.
Take for example a situation where a Church body would accept or restore
a person who currently stands excluded from a sister Church. Doing so
knowingly and with intent, to accept a man or woman, whose home Church
has scripturally withdrawn fellowship from. God forbid we would treat a
sister Church and scripture with such contempt! Certainly, this would be
a true, outward offense. We know that each Church is sovereign in their
decisions and we as the Church of God need to know and respect those
actions. Can a Church be in error? Certainly so, but in this example a
Church has unilaterally rejected the sound, scriptural judgment of a
sister Church. Errors of this type are far more serious and impact large
numbers of Churches. It’s not the “artificial offense” that I have tried
As flawed individuals, we far too often wear our feelings on our
sleeves, put chips on our shoulders and essentially make it too easy for
ourselves to become offended. When we allow that to occur – then
animosity grows, jealousy comes into play and suddenly the small and
insignificant things are easily made MUCH larger that they ever should
be. The flesh only serves to infect judgment, including sometimes
intentional misuse of scripture. The flesh is a cancer to the spiritual
mind and an incredible vice for Satan’s amusement.
In closing, I want to relate a true – but rather humorous story. Back in
the 1980’s, we had a precious sister at our Church who has since gone
home to be with the Lord. One day our pastor got a call from this same
sister and she was vey upset with him. She said “I’ve been in the
hospital and you didn’t come to see me!" Our pastor apologized profusely
as he had not even known she was in the hospital. The sister said “I
think a pastor should visit someone when they are in the hospital!” Our
pastor agreed and again apologized. He finally asked her “Who did you
tell you that were going to be in the hospital?” The sister replied “I
didn’t tell anyone, because I didn’t want them to worry." True story.
To her credit, when our pastor gently pointed out that she needs to tell
someone if she was going to be in the hospital, especially if she was
going to expect visitation – she admitted to him that he was right. The
point being, the sister was very upset with him for something he did NOT
do, which as it turned out, there was an explanation for. This was an
“artificial offense,” as opposed to a true, outward offense.
In this age of “political correctness," it seems every day some group,
faction or individual is in the news claiming to be offended by
something someone said or did. Seeking any opportunity to be offended.
God forbid we allow this type of mentality to permeate within our Church
bodies. Even as the frail and miserable creatures that we are, we should
be better than that.
Brother Ronnie Mallow