Have 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 offended!"

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 bodies.

• “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 our pastor."

• “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 – I’m offended."

• “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 to outline.

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