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THE OFFENCE OF THE CROSS



Posted: 06/12/07

The Offence of the Cross

When the Ten Commandments are used in open air preaching often people come under the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Some may try and deal with their conviction through anger. It is easy to forget that behind the flesh and blood is a seething demonic realm (see Ephesians 6:12). That's why it is wise to use words "seasoned with salt." There have been times where I haven't been as wise as I should, and have suffered the consequences. Take for instance the time an attractive woman in her mid-twenties angrily hollered out the "f" word at me. When she did it again I said, "Ma'am, could you watch your language? There are ladies present." She looked at me with disdain and said, "I'm a lady!" I answered, "Ma'am. You may be a woman, but you're not a 'lady.'" At that she rushed at me like a bat out of heaven to prove the truth of what I had just said. As she began hitting me I noticed that it wasn't in the typical womanly fashion. She was laying into me as though she was a prizefighter, with blows to the ribs, mouth and upper torso. She was so quick, she managed to land about six good punches before members of our team were able to rescue me from her fists. As they held her back, she said that she wanted to pick up her purse, so they let her go. That's when she landed a powerful kidney punch. After she left I was able to continue preaching (she actually doubled my crowd). It took two weeks for the bruises to go away.

One other time a woman approached me and used the same word to describe what I had been saying. I looked at her and said, "Ma'am…it sounds like there are some demons in there." At that, she slapped my face (understandably). I looked at her and said, "Any more where that came from?" There was. She then punched me in the mouth and walked off.

I don't always wait to be hit by women. Late in 2000, one angry lady tried to hit me just after I had finished speaking. A friend was preaching at the time and I thought that the sight of a preacher being beaten by a woman would distract from the Gospel, so I moved away. The woman didn't leave it there--she chased me around the crowd. Then she went to the police and told them that I had punched her in the face. The police questioned me and when I informed them that my associate had video-taped the chase scene, they looked, laughed, and left.

While outbreaks of anger are reasonably common, it is usually verbal or taken out on the microphone or Lazarus (a dummy used for fake funerals). It was because of this regular contention that two pastors set up a lunch appointment with me. Over lunch they gently told me that they were offended by my way of preaching. They said that they had received numerous complaints from non-Christians and some from Christians about how I stirred up the crowd and made them angry. They also said that I was condescending, condemning and judgmental. They said that that was the reason the crowd was offended. I told them that I strived to be gentle, show respect, and that love was my sole motivation. I also mentioned that other Christians who were more gracious than me received the same venomous response. I told them that it was the message that was offensive and the normal result is that those who are offended take their anger out on the messenger.

After some time, I asked how one of the pastors presented the Gospel to sinners. He said, "I tell them that God loves them and that He wants to be their friend--that He has a mansion in Heaven for them…I tell them that the thing that is stopping them from going there is the wages of their human nature." He said that he tried to avoid any words that caused sinners to stumble. I gave some examples, "Your mean 'sin, righteousness, judgment, repentance, etc.'" He said, "Yes."
I could see why he was offended by my preaching. I could also see why nobody would be offended by his.

The question then arises, Which method is right? Let's look to scripture and see what happened when Paul preached:

Acts 13:45: When he preached, the crowd began "contradicting and blaspheming."

Acts 13:50: Paul and Barnabas thrown out of the city.

Acts 14:5: The crowd began to stone them.

Acts 14:9: Paul was stoned and left for dead.

Acts 16:23: Both Paul and Barnabas were beaten with "many stripes."

Acts 18:6: Paul's hearers "opposed themselves and blasphemed."

Acts 19:26-28: Paul preached against their idolatry (violation of the First and Second of the Ten Commandments) and his hearers were "full of wrath."

Acts 20::23: Paul was told that afflictions awaited him wherever he preached the Gospel.

Acts 22:21-22: The apostle's preaching caused his hearers to call for his death.

Acts 23:1: As soon as he began to speak, he was smacked in the mouth.

Acts 23:10. After he spoke there was "great dissension."

Acts 23:10: The crowd were so angry Paul was nearly "pulled in pieces."

Acts 23:11: A crowd conspired to murder him.

Acts 24:5: He is called a "pestilent fellow," a "mover of sedition," a ringleader" of a "sect."

When Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, he said that when he preached the Gospel to them they "received the word in much affliction" (1 Thessalonians:5). Scripture gives us the content of his message. He preached against their idolatry (verse 9), as he did at Athens. He said that they were "shamefully treated" and that the Gospel was received with "much contention" (1 Thessalonians 2:1). Now listen to Paul's words: "But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the Gospel, even so we speak; not pleasing men but God, who tries our hearts. For neither at any time used we flattering words, as you know…" (verses 4-5, italics added).

If we do betray our trust, flatter our hearers, and adulterate the Word of God, we will not only fill the Church with false converts, but we will have similar experiences to that of Art Neyland, from Great Falls, Montana. In 1986, he used a man-centered approach and told a man that God loved him and that He wanted to give him assurance that when he died he would go to Heaven. Then he led the man in a "sinner's prayer."

The following Sunday he arrived at his new convert's house to take him to church. When the man's wife let him in the house, he was nowhere to be found. She said, "Where did John go? He was here a minute ago." She then opened the closet door, and there was an embarrassed John, hiding in the closet. Art said, "I take it that this means you don't want to go to church?" He didn't.

Distributed by www.worldviewweekend.com

By Ray Comfort

Email: email@livingwaters.com

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READER FEEDBACK


Re: Elohiym is One...In Unity
Posted On: 07/06/07 02:54:39 PM Age 63, OH
Dan you say there are many doctrines that are not in the Bible but the Bible teaches them. What would be one of these doctrines. Lou



Re: Elohiym is One...In Unity
Posted On: 07/06/07 02:46:56 PM Age 63, OH
1st of all brother did not The Lord Jesus create everything that exist. This would include the sun and it is His workmanship and not of any man. The scriptures tell us that the sun declares the glory of God to all men. Tell me how the sun declares the Truth. For there is no glory without truth. What is the only source of light in this solar system. What does everything revolve around in this solar system. What draws all things unto itself in this solar system. What is the great force in this solar system. What has most of the mass in this solar system. What is the object that is the physical cause of this solar system. Without the sun there would be nothing else here in this solar system. How does this glorify God. ALL THE HEAVENS declare the glory of God. Is that scripture true or not. The sun does declare the glory of God. It does proclaim truth for there is no glory without truth. What is the center of the only solar system with life. One star which is the sun. This is not my speech but the creation of God Almighty proclaims it to all who have eyes. They do not need to know how to read, just be able to see. God created the sun to proclaim His glory as He states in the scripture. You are not putting down my creation but His. Answer this example of His creation. Lou

YOU NEVER ANSWERED MY QUESTIONS
Posted On: 07/06/07 02:27:32 PM Age 63, OH
Hi Dan; You give more argument but you did not answer my questions. So I will ask again: if The Holy Spirit says in Isaiah 9:6 that the child Jesus is the Everlasting Father how are they two different persons. If the Holy Spirit says in Isiah 9:6 that the child Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor or the Holy Spirit how are the Holy Spirit and Jesus not the same person. If the scripture calls the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit, The Spirit of Jesus, The Holy Spirit of Jesus, The Spirit of Christ etc. How are they different. Are you saying that there are more than one Holy Spirit. By the way I try not to decide anything for myself, even when, where, who or what to respond to. I pray and ask the Lord Of mercy and grace to guide my every action, and I have faith that He answers prayers of faith. I am trusting totally and only in Him. If I do something that does not please Him, He is merciful to me and convicts me of my sin. I trust in Him and only Him so I trust that He answers my prayers when I ask Him what and who to answer how. Lou



No Reason...
Posted On: 07/04/07 11:46:14 AM Age 59, OR
May the Lord bless you & grant you full recovery. Lou, I’m sorry but I had to laugh @ your 2nd sentence. God did not tie a knot @ the end of our neck to keep us from unraveling. He gave us a head with a mind in it to reason with. “Come now & let us *reason* together” Isa. 1:18, “…and in His law does he meditate day & night” Ps. 1:2. Hebrew meditate is spoken of as like ‘chewing the cud”, bringing it up & working it over & over in our minds. This was particularly funny what you said of me when you have taken off on several ‘flights of fantasy’, especially that Gen. 37 Sun-moon-tide thingy. I hope you didn’t think you were speaking for God. You are correct in your 3rd sentence: “It is a fact that the scriptures never say in *one* place that God is three in one, trinity, or composite being”. Except for the very clear plan of salvation for mankind, the majority of Christian doctrine is ‘hidden’; “ here a little, there a little”. Proverbs 25:2 It is the glory of Elohiym to conceal a thing [matter]: but the honor of kings is to search [dig] out a matter. Psalm 25:14 The secret of YeHoVaH is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant. Amos 3:7 Surely the Sovereign YeHoVaH will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. You are also correct in the 1st half of your 5th sentence: “But I do not use reason…” This is apparent in that you can’t seem to distinguish between a prefatory statement & the actual commandment & you don’t compare scripture with scripture. Apparently, the HS did not see fit to have Jesus use Deut 6:4 as *reference* of where he was beginning his teaching from in the other 2 places in the Gospels [Matt. 22:37 & Luke 10:27] where the issue of “the greatest commandment” is brought up. Why is that? Could it be that the emphasis is supposed to be on the *actual* commandment that begins with “Thou shalt…” & not on the “Hear O Israel” preface where in your human reasoning you would like to have it? You say “…then i will believe it. I speak of the original Greek or Hebrew scriptures not a translation”, yet you won’t touch “Elohiym”, “Adonai” or anything else I have brought in. You say “But I believe the relationship we have with the Lord Jesus is far more important than doctrine.” I agree & I would hope that you mean that, but I find you frequently tossing in Mark 12:29 in posts when the article or feedback has no hint of the trinity issue in the topic. May God richly bless you too, brother. Dan RN.

Elohiym is One...In Unity
Posted On: 07/04/07 09:05:09 AM Age 50, OR
Dear Lou, you say: "Brother there is way more here than I can respond to in 750 words.", yet I have taken both the time & effort to respond to you with many Scriptures, 1300 words split into 2 parts, 1600 words split into 3 parts, the forum allowing & posting all of it. In all of it, as here, you have not, because you cannot answer the Scriptures I have given you. You look for some easy, 'earthly' thing to talk around & about without answering the concept & context of the Word. Here, at least, you are beginning to make my point. You agree that "a man and woman are ONE FLESH NOT ONE PERSON", & you also admit that you really don't know, exactly, what "one flesh" means & it "is not agreed on by all". You admit, "So a husband and wife are two persons but are to try to be one". That can't be a singular person so it must be 'unity'. Now, in your 'speculation' of what it 'might' mean, I am a little disturbed that your human reasoning would lead to "share any disease the one has physically", since Gen. 2:24 "one flesh" was given *before* sin entered the world. God is not the author of evil & His thoughts toward us are "only good" continually. But since you don't know what 'one' means here, you do what all true believer do; you accept the Word "they do become one flesh the scriptures say" whether or not it is fully understood. You admit, & I have also admitted previously that I don't fully understand it. In spite of your admission here, you then boldly declare: "But God is not saying the same thing about Himself", when God clearly refers to Himself, thousands of times, in the plural "Elohiym" & "Adonai", even in your favorite vs Deut. 6:4... Since you are also an engineer, & engineering is about precision, how about going back to my previous posts, make a list of the vss I challenged you with, & answer them precisely without all the extra "sun, moon, tide" talk-around. In Elohiym’s Holy Name. Dan RN



Re: Re: The Offence of the Cross
Posted On: 06/30/07 01:38:12 AM Age 63, OH
Brother there is way more here than I can respond to in 750 words. I will just say this the scriptures say that a man and woman are ONE FLESH NOT ONE PERSON. A husband and wife are to strive to be like one but are not one person but two. They are each accountable to God for their soul and because one is saved does not mean both are. If one is lost is does not mean both are lost. So a husband and wife are two persons but are to try to be one. And they do become one flesh the scriptures say. What is meant here is not agreed on by all. Does it mean that if they join their flesh in union their flesh is one at that time. This could be for they will share any disease the one has physically. Or does it mean that they will together make one flesh in their offspring. But God is not saying the same thing about Himself. He does not say one flesh but God is One Lord. Lou

Re: Re: The Offence of the Cross
Posted On: 06/30/07 01:23:37 AM Age 63, OH
Sorry brother i was sick for a few days and missed seeing your response. You list scriptures dear brother but then you use your reason to say what they mean. It is a fact that the scriptures never say in one place that God is three in one, trinity, or composite being. Not one place in all scripture can you give a scripture that quotes God as saying that. But I do not use reason but quote God Almighty twice Mark 12:29 "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Jesus being the creator of the universe could have said three in one or composite being but Jesus said ONE. Why do you think Jesus was incorrect or could not say what he meant, Jesus said One and I choose to follow the example Jesus set. If you correct me do you not have to correct Jesus first. But hear is another scripture 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, [b] Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Is Almighty God wrong to call the child Everlasting Father or is He confused. God calls the child the Wonderful Counselor or the Holy Spirit. You say that God is a composite being but Jesus says He is One. What are the three if the child Jesus is the Father and the Holy Spirit. Is God right in saying Jesus is the Father and Holy Spirit or is tradition. I believe scripture over tradition. Isaiah 43:11 I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior-- Can God be taken at His word here or is there another Savior except for the Father. You can use all the human reason you wish and because Jesus prays to the Father or Jesus does something else to lead you to believe that the only reasonable way for the scriptures to be true is for God to be three in one but God says He is One not three in one. You can believe as you choose but I have chose to just believe the scriptures without any explanation or reasoning. I prayed and asked the Lord for an answer and I have faith that He did show me. It took me years to accept His answer. If anyone can show me a scripture that says God is three in one or a composite being or a trinity then i will believe it. I speak of the original Greek or Hebrew scriptures not a translation. But I believe the relationship we have with the Lord Jesus is far more important than doctrine. May God richly bless you brother. Lou



Re: The Offence of the Cross
Posted On: 06/23/07 09:41:28 PM Age 32, OK
You are in good company Ray, They cut off John the Baptist head They burned lil Joan of Arc at a stake They shot poor Martin Luther King Numerous other saints hung on posts, thrown off buildings, stoned,hung on crucifix,burned in churches, dragged alive,fed to lions We all know of the beatings the Lord took Good company Remember what Psalms said on sitting in the seat of sinners, maybe some people like sinners keeping them company in their pews.Love of world is enmity with God. Sacrifice,Repentance,Righteousness words they hate to hear. Caught your million dollar bill down in Fl. vacationing with family saw written in sky Turn to Jesus, Good job big brother. Love your lil sis in Jesus

Our Triune God, Pt1
Posted On: 06/23/07 08:28:23 PM Age 59, OR
[Part 1 of 3] Dear Lou, I am posting this at the top because the columns eventually become so skinny they're almost unreadable. I am hoping that if I post these in reverse order that they will show up in a readable, sequential order. I have seen a number of your posts & you seem to have a solid, close relationship with Jesus but you baffle me here. I apologize for the length, but I wanted to give your statements fair play. I believe Isaiah 28:10; "For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little." and therefore I laid out a careful, point by point response to you, but it had to be divided in 2 due to the length. You have replied to part 3 before you replied to part 2, thereby losing the continuity. I will reply in its proper order. In "GOD IS ONE" Posted On: 06/21/07 02:02:36 PM, Age 63, OH, - In response to: "God chose to reveal Himself in a word book, not a picture book", the emphasis being, AND CLEARLY STATED in the very next sentence, on the *preciseness* of the word-concepts in the 2 *chosen languages* being a **better revelation**, you say that: "God also chose to reveal Himself in something **even better**[the ** emphasis is mine] than pictures and that is the book of His works. We have physical reality to glorify God as the Book of the Bible says. There are many references to the sun and the moon and the 12 stars." Without answering Scripture with Scripture, & as before, you repeatedly return to the natural, & LOWER revelation of your experiences, your person, son, wife, & NOW the sun, moon, stars, & earth [taking Gen. 37 out of proper context] as an explanation of Scripture & God's nature. Additionally, in the lower revelation, you are continually confusing your various functional relationships or 'offices' with 'personhood', either out of ignorance, or deliberately, for the sake of argument. Psalm 19:1 "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork." is truth, but it does NOT reveal His nature or His person & therefore, Rom. 1 then shows that this is properly for an indictment of the *natural man*. Gen. 37 out of contest? Yes! You say: "Jacob knew what God meant in the dream by the sun, for it was a symbol of the father, and the moon was a symbol of the women, and the 12 stars were a symbol of the 12 sons." My Bible says: Gen. 37:9-10 " And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me. 10 And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?" [End Part 1 of 3]



Re: The Offence of the Cross
Posted On: 06/23/07 08:25:05 PM Age 59, OR
[Part 2 of 3] Clearly, *his* father, not 'the father-sun-solar-system-thingy', & *his* mother, not 'the mother-church-moon-tidal-thingy', & *his 11 bros*, not '12 stars' understood & knew full well Joseph was saying they would bow in obeisance to him. Clearly, this is ONLY about Joseph, the kinsman-redeemer of his family, a 'type' of the Messiah to come... You then go on in the natural man's symbolic interp-fantasy of Gen. 37 & the solar system & you seem to wind up having the One-God-Sun-Father bowing to the man, Joseph! You say: "There are many references to the sun and the moon and the 12 stars." Aside from Gen.37, in context, the majority of the "sun and the moon" references have to do with Israel's idolatry in joining the pagan religions of her neighbors. That's not a good suggestion. Lou, like Hebrews says, when you leave the final revelation & go backwards to the former 'earthly' ones you only have confusion. Now, in Part2 of 2, your reply entitled: THE LORD YOUR GOD IS ONE Posted On: 06/21/07 01:17:25 PM, Age 63, OH, - Again, you are continually misquoting your own favorite verse by leaving off the last word, "YeHoVaH" [LORD]. How should we take that? You begin your reply by disingenuously seizing upon my **words** way down at "He has subjected Himself in complete obedience", saying: "Of course Jesus was obedient to the Father..." carefully, but not real skillfully, attempting to blow past my opening statement of "CONCEPT" that "John’s Gospel clearly has Jesus continually & deferentially making reference to the Father & the HS, referring to EACH of them as a “He” & “Him”, clearly as ***“Someones” separate & distinct from Himself,*** to whom also He has subjected Himself in complete obedience". From there, without dealing with the concept as presented and, without answering Scripture with Scripture, you proceed to open again the natural man's interpretation, based on your **experiences**, beginning with: "My flesh want its own way...” and, again, continuing to confuse your various functional relationships or 'offices' with 'personhood' as a means of "Scriptural interpretation". In your best shot, trying to circumvent the few 'WITH' references I threw out, you say: 'Jesus did not say He was one WITH The Father, but He and the Father were one. John 1:18 "No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, [Or the Only Begotten] [Some manuscripts but the only (or only begotten) Son] who is at the Father's side, has made him known.” & then, defeating yourself by immediately bring in dubious manuscripts & translations casting doubt upon YOUR OWN understanding of the correct meaning! The NIV uses corrupt manuscripts & removes "monogenes huios" [only-begotten Son], which is clearly established in the Textus Receptus. Even 1:18 in the NIV gives you NO ESCAPE as it clearly has the Son "AT the Father's SIDE", or in the KJV: the "Son, who is IN the bosom of the Father". It makes NO DIFFERENCE whether it is "at, in, with, both, or by" each other, the meaning is always clear that they are spoken of, shown to be, & yes, even "seen" [Matt 26:64, Acts 7:55] as separate individuals apart from each other, and yet at the same time the whole Bible declares that THEY are the only one true God. My friend, that can only be possible if God is a composite being as I have said the scriptures teach. [End Part 2 of 3]

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