Sermonette: Offences Must Come


Given 18-May-19; 20 minutes

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Social justice warriors have unraveled the Confederate flag as an 'offensive' symbol and now threaten to desecrate Georgia's Stone Mountain Monument. Interestingly, both secular and biblical etymology of the verb "offend" indicate that "to offend" implies a transgression of a moral or divine standard. According to Vine's Dictionary, there is little room to be an offender unless sin is involved. The biblical examples consist of 1.) the Greek verb scandalon (trapping a victim with a snare), exampled where Jesus rebukes Peter (Matthew 16:23); 2.) the Greek verb proscomo (to cause one to stumble), as in Romans 14:21; 3.) the Hebrew verb ashma (to offend by taking revenge), as Israel did with Judah (II Chronicles 28:1-15). Christ points out the offenses are inevitable (Matthew 18:7); the onus is on the offended party to go to his brother privately rather than to harbor hatred or seek revenge, risking God's wrath. As Jesus told the adulteress, "Go and sin no more" (John 8:11). He could say to all of us, "Go and offend no more."