In Defense Of The Offense by James Merritt

Dr. James Merritt
1 Cor. 1:18-25


1. Recently on an airplane, as I was traveling back
to Atlanta, I sat next to a lady whose name was
Judith. We got into a conversation and she got around
to asking me what I did. I told her that I was a
minister. She immediately began to discuss religion.
She began to criticize a certain Baptist seminary in
Louisville, Kentucky and the extreme right-wing
fundamentalists that had taken the seminary over. She
had seen a movie about it and she was appalled at what
had happened.

2. That led into an extremely interesting
conversation that was an eye-opener for me. In the
course of the conversation, she especially singled out
Southern Baptists, and how she could not understand
why we couldn't just "live and let live." She
especially referred to the Southern Baptist emphasis
on evangelism. She said, "I'm very offended at
Southern Baptists trying to convert Jews, Buddhists,
Hindus, Muslims or anyone else to their religion."

3. I said to her, "Well, if I knocked on your door,
told you who I was and simply asked for permission to
share my faith, and the death, burial, and
resurrection of Jesus Christ, would that be all
right?" She said, "If you even knocked on my door, I
would be offended."

4. She let me know that the gospel greatly offended
her. I said to her, "You mean if I simply share with
you the fact that Jesus Christ died on the cross for
your sins; that He was buried, that He was raised from
the dead, and that if you will confess your sins to
God, repent, and ask Jesus into your heart, that would
offend you?" She said, "Yes, especially if you asked
me to receive Him as my Lord and Savior."

5. After about forty-five minutes of a very pleasant
discussion, I said to her, "You have used the word
'offended' probably 25 times in this conversation." I
said, "Let me share with you the difficulty ...

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