But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case, the offense of the cross has been removed. [Galatians 5:11]
I am essentially done watching the news. This withdrawal has several causes, but it is in-part because I have become weary with the state of "perpetual offense." It seems as if every story, every issue, every speech and every comment is evaluated not on the basis of its merits or truth-value but for how or whom it offends. And it is followed quickly by a reaction from the "offended," and this response must similarly be analyzed for how it has offended. And so on, ad infinitum (or at least until the next offense becomes a distraction from the last).
Although I'd love to think of the state of perpetual offense as a purely post-modern (or, whatever era this is) phenomenon, we know that the first-century church also waded through a flood of offense. In the midst of it, those Believers were encouraged by Paul to get focused on the one thing that could actually be a "pebble in the shoe" of their culture: the cross of Jesus Christ. Those who preached a message of unconditional love and the forgiveness of sins were assured of repulsion, rejection, and persecution by an offended society.
We recognize that the rejection of Christ will be common today as it was then (and has been in all other eras), for "all have sinned" (Romans 3:23) and all are convicted by their consciences (Romans 2:15). So, there is a lesson for us in this: we must continue to preach with a laser-like focus "the offense of the cross." Let's not become distracted by the culture of perpetual offense, sidetracked by secondary issues, or scared into silence on the matter of eternity. If we are to be deemed "offensive," may it be because of the cross of Christ alone!