Sunday, November 16, 2008

To Offend Or Not To Offend:That Is The Answer

The past few days I've had discussions; rather intense discussions, actually. The question raised had to do with whether or not one should stand, raise their hands, or exhibit any visible manifestation of "praise" during a worship service.
My position was that if one feels led by the Spirit to stand as an act of worship and/or praise (and be the only one doing so), one should do as they feel led to give praise to God.
The other sides of the debate opined that if one is alone in such demonstrations, they run the risk of offending others who may feel that such actions may be misinterpreted as wanting to be noticed, going against the grain of "propriety," and venturing beyond the historical, denominational bounds of worship.
So, there I was, pinched between "propriety," "tradition," and one's own emotional/spiritual reaction to the beauty of music, preaching, etc.
Of course, the apostle Paul was brought along with his recorded opinion which reads; "But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak."[I Corinthians 8:9].
But of course, taken in context and eisegetically rendered, this text is talking about what one eats and not how one may feel compelled to worship on occasion.
I thought about King David who "...danced before the Lord with all (his) might, and David (was) wearing a linen ephod." [IISamuel 6:14] (I put the added words in parentheses). According to Strong (#5797) the word translated "might" is the Hebrew word " 'oz " which is also rendered "strength.
Does one close the hearts and file them under "propriety?" Does one praise God carefully so as to avoid even the possibility that others may be offended? Does one heed or shed the opinions of others offered in love and concern?
Lord, what am I to do? David, a man after your own heart, I certainly am not. Speak Lord; I need a word from You.
With utmost sincerity, e.c.
p.s. we have made it only as far as Medford, Oregon and each day has started out with a low fog that burned off before noon. Lovely!


gadadhoon said...

When you check your blog next I need advice. How am I supposed to lead a Bible class that is mostly Buddhist / atheist, and mostly level one English students? I'm trying to balance interesting topics with understandable ones, and spiritually useful ideas with generally interesting ones. I don't know how to bring these people in now that they're in the class.

oldmaned said...

I will send you and e-mail with a lengthy response