Pilpul – here’s a rather lengthy explanation of a very short word. There are times I find myself enmeshed in "subtle legal, conceptual, and casuistic differentiation." The latest I discovered just this weekend.
A writer brought to light a subject that appears to be divisive. Sides are taken, arguments given. I wanted to put down my own thoughts on the subject, defending my viewpoint, but there was a nagging “No, wait,” as I filed away a drat. Then the right verse was included in a blog I frequent and my eyes were opened.
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. [Psalms 119:165 KJV]
Suddenly it was clear – why should I be offended because of another’s interpretation of God’s word? Does not my Bible clearly state what He has given us? His commands are few, but very specific. From the law, He gave them concisely.
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. [Mark 12:30-31 KJV]
Then there is the one some churches have forgotten, but evangelicals hold to.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: [Matthew 28:19 KJV]
Jesus us told us there would be a time when many would be offended.
And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. [Matthew 24:10-12 KJV]
We strive not to offend.
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. [Romans 14:17-21 KJV]
Do not take offense at what is perceived as weakness in another, who may at the same time be perceiving a weakness in ourselves. Instead, work together, in faith that God is capable of taking care of error. Depend on the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to give us the truth.
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning. These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. [John 15:26-16:1 KJV]
However – do be careful when teaching children.
Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Luke 17:1-2 KJV]