We have been addressing the spirit of offense. 66% of people leave church because of being hurt or offended (this is regardless of, size, denomination, race or location) We have shared that whenever you are on the threshold of a breakthrough the enemy will try to take hold and build a stronghold of offense. When the enemy successfully builds a stronghold of offense People with a spirit of offense which goes unresolved enter and become trapped by an offense syndrome which has seven stages:
Stage 1- They join a church and go through a honey moon period for1-2 years
Stage 2– They realize the church has short comings and humanly flawed people ( both membership and leadership) and they become disappointed
Stage3– They encounter a conflict or rejection with another church member at first they try to ignore or suppress the encounter
Stage 4– They encounter conflict or rejection again and they get offended (By same or a different person)* Note in the majority of cases the offender is not aware they have caused an offense
Stage 5- They receive messages from Satan and develop a spirit of offense.(they may or may not have confronted the offender and if they do usually they have not followed biblical process for reconciliation).
Stage 6– They encounter a “Last Straw” Offending Event and leave the church. They have a “that’s it, I am out of here moment”
Stage 7- They go to a new church and after the “Honey Moon” Period is over and after a while they start the syndrome all over again.
The following is the range of reasons given for leaving churches Some of the typical cover-up excuses given are:
1. “I don’t fit and don’t feel accepted” If God sent you to a church than you fit ,you have to discover how Rom.12:18 says “God sets the members in the body as it pleases Him” Ephesians 1:6 says “He hath made us accepted in the beloved”. The truth is everyone is not going to accept you for even Jesus was rejected: Mark 12:10 “The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner” Luke 20:17 Isaiah 53:3 “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief,” You must become secure enough in God’s acceptance of you.
2. “Spirit is leading me out”- “Spirit of God’s leading will show fruit Gal. 5:22. You are not being led by the leading of the spirit but rather by the bleeding of your own spirit.
3. Don’t have right programs– You don’t join a church for programs but to be reprogrammed by the Spirit and the word. The purpose of church is to come to worship God and serve him. People who join church for the programs are consumers and not worshipers. Neither Christ nor the father are seeking consumers. Jesus says in John 4:23 “the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him”. Therefore the question is you a true consumer or a true worshiper?
4. My season here is up”-Spirit of offense will hinder your season discernment” People who use this reason or excuse are disguising the real reason for their leaving which is a unresolved spirit of offense. People with a spirit of offense have a “discernment disability”. Since they are operating out of their roundedness they to do things prematurely based on emotion and tend to act out of God’s will and enter an offense syndrome.
5. “I got hurt there” This means I picked up a spirit of offense and didn’t get over it. There is nothing in scripture that says you are to leave a church because you got hurt there. You have two biblical responsibilities the first is forgiveness Matthew 6:14 “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” The second is reconciliation Matthew 5:24 “Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift”. It is time to break the shackles of offense and free yourself to love like Christ!