Theolog on When the Bible offends us:
A while back, I mentioned here that I had offended some people in an evangelical Bible study I was guest-teaching by affirming that “blessed are the peacemakers” refers to peace with other people, not just peace with God. The next week I was asked not to return. Apparently I was too liberal for some and a source of division in the church.
One way to read that decision is that I had gotten too far out in front of my class and didn’t create bridges that would invite them to join me on common ground. You’re not teaching if people aren’t learning. One might conclude that I failed in my task, even if one disagreed with the church leaders who see peacemaking only as a code word for evangelism rather than as a broader reconciliation. My job was to provoke learning; it didn’t happen.
Another perspective is that for many Christians, whether liberal or conservative, Bible study is primarily about reinforcing beliefs already held for reasons other than biblical authority. If it turns out that the Bible appears to teach something that runs against the grain of our convictions, we find ways to reject its message or its messenger.